Visiting during the winter months, a number of cages at the farms remain empty. Though dog meat is consumed throughout the year, the practice becomes ritualized, mythologized, and celebrated during the summer months, when farms are teeming with dogs. Bok-Nal (“dog-eating days”), according to the lunar calendar, considered the hottest days of the year, will begin in 2012, on July 18th, on Cho Bok, first summer, followed by Joong Bok, mid-summer, on the 28th, and Mal Bok, end of summer, on August 7th, lasting 21 days. The restaurants that serve Boshintang, or dog meat soup, are overflowing with customers who zealously believe dog meat will strengthen their bodies and “help stamina” to beat the heat. An unrelievedly ghastly time for dogs, many cities around the world stage protests during Bok-Nal. In 2011, a South Korean dog festival, organized to bolster the appeal of eating dog meat, scheduled to be held at Moran Market, the largest open-air market in South Korea, and showcasing canine food products, including barbecued dog and steamed paws, as well as cosmetics and spirits with canine ingredients drew such fierce condemnation from South Korean activists that the festival was canceled. “This is making our country an international laughing stock, and making the whole world mistakenly believe that all South Koreans eat dogs,” said Park So-Youn, head of Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE). “Canines are the animals emotionally closest to humans. You can’t just publicly celebrate killing and eating them.”


IDA video edited by Eric Phelps