Why is it acceptable to eat cows, pigs, and chickens, but not dogs?
Currently, cows, pigs, and chickens are being raised in factory farms, which thwart every natural instinct, causing them unbearable physical and emotional stress. We should therefore not increase the number of animals subjected to such punishingly cruel treatment. The factory farm system also causes grave problems for the environment and is considered the root cause of such illnesses as foot-and-mouth disease, avian flu, and BSE. Reducing meat consumption around the world is already a significant trend.
Is it okay to eat dogs as long as we separate the edible dogs from the companion dogs?
Whether raised on dog farms, abandoned as companions, or homeless, all of these dogs get distributed as meat to restaurants. Of course dogs born on farms can also be adopted as animal companions. The theory that “pet” dogs and “meat” dogs are in any way different is an absurd rationalization by the people who eat dogs to relieve themselves of guilt.
Can we legalize dog meat and slaughter them humanely?
Because farmed animal products contain a lot of hazardous bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other harmful elements dangerous for consumption as food, rigorous sanitation management is required for each step of breeding, slaughtering, and processing in accordance with a structured system. But with the possibility of a public health risk looming, South Korean society will now be burdened with the cost and time required for scientific research and polices to eliminate these perilous elements. The cessation of dog meat must be a priority.
Is it okay to interfere with an individual’s food choices?
Food culture changes with time. We are asking for the elimination of dog meat because it’s socially undesirable. Families in South Korea with dogs are growing, and, recently, animal abuse and cruelty is emerging as a serious social problem. Dog meat consumption, which is a known for its pervasive cruelty, should be the first one to end.
Is dog consumption our traditional culture?
Value systems change. If it is abuse, it must be abolished. Unlike the years when there were shortages of food, people suffering from starvation were forced to eat dogs. But now with an abundance of food, and obesity and diabetes on the rise, the continuation of such a blind adherence to an old belief is anachronistic.
Dogs have lived with humans for over thousands of years and share a unique rapport, providing valuable services in various social fields, as well as profound emotional benefits.
It is a sad reality that some people are still eating dogs when dogs are becoming more recognized as a part of family life instead of “food” or “meat.” As long as dog meat consumption is accepted, animal companion protection and respect for life is merely a fantasy. The perception of dogs as an edible animal will dilute their protection value, and their abandonment and abuse won’t be taken seriously.
The animals with whom we share our lives alters our perceptions about all living beings and illuminates in the public consciousness the singular bond that exists between humans and their animal companions. Respecting their essential value allows us to build a kind and compassionate society for all species.