By: Grace Ruiz
Close to one million dogs are killed annually for consumption in South Korea. The president, Moon Jae-in, who owns pets of his own, has now brought up the controversial topic of banning dog meat — both the consumption and selling of it — in the country. “Hasn’t the time come?” the president stated during a meeting with prime minister Kim Boo-kyum on Monday, September 27 according to CBS News.
Dog meat has been part of Korean culture as well as other Asian cultures and even in other countries such as Nigeria, Switzerland, and Vietnam for thousands of years but currently, the demand for dog meat has declined. Many South Koreans are becoming pet owners and starting to see dogs as something to have as a companion rather than being raised like livestock and eaten. Not only is the consumption of this meat declining but the country is getting pressure from animal rights activists in different countries as well as their own citizens according to CBS News.
Though the consumption of dogs is becoming more criticized, the treatment of the animals before they are butchered is an extra push people are feeling to stop the selling and eating of dog meat. The most common method for killing dogs in the past has mainly been electrocution according to Newsweek, especially on dog farms. Even before the death of the dogs, they are kept in small cages with little protection from the elements, are neglected, fed very little, given little water, and many even suffer from malnutrition and disease as reported by Humane Society International.
“I feel like [a ban is] smart, and something that should happen but then again, if [they] ban dog meat then the public could say we can’t eat other animals as well such as guinea pigs, rabbits, but it is a step towards animal rights,” Emma, a senior and pet owner at Bellbrook High.