So, I am fully against torturing/eating dogs and cats, but is any of this actually true? I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to South Korean culture. Nothing against you, OP, but some causes like this tend to...stretch the truth a bit.
I've been watching Korean t.v programs since about 2006, and this is the first time I've heard of Koreans torturing an animal to death because it's suppose to make the meat taste better...or make it have better medicinal properties. Eating dogs has been a custom in Korea and many Asian countries for thousands of years.
I know that China still holds a yearly dog eating festival that in just a few days kills like 25,000 or more dogs. Korea on the other hand, from what I've read...most Koreans don't make it a habit of having dog on the menu, and the trend more and more is that dogs and cats are not meat sources, but companion animals.
Most restaurants that do serve cat or dog or even horse meat, order their meat in already cut and packaged.....and don't actually have live animals sitting in the kitchen waiting to be butchered. But, I also have no doubt that there are some terrible things going on in some back alleys at cheaper eateries.
Also a lot of the most popular celebrities endorse and invest much of their own money into better care for stray animals and in spaying and neutering pets and in protest of eating cats and dogs. People not familiar with Korea have no idea how powerful of an influence the entertainment industry has in that country. It's not like the States or anywhere else that I know of, we have mega stars and such but in Korea...they look at their entertainers in a different way.
Korean entertainers are held to extremely high standards and their actions have a huge impact on the opinions of the Korean people. (for example, if an entertainer is caught with a DUI, they are banned from t.v. for up to 2 years.) This is because Koreans feel that celebrities influence behavior of others. So I think the celebrities really do a lot in changing the attitudes about eating dogs and cats and in getting pets spayed/neutered.
If that petition was aimed more at stopping unclean, cruel slaughter practices I would probably sign it. But I don't think it's not a good idea to shove down the throats of a nation, one's own's values as to whether or not it's right to eat a particular animal.
It would be like India sending in petitions if the USA ever got an Olympic bid...the Hindus petitioning the USA stop all cattle consumption because it offends, and the India Muslims petitioning we stop eating pigs because it offends.
I don't think it's morally right to eat dogs, cats, or horses. For thousands of years cats and dogs, as well as being companion animals, have served mankind in maintaining pest control in barns and city streets. Dogs and horses have served men in times of war, and the horse in plowing fields, hauling goods and herding livestock. I think as a species, they've done more than enough for mankind to earn a special reprieve from being on the menu.
But I know if someone told me I was wrong to eat pigs, cows, sheep, deer, moose, chickens and a host of other critters... I would get pretty defensive about it. So one culture telling and trying order another culture to stop eating certain foods...will probably backfire especially in an area of the world where it's been on the menu for several thousand years.
I have lived in South Korea for several years. The practice of dog meat consumption has been steadily declining. Dog meat is only served in speciality restaurants, and the clientele is getting older.
As Stormy pointed out, attitudes towards dogs are changing among the younger generation, and popular entertainers can have much more positive impact than "foreigners" with petitions. In fact, trying to impose our views can have an opposite effect of rousing up nationalistic sentiments that dog meat consumption is traditional Korean culture.
Hi, the petition has been launched by a person named Whang-Gu Kim, a name that sounds like Asian. I don't think this issue is highly related with religious avoidance of consuming some animals. Dogs are a form of wolf that have been with humans for 15 thousand years as their most faithful friends. They have highly improved psychology compared to many other animals, particularly the ones considered edible. Along with horses, they are two main pillars of civilizations.
On the other hand, there is no analysis I know showing consumption of cattle and pig is declining this much because of people's reactions. However, numerous Asian people are trying to end this issue. If they do, there must be some truth behind it. In the forthcoming months, we will see China's Yulan Festival being the talk of the town. People will see many malpractices once again…
I am married to a Korean, he has to my (and his) knowledge never eaten dog. I asked him about this and he said that it really is a minority thing now, the practice of eating dogs is definitely declining.
I have NEVER heard anything about torturing dogs for taste, this seems a bit far fetched.
I know that the storage and transportation of dogs for food (as it is for a lot of food animals in many countries) is basically torture, they shove them in pens/cages with insufficient food and water in uncomfortable temperatures and I would sign any petition undertaking to improve the comfort of any food animals before they are slaughtered, I believe that we have the right to eat animals (even dogs though I would not personally) as long as we do not subject them to extensive suffering and the act of eating them does not endanger the species.
I think that the majority of people who process animals for food are concerned with profits above animal welfare and none of that will change unless the consumer demands it. This is the problem more than the fact that dogs are eaten in some countries.
I feel a little guilty now for threatening my dog with a vacation in Yulin when she is bad onder:
Uh your logic is really flawed. We eat omnivores like pigs. Many hunters eat the bear they shoot. Bears aren't that much different from dogs in the grand scheme of things. We eat fish that are carnivorous. Not sure why you'd omit "marine animals". Various carnivorous reptiles are eaten in some cultures (ie. snakes) The fact an animal is carnivore shouldn't make it "less ok" to eat than others. The fact is carnivorous animals generally don't taste as good, that's why they aren't eaten. Your heart is in the right place, but as someone mentioned, foreign propaganda founded on myths and sentiment are just going to annoy people not make them reconsider eating dogs.
I saw this YouTube vid on a Korean site I visited. It's a real story-commercial, done by a Thai bank. I think this commercial did more to pull the heart strings than almost any dramatic part in any movie I've ever seen.
I think that given the efforts put into making this commercial and the fact that it's all about how a dog changed a person's life, it kind of shows that other Asian countries, besides Korea, are starting to change their attitudes about companion animals. I think it's interesting that the bank focused on this, rather than how they could get you a loan for that new car ya want.
That video brought tears to my eyes. I agree with you that this kind of approach - a film made by a Thai film company for a Thai audience - is going to do more to influence the perception of dogs as companion animals than any foreign petition. I love how the dog shown in the video is a common mixed breed and how the young woman overcomes her initial fear to love it, care for it, and bring it into her home.
Like Ems, I'm married to a Korean whose extended family all lives in Korea. I lived with my in-laws in Seoul for many years. No one in my husband's family - parents, siblings, or their families - eats dog meat. My father-in-law cared for pet dogs when he was younger, a sister-in-law took very care of an elderly chihuahua that lived over 15 years, and another brother-in-law has a pet store.
I found this article about the decline in the dog meat business in Korea interesting. It points out the importance of changing the attitudes of younger Koreans, and again, that's best done by Korean voices.
The video brought tears to my eyes too...not only due to the dog, but on how the young girl's life was so changed by her experience with that dog.
I thought it was interesting that the video was linked inside of site that talked about Kdrama actors : )
I was looking up a bio for a Korean actor and clicked on one of the sites from a Google search. The site (which was a Korean one) had a few clips of that actor, and next to the main article and video links to that actor was about 4 video links to 'other interesting videos' - and that Thai one was one of them. I'm glad I took the time to watch it....they did an excellent job in making the film.
Someone on YouTube made a comment that, 'that dog's acting...he should have been given an Oscar'....
... I was thinking, he would probably like an Oscar Mayer Wiener instead...lol