The $2 billion dollar-a-year South Korean dog and cat meat industry, which extinguishes the lives of approximately two and a half million dogs a year for meat or gaesoju, a dog wine or broth, and thousands of despised and doomed cats for so-called "health" tonics or goyangyeesoju, and soup, operates in a sordid and illicit world where farmers and butchers kill with frightening impunity in the most abominable fashion. Dogs are killed with high-voltage electronic rods (220 volt electrocution to the mouth which does not kill immediately), hanging, or even beating the dog to death at the request of customers who believe that the meat is more tender and tastier the greater the dog suffers (one of the most pernicious of myths) and that the medicinal properties are enhanced. They are most often killed within sight of their cage mates. They are then thrown into a tub of boiling water, often still alive, and then into a rotating drum for the removal of their fur, and finally blow torched. At Moran Market, South Korea's largest open air-market for dog meat, dog carcasses are on display next to the cages of live dogs. If sales are slow, dogs will remain caged for days or even weeks.
Cats are thrown into boiling water while alive. At the farms, dogs are fed germ-infested, rotting, and fermented human leftovers, a health risk to both the dogs and those who eat them. In South Korea, dogs and cats' lives are short and ferociously heartless until they tremble no more at the hands of their slaughterers as cage mates look on.
In S. Korea, farmed dogs live for less than a year, often raised in 'over the ground' cages. Although these cages are designed so waste can drain away, in reality they are rarely cleaned, resulting in a filthy build-up.
The dogs are usually fed on scraps from neighboring restaurants or – as a WSPA-funded report discovered – even on other dogs, risking the spread of disease. Fighting over the meager food supply causes aggression and injury. The future holds nothing but hours or even days crammed in a small wire transport cage with up to 12 other dogs, heading to market.
The South Korean dog and cat meat industry, with its deliberate and indefensible cruelty, is about the implacability of profit and the South Korean government's granitic indifference to the pervasive rot and stink of human injustice. Dogs are not officially recognized as livestock for slaughter and processing, meaning their meat cannot legally be sold. But enforcement is weak and many dog meat restaurants remain open. But a conflagration is brewing across South Korea and the world that inspires an almost messianic commitment among animal advocates to pursue a ban on dog and cat meat.
A country possessed of an intricate culture soaked with politics and tradition, it recoils when the subject of dog and cat eating arises, experiencing a soul's unease with the very subject. South Korea is at once the most proud and ashamed, a country in which a sense of a rising global status alongside the ignominy of such cruel practices are indissolubly fused, and whose contradictions and dualities reflect the most exigent of its desires: to be accepted into the world community as an equal and to be without shame about its sordid, corrupt, and technically illegal dog and cat meat industry.
One of the most effective ways to pressure their government is to impact their economy. That means we must boycott all South Korean products, tourism and international events such as this meeting being held in South Korea. Please sign this petition to show your support for the campaign against this horrific industry and help to end this once and for all.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.