We see no difference between pig eating and dog eating. The degree of objection lies in the methods of rearing, transport and slaughter rather than in the choice of species. The popularity of dog eating is currently increasing at a huge rate - it is evolving rapidly from its traditions as a cottage industry. Now it is no longer a case of a few peasant farmers breeding a bitch once a year and taking the grown puppies to the market for a little extra pocket money. Huge dog farms are being set up using modern scientific factory farming methods.
So what can we do to stop this?
We do NOT approve of calls for boycotts - they are not only ineffective but they actually cause resentment and ill will amongst people who have the potential to be on our side of the argument. Animals
Asia Foundationhas been concerned with this issue for a long time - their
strategy so far has been to raise respect for dogs by promoting Dr Dog and Detective Dog programmes in Hong Kong, Mainland China,
Taiwan and Korea. They have also carried out investigations on dog slaughter in
China, Korea and Vietnam. But they feel as we do that more must be done.
It is difficult to know what the best route forward is but coordination of
everyone's efforts is certainly important - anyone with any ideas, information, or wishing to
help, please write to AAPN.
There are currently strong campaigns proceeding against
the use of St Bernard dogs for food and against dog eating in Korea where the
methods of killing are egregious. These campaigns are a good way to start
to tackle the more general problem of dog eating. [And dog eating is a
good way to start to tackle the more general problem of the eating of non-human animals].
Unfortunately, much of the anti-dog meat campaigning is tainted by racism - as,
indeed, is the resistance to the anti-dog meat campaigning.
Please feel free to copy and use any of the material on
this site - but please let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please follow these
links for general information on dog eating and the St Bernards problem in
Bernards - the ideal food dog
Animal People News - a search of their site for "dog eating"
produces many interesting articles.
Hitherto, dog production for eating has in China been a cottage industry.
Peasants would raise a few dogs and take them to the market when they were
grown. But now entrepreneurs are applying factory farming principles to
the process. Faster growing and more docile breeds are being introduced (eg
St Bernards) and the whole business is being scaled up with modern distribution
and marketing techniques.
Sichuan Province in November 2001 we visited a dog meat restaurant which had 2
dogs in a cage waiting to be killed and eaten. In another cage were three
puppies. The restaurant owner informed us that there are 5 dog meat restaurants
in Yibin supplied by two farms about 20Km outside Yibin. We asked to visit
these but were repeatedly told that the roads were too dangerous.
He said they used about 20 - 30 dogs each
month. Dog meat is very expensive compared with pork which is as cheap as
ordinary vegetables. Dog eating is not popular in this area amongst the
older generation - dogs were traditionally kept as guards and pets but not
food. However the younger generation is coming under the influence of other
provinces - Guangdong, Hubei, Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Jilin) - and dog eating is
now considered to be fashionable as a special occasion feast. It seems that dog
eating gets less popular as you move North in this region. Xichang to the South
of Yibin has a much more flourishing dog meat industry.
Further North in Zigong we visited one of only two restaurants in the city that
sell dog meat. They buy a dog from the market about once a week, kill it
themselves and put it in their freezer. About 10 dogs a week are eaten in
Zigong. The meat of watch dogs is not considered good. Meat dogs sell for Y100
to 250. (US$1 is approximately Y8).
Click here for Photos of Food Dogs in Yibin
other Dogs in Zigong
the thumbnails to enlarge!
The photographs were taken on 3rd January 1998. This market is one of many such in Seoul, the capital South Korea. It is near the Chongnyangni subway station and covers about 230,000 square metres. It is reputed to supply about 70% of the herbal medicine industry in Korea. The first thing that struck me was the abundance and variety of the vegetables and fruit that were for sale - and this in mid-winter. Surely man could be content with this profligacy of nature without having to abuse sentient beings for either nourishment or pleasure! Unfortunately, a few steps into the market and I came across the first of many stalls with the dreaded 7H - the Korean character for dog.
For scale and variety of animal fare, this market hardly compares with the notorious Qingping market in Guangzhou (China). But nevertheless there is plenty to choose from - cat soup, four seasons dog stew, rabbit, goat and all kinds of poultry. I did not witness any active cruelty being inflicted on the animals but I could see their terror and cringing when a human went near. The stall holders had obviously had bad experiences with foreigners and it was made clear to me that I was not welcome - especially with my camera. It would therefore be impossible for me to take pictures of the slaughter methods - the story is that the dogs are hanged from the bars of their cages and when nearly dead are taken down to have their fur blowtorched off. I did observe poultry being blowtorched.
There seems to be some difference of
opinion on the current legality of dog eating in Korea. It was banned at the time of the Seoul Olympics in 1988. The Government seems to be moving towards making a distinction between "food dogs" and "pet dogs". Whatever the legal position, the industry is obviously thriving without any serious attempt at control. Personally I see no logic in banning dog eating and not pig eating. The need is for enforceable legislation to cover holding and slaughter methods for all animals. And for the encouragement of vegetarianism. This will be an uphill battle in Korea - my hosts had read about vegetarians but had never met one before!
It was pointed out to me that the
association of a prostitution area with the dog meat area is usual throughout the country. Apparently men congregate and drink snake soup and alcohol and eat dog to increase their stamina and then choose a woman from the goldfish-bowl shops. Adjacent to the Kyongdong market lies the "588" (oh-pal-pal) brothel district. When the pimps saw me walking between the rows of plate glass shop fronts with scantily clad girls tapping on the glass, they shouted at me to leave the area. One of the girls then called to the pimps and I presume told them that I had been taking photographs and they came shouting after me. As I had no desire to lose either my camera or my life, I ran to the end of the road and round the corner into the main street where I was fortunate to find a taxi discharging some new punters - I hopped in and made my escape!
Some people have advocated
legalising dog eating so that the farming and slaughtering could be regulated. A little thought shows this to be a very wrong idea.
Jill Robinson of Animals Asia Foundation wrote:
" If approval was given to farm these dogs
"humanely" the cruelty would simply go underground - and would create a precedent for accepting dog consumption in countries across Asia - including those where no anti-cruelty legislation exists. Unlike other domestic animals raised for food, dogs are carnivores.
In intensive rearing situations they fight - sometimes to the death - over water, food or even the right to lie down in cramped conditions. Dr. Les
Sims of the Hong Kong Government Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation
Department states that no country in the world has developed a humane way of raising and slaughtering dogs and that, in their opinion, it cannot be done. More and more people in Asia believe that dogs have earned their place in society as companions and helpers - they want consumption of this species to end. Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Taiwan have banned the practice - that is the precedent to follow.
What you can do:
Support the Korean Animal Protection Society (KAPS) - it
has an international arm, International Aid for Korean Animals
So please contact Ms Kyenan Kum:
P.O Box 20600
Tel: + 1 510 271 6795
Fax: + 1 510 451 0643
website: KOREA ANIMAL
For the full picture read these sites on the Korean problem:
(but please be careful not to get sucked into the racism that is on some of them!)
Cruelty of Animals
Korean Dogs e-mail List - anyone seriously interested in this subject should join this list and read
their archives - a wealth of information.
Abusers' Paradise - take your pick of the flesh on
THE MILLIONTH EXECUTION
Gentle spirit, let me lay
cheek on furry breast
And let my tear wet tender paw
before your skin they wrest
Let me heal your suffering
the moment that you go
to be hung, to be scourged
South Korean song of woe.
Gentle spirit, rock with me
through our silent night
let us sneak together off
to escape the bully's bite
Your pain is mine, I lay my cheek
upon your battered breast
bone of dog, whisk' of cat
in you I've passed Love's test.
7/98 By DM (email@example.com)
Dedicated to all dogs and cats in Asian countries who are being brutally tortured and
killed by the millions for human consumption. Their cries have reached us.
End of fasting puts man's best friend back on menu
by JAMES EAST in Bangkok for
South China Morning Post Tuesday, November 16, 1999
Every dog has its day, and in Thailand it no doubt occurs during the Buddhist Lent. But the climax to the auspicious 90-day retreat period for the kingdom's monks is the beginning of the northeast's canine killing season. For three months the dog slaughterhouses bow to religious sensibilities and refrain from killing. But now Lent is over there has been a surge in demand for dog dinners. Hundreds of animals are being sold in northern markets to those meat-eaters desperate to taste sour and spicy dog-bone soup or peppery dog meat salad. Dog-catchers in pick-up trucks have been touring northern cities - and as far south as Bangkok to scour the capital's streets for strays - in a bid to satisfy demand. The pursuers of "man's best friend" have even been handing villagers new plastic buckets in exchange for mangy strays that loiter near food vendors and rubbish bins across Thailand. At one northern market the meat is selling for about HK$12 a kilogram and bones for $9. Taiwanese and Chinese tourists are also demanding dog. Gourmets say the meat is particularly succulent and tastes like deer. They order it fried or boiled.
Many Thais say dog is the ideal winter delicacy because the meat, believed to be "hot", keeps the eater warm. But the thought of eating dog horrifies most Thais and the promotion of canine cuisine is not something the Tourism Authority of Thailand is keen to support. Dog dealers bite back, saying they are helping to solve the problem of Thailand's thousands of strays. And golfers in China might agree. Tonnes of dog pelts are annually exported to China, where their soft leather is considered the ideal material for golfing gloves.
Dog Slaughter for food varies from the deliberately cruel (as in Korea - in order to enhance the taste and therapeutic qualities) to the carelessly cruel (as in most of China1 and China2) to the quick deaths as illustrated below (in Vietnam).
Click on the thumbnails for the big pictures:
Above Vietnamese photos taken in June 1999 by Animals Asia Foundation/Chris Davies.
Is there dog eating in
North America? Click here.
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