Dog Meat Soup for Sale in Shadow of Olympic Stadium

from CBS News

“This may not be equine related, specifically, but most horse and donkey guardians are helped or are the staff of a canine assistant.  Plus ‘slaughter’ of any sentient creature is an issue that touches our hearts and souls.” ~ R.T.


“Koreans have been eating dog for thousands of years, though the practice has waned recently and most in the country don’t do it regularly…”

In this undated photo provided by Free Korean Dogs, Canadian figure skater Meagan Duhamel poses with her dog Moo-tae, right, in South Korea.

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Canadian figure skater Meagan Duhamel is hoping to win a gold medal in South Korea this month – though no prize could be more life-changing than her previous Pyeongchang souvenir.

Not after last year, when the two-time world champion pairs skater brought home Moo-tae – an affable miniature dachshund mix with big ears, bowed legs and the bad luck of being born into the Korean dog meat trade. Duhamel, a vegan and animal lover, helped rescue Moo-tae by accompanying him on his flight from South Korea to Canada last February. The 2-year-old pup has been living with her and husband/coach Bruno Marcotte in Montreal since, spending his days doing yoga with Duhamel and making friends at the local dog park.

“He’s like a saint,” Duhamel said.

It’s been a different life for Moo-tae. Like roughly 2 million dogs each year, he was supposed to be raised on a Korean dog meat farm, where conditions are often poor. Moo-tae may have been locked in a cage, beaten or left without food or water. Certainly, he would have been sold and slaughtered, then probably served in soup at one of many restaurants still popular among Korea’s elderly population.

Koreans have been eating dog for thousands of years, though the practice has waned recently and most in the country don’t do it regularly. Many older Koreans believe dog meat aids virility, though younger citizens are largely either against the practice or indifferent to it. The country has begun shifting away from dog consumption as pet ownership has increased, with one in five households owning either a dog or a cat as of 2016. Some major dog meat shops – like the Moran Market in Seongnam – have been shuttered, and President Moon Jae-in even made a campaign promise to adopt a shelter dog if he won last year’s presidential election. He welcomed a 4-year-old mixed breed named Tory in July.

In a Dec. 12, 2017, file photo, Park Young-ae, owner of Young Hoon Restaurant, arranges dog meats at her restaurant in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Still, the industry persists, and despite pressure from animal rights groups – particularly from Western countries – Pyeongchang won’t completely shelter Olympic visitors from the trade this month. Area restaurants were offered government aid if they stopped selling dog meat, but some declined to change their menus, fearing they’d spurn regular patrons and be left without customers once the tourists left town.

“I have been selling dog meat for decades. It is really difficult for me to change my menu just because of the Olympics,” said Park Young-ae, 60, whose Young Hoon Restaurant is nearly in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium…(CONTINUED)

Winter Olympics Shines Spotlight on Dog Meat Trade in South Korea

Martin Rogers  |  USA TODAY Sports

2.5 million dogs are bred each year in South Korea for human consumption.


Nami Kim, a prominent campaigner based outside Seoul, has sent more than 1,200 rescued dogs to the United States through her Save Korean Dogs program ~ Nami Kim

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – As the Winter Olympics approach this week, figure skater Meagan Duhamel still shudders to think the dog she rescued from South Korea might have ended up on someone’s dinner plate.

Duhamel, a Canadian, is a contender with Eric Radford in the pairs competition and heads to Pyeongchang in search of gold, as well as another dog that she can save from slaughter.

Eating dog meat is common and legal in Korea, as well as many parts of Asia, and is mainly eaten by older people. Dotted around the country are thousands of restaurants serving “gaegogi” dishes that, according to folklore, have strengthening and medicinal properties.

“It is just sad because when the world is watching the Olympics little is known or spoken about the (Korean dog meat trade),” Duhamel told USA TODAY Sports. ”There are hundreds of dog meat farms tucked away and nobody is talking about this. The buzz will be about the Olympics.”

According to The Associated Press, restaurants “nearly in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium” are still selling dog meat meals. According to the Humane Society International, around 2.5 million Korean dogs are killed for their meat each year.

The Korean government, realizing the issue is sensitive for foreigners, has offered money to restaurants if they stop serving dog meat during the Games and has requested that signs advertising the meals be covered up or removed.

“This is an Olympics story,” Marc Ching, a Bay Area activist who founded the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, said. “I am half Korean. Koreans are very proud of hosting the Olympics. Why this has to be tied to the Olympics is that the government itself is actually paying to hide this from the world. Maybe if … they just said ‘this is part of our culture,’ it would be different.”

Animal rights activists claim that dogs, as well as cats, in the meat trade are subjected to horrific conditions and insist nothing is being done to end the practice. That is despite Korean President Moon Jae-in being a dog lover who recently adopted a pet saved from a dog meat farm. Campaigners are determined to use the Olympics to raise awareness and hope that support from athletes and international pressure may spark a change in legislation…(CONTINUED)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/winter-olympics-2018/2018/02/07/dog-meat-trade-south-korea-winter-olympics-2018/310785002/