In Seoul, South Korea nearly all the restaurants in Pyeongchang county where the Winter Olympics will begin Friday, January 9 have defied government requests not to serve meat made from dogs.
According to the Daily Mail, South Koreans consume one million dogs a year. Animal activists have stepped up campaigns to ban dog meat consumption, urging boycotts of the 2018 event. And even after the local government asked the 12 restaurants in Pyeongchang County to stop serving the dog meat dishes in exchange for subsidies, ten of the restaurants have not complied according to Pyeongchang County government official Lee Yong; stating the restaurants would lose business.
“Some of them initially shifted to selling pork or things instead of dog meat only to find their sales plunging. Then they swiftly switched back to dog meat,” stated Yong.
Selling and serving dog meat is officially frowned upon in South Korea, yet the high demand continues the disturbing practice of stealing dogs, raising dogs, torturing dogs and plucking away their lives slowly – with some merchants believing the more the dog suffers while dying, the more tender its meat will be. Dog meat is officially classified as “detestable” by Seoul but that does nothing to make it illegal. One in three Koreans have eaten dog meat at least once, and one in 20 considered to be regular diners.
Although the tradition has declined as the young South Korean population embraces dogs as pets and no longer livestock, the country’s largest open-air dog market is located just outside of Seoul and the dog meat trade, allegedly slated to close last year in preparation for the Winter Olympics, has just become more secretive.
Tragically, the photos and videos garnered from rescue organizations are nothing short of heartbreaking. With 3,000 athletes from 92 nations, the eyes of the world are on Pyeongchang as the Winter Olympics get underway. From snowboarding to ice skating to female hockey players from both North Korea and South Korea making history on political fronts, what about the dogs made to suffer inhumane deaths? Who will watch over their lives?
(Photos HSI Facebook)
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