Protests were held in Seoul at at South Korean consulates and embassies around the world yesterday. Why? Because the International Day of Action for Dogs and Cats in South Korea has called for an end to using dogs and cats as food.
According to United Dogs and Cats head Ragnar Sass, “This is probably the cruelest thing that could happen to companion animals - many are tortured and end up on dinner tables. And the strangest thing is that it is happening right under our noses in one of the most rapidly developing countries in the 21st century.”
In Seoul, members of the group Coexistence for Animal Rights on Earth wore dog costumes and climbed into cages in a downtown plaza to draw attention to the issue.
“Dogs and cats are not livestock, but they are our partners. They are not food, but they are our friends,” one protester told New Tang Dynasty Television (click the link for a video). “We should abolish the bad habits of eating dogs or cats.”
Although the practice is illegal under South Korean law, an underground industry continues to flourish, with thousands of restaurants in Seoul alone serving dog. Some studies have estimated as many as one in three South Koreans have eaten dog meat.
Animal advocacy groups argue that eating dog — whether its part of the country’s culture or not — is a practice that should be ceased. Others disagree. “It’s my country’s own food culture, so South Koreans will continue to eat dog meat no matter what other countries say against it,” Park Seo-ho, who owns a restaurant that sells dog meat, told the BBC.
An international online petition campaign at has been launched in 10 languages world wide to stop the consumption of dog meat , where some groups estimate more than 2 million dogs are raised and killed for food at dog farms in South Korea every year. United Dogs and Cats is hosting an online petition campaign to draw the world’s attention to the cruel treatment of many dogs in South Korea despite animal protection laws that have been in place since early 1990s.
During the first week of the campaign, over 50,000 signatures were gathered world wide.