Dog: It’s What’s For Dinner

Today I came across this article while browsing though my Yahoo news headlines:

Korea is probably the only country where it is somewhat acceptable to eat dog.  It is not a common choice for cuisine and it can only be found in specialized restuarants, unlike what this article is implying.  Most Koreans will say that they have tried dog once in their life, but do not necessarily like it or agree with the idea of eating dog.  It is most commonly enjoyed by the older generations who will make a soup with the meat and other ingredients like ginseng and vegetables.

When I first arrived here, being the ignorant foreigner that I was, I feared that I would have to eat dog soup as a course at school lunch, or some crazy rite of initiation (which some of my male friends actually have experienced at their schools).  And the first week, when I first inhaled the unfamiliar smells of the many dishes and stews, I have to admit that I did wonder what I was eating (even to this day I still don’t always know what I’m eating at lunch.) But I soon found out that I would never have to worry about accidentally eating my pet. I have not and do not plan on ever sampling this so-called delicacy, but it’s an issue that I feel I should address for all of you back home where this may sound completely ludicrous.  First of all, I don’t want you to have the impression that this is a common, everyday practice for Korean people (like the article hints at).  In fact, I have only seen it in one place in all of  Korea since I have been here. Now when I say that Koreans are eating dog I do not mean your 6 pound Bichon ball of fur.  These dogs are bred specifically for slaughter just like any other animal. This tradition began long ago when there wasn’t much food available and wild dogs had to be eaten.  Low and behold the dog meat is very rich in nutrients that help keep you energized and even have been known to help cure cancer.

The issue I have is not the fact that Koreans eat the dogs but rather how they kill the dogs.  The problem is the horrific way that these animals are treated before they are slaughtered.  Koreans believe that the dog meat has the best flavor if the dogs are barbarically beaten with a bat before killing them.  This dogs are often beaten to death or torched alive because apparently these methods give the meat its richest flavor. This is a perfect example of one the old traditions that are still in practice by Korean people.  If you ask most Koreans of today’s generation they would be disgusted at the thought of eating dog.  To clarify this article, you will not find dog on the menu, especially not in Seoul.  If you want to try it you will have to do some searching. So what do you think about this?  Should older generations stick with the tradition of eating dog soup or do they need to move with the times and stop the barbaric methods of slaughtering these animals?


7 responses

  1. Hi Jen. It is the treatment of these poor animals that is beyond sickening. Makes me think it is a good idea to be a vegetarian. What kind of people would torture animals like that? Maybe the the torturers should be tortured?

    Aunt Diane

  2. If dog meat cured cancer, the dogs wouldn’t get it, which they do. I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m looking forward to the perfection of synthetic meat.

  3. The treatment is barbaric in every way and the dogs watch their fellow dogs as it is happening. There is no difference b/w a meat dog and other dogs, they look like affectionate golden retreivers.

  4. Eating dog is one of the disappearing old customs in korean like the other korean traditions are. It would be a common myth in korea that dogs are beaten to death but in fact, it isn’t not conducted anymore because it isn’t suitable method for today’s livestock industry. they generally stun dogs with electricity before they slaughter these days.

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