05 Mar Dog, It’s What’s for Dinner?
As the Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games of 2018 ended, the medals, politics, and fanfare were not the only highlights of the games in South Korea. Thanks to Olympian Gus Kenworthy, Americans were reminded of the atrocities behind the world of dog farming when he rescued an adorable puppy he named Beemo from a South Korean meat farm.
As someone who has lived in Korea, I know that the practice of eating dogs is slowly changing in their culture. But there is no denying there are still numerous meat farms in the region and throughout Asia. As Americans, we can’t begin to fathom how people can eat dogs. Here in the US, we LOVE our dogs! To prove it, we have a 60-billion-dollar pet industry that is only gaining momentum. We are a nation with strong animal protection laws with new laws and stricter penalties being enacted across the country every year.
As a dog owner and animal advocate, it is hard to believe that such atrocities still take place around the world. In my mind, there is no question that this practice needs to be stopped and international organizations need to take a stand to protect these animals. Dogs are our pets, best friends, companions, and protectors. How could we ever consider being so cruel to such beautiful, loyal creatures that give us so much? This is not only a fair question but also a good question.
But before you step forward and judge the actions of those in the East, you need to take a moment to take your passion for dogs (or cats) a step further and think about all sentient beings. It is time to ask ourselves how we justify not eating certain animals such as dogs, cats, lions, horses, etc., but justify eating pigs, cows, lamb, etc. We need to begin to unravel how the value of one animal supersedes that of another? Aren’t we all God’s creatures? Don’t all animals feel? Aren’t all animals sentient beings that deserve to live?
Before we tackle those questions, let’s take this a step further with the question, “Should we kill?” For many, the answer is an unequivocal, “no.” In fact, to support this, there is a biblical law that clearly states, ‘Thou shall not kill.” And as far as I am aware, there is no clause or amendment that says, “except animals.” So, we must ask ourselves, in the incessant debates about who lives and who dies, why does one life have value over another? Sure, one might argue that we were given dominion over animals. But this word “dominion” means to control, not kill (and certainly, not eat).
As humans, it is easy to condemn others for the actions that we view as barbaric and horrendous. But the truth is that until we ALL give up eating animals (and in some cases killing them), our disdain for the dog meat farms should be reconsidered as unless you are currently living as a Vegan or Vegetarian. Because if you aren’t one or the other of those, the argument for not killing and eating dogs falls into the space of hypocritical at best, and at worst judgmental and uninformed. (And before you even go there, this ISN’T a protein issue! If you eat animals, it is for the taste, not any health benefits.)
The fact is, the circumstances that these dogs face and the way they are killed is unconscionable. BUT, if you do your homework, you will find that pigs, cows, lambs, etc. can suffer the same (or even worse) conditions right here in the United States. So, if you truly love dogs, think about ALL animals. Do not sit in judgment over what animal’s life has more value than other as ALL are sentient beings that have the right to breathe, feel, be loved, and LIVE.
If you believe it is okay to eat animals, then be willing to serve up your family pet. Because the reality is, the logic you would give for not eating your pet is as equally powerful and relevant for not eating any other animal. Bon appetite!