Olympic Venue Surrounded by Dog Meat Farms, Dog Soup on Menus Despite Protests

AFP Photo/Ed Jones

The South Korean government offered restaurants serving dog-meat soup money to take it off the menu during the 2018 Olympic winter games taking place in Pyeongchang but most refused, according to media reports.

AFP News Agency reported last week:

South Koreans are believed to consume about one million dogs a year as a summertime delicacy, with the greasy red meat – which is invariably boiled for tenderness – believed to increase energy.

Activists have stepped up campaigns to ban dog consumption, with online petitions urging boycotts of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics over the issue, and protests in Seoul.

Local authorities asked the 12 dog meat restaurants in Pyeongchang county to stop serving the food during the games, in exchange for subsidies. But only two have complied, Pyeongchang County government official Lee Yong-bae told AFP.

“We’ve faced a lot of complaints from restaurant operators that we are threatening their livelihood,” the official said.

“Some of them initially shifted to selling pork or things instead of dog meat only to find their sales plunging sharply,” he said. “They then switched back to dog meat.”

The animal activists fighting the Korean dog meat trade include EK Park, who founded Free Korean Dogs.

Right now, Canadian figure skater Meagan Duhamel and partner Eric Radford are in first place in pair skating, and their Canadian skating team is also in first place.

But a year ago, while she and Radford were in South Korea for another competition, Park arranged for Duhamel to adopt Moo-tae, a dachshund mix that was rescued by Buddhist monks as a puppy from a farm in the southern part of the country.

Park, who was born in South Korea but now lives in Toronto, helped rescue 240 dogs last year, a process that includes volunteers who are willing to accompany the dogs on flights to “forever homes” in Canada and the United States.

The Associated Press reported:

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.

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.

“He loved to sit with the Buddhas during meditation and yoga,” Duhamel said. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, maybe this dog has some special spiritual energy.’”

“That was really why I chose him,” Duhamel said.


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