In America, we love dogs. There's no question about that. Even "cat people" love dogs! So it's hard for us to understand how others could possibly want to hurt our canine pals when they're our best friends!
But unfortunately, it does happen. While there are (unfortunately) plenty of cases of dog abuse and dog fighting in our country, there are other kinds of darker dog problems in other countries. Like, well, the consumption of dogs.
It's hard for anyone to understand a culture that's different from theirs, but it's especially hard if a common food dish of that culture is something so beloved to us. But it happens. In China, Korea, and Vietnam, as well as parts of the Africa like Cameroon, Ghana and Liberia, eating dog meat is not a rare occurrence. While we're horrified of stories like the Donner Party, who had to eat their dog to survive, we're even more shocked by those who choose to eat dogs.
But to some cultures, it's not abnormal at all. They don't understand that we view it as animal cruelty. Just as we encourage consumption of cage-free animals and make sure that the meat we eat comes from safe, healthy, cruelty-free farms, this is not how the dog meat industry works. They breed and kill dogs in an unhealthy, cruel environment.
Thankfully, 29 dogs were rescued from one of these "dog meat trade" farms in South Korea and sent to San Diego this week to be adopted out by families. The CEO of the San Diego Humane Society reports that "the dog meat trade is one of the most horrific forms of cruelty."
Just in the past few months, the Humane Society has taken possession of over 100 dogs from a farmer in South Korea who was trading these dogs on the "black market" for dog meat. They even helped him by paying him to transition over to crops.
While we should always be open and accepting of the customs of other cultures, we do need to open our eyes and spread the knowledge about the dog meat industry, because it is a form of animal cruelty that needs to be addressed just as dog fights and animal abuse is.
Let's hope those 29 dogs who just arrived in San Diego find the best homes ever!