For us dog lovers one of the vilest thoughts is eating dog meat, but for South Korea that largely doesn’t seem to be the case, even under government pressure and financial incentives directed towards stamping this out!
Trying to fight against the sales of dog meat during the PyeongChang Olympics was a government target, but their measures seem to have been in vain!
Dog meat restaurants are cooking up their special dishes even though consuming dog meat in modern South Korea has become, increasingly, a taboo practice!
It’s called “bosingtang” which quite literally means “invigorating stew”, which also happens to be made with made with dog meat, and it is still on some menus!
The Government of South Korea knows very well that eating dog meat is really against the grain for the rest of the world, pretty much, so before the 1988 Seoul Olympics they restricted dog meat sales in some parts of the city.
They also prepared for a busy period of visitors into the country for the Winter Games, they paid restaurants 2 million ‘won’, about $1,850 to remove all mention of dog meat from their signage as well as not serving it either.
Lee Yong Jae, PyeongChang County official said:
“The government doesn’t want tourists to be offended by it”
Lee said that the restaurants took the deal, however, they lost so much money that they started, again, selling and serving dog meat!
A restaurant walking distance from Gangneung Station, feeding locals and foreigners alike said that they only heard rumors that the government had incentives to stop the sale and advertising of meat of dog on the menu.
Even though there was such an offer the restaurant owner said it would not have been enough to convince her to make the changes.
In South Korea it’s a proud tradition, one woman, Choi, wouldn’t hive her first name but then said that since she was a child she had dreamed of opening a dog meat restaurant, her parents would cook her the traditional bosingtang and she is very proud of her restaurant…
“Cows also cry when they go to slaughter …So why do people hate eating dog so much?”
Choi also told off a restaurant that took the deal then started selling goat stew as an alternative, in Korean, it’s pronounced like this “gae”.
The controversy about the dog meat stew only seems to arise around the Olympics, and when animal rights groups draw attention to it, the rest of the time their dog meat eating practices seem to be ignored!
A local group of Korean Animal Rights, an Association, is working hard with the Humane Society International, during the Olympics to publicize and raize awareness about these practices.
It seems that very few people under the age of 40 seem to eat meat of dog, and given the international pressure that number will continue to diminish as do the elderly that carry on the practice!
Dog meat restrictions were imposed by the government in 1988 specifically to bow to foreign pressures on South Korea in relation to their practice of eating dog meat!
As western trends crept into Korean society into 90’s people started to keep dogs more as pets and that’s when things started to change for the better.
Even without this outside pressure, the future of some of these restaurants is beginning to seem more and more uncertain as time passes by, an old idea begins to die out!!
One restaurant owner said:
“We don’t have too many customers, but everyone [in Gangneung] knows us”
Her clients are all middle-aged or elderly, sat with steaming bowls off stew!
Let’s all SHARE and keep continued pressure to outlaw these old practices one and for all, there should be no place left on earth that still practices this barbaric eating of dog meat stew!