Millions of dogs are slaughtered every year in Asia for soup and tonics, dinner dishes and fried festival fare. It’s not tradition. It’s not even really cultural. It’s mostly an illegal trade largely made up of dog-napped pups from the streets, or from homes that love them. And why? To support unfounded myths about the benefits of dog meat that have created a commercially lucrative business.
Dog Meat Trade: A Dirty Business
The horrors that meat dogs endure cannot be overstated. Most people have heard about dogs clubbed in back alleys, or have watched a stomach-churning YouTube video of dogs getting their throats slit. But do you know it’s worse than you think?
Dogs are stolen and thrust into cramped, metal cages, piled atop each other left in the jungle without food or water until ready to be transported long distances. They suffer intense anxiety, panic, and fear. Many never survive the ride, and if they do, their fate is even more brutal. Dogs suffer dehydration, starvation, suffocation and heat stroke long before they ever arrive at the marketplaces or restaurants that pay the hefty prices for their meat.
For the dogs that survive the transport, they witness the deaths of their cellmates by iron bludgeoning, being boiled alive, and having their stomachs slit wide open. Oh, but that’s only after they’ve been force fed rice, while screeching in pain, and vomiting it up again, only to have worker’s force the tubes down their throats over, and over, and over.
It’s no way to treat man’s best friend. It’s no way to treat any living, breathing animal. The treatment is atrocious even if it was happening to a more socially accepted food animal like sheep, goat or cattle.
The fact that it is happening to man’s best friend — these intelligent, loving, intuitive animals that have been domesticated and bred to be loyal companions, is just sickening. We have to do better. We have to do right by these animals.
Meat Trade Myths & Statistics
An estimated 10-20 million dogs are consumed in China each year, and around 5 million in Vietnam. Some are farmed, born and raised in feces filled cages their entire lives. Others are stolen from the streets and from homes. Illegal dog trafficking from Thailand to Vietnam is an incredibly lucrative business.
Why do dogs fetch such a high price? The issue is rooted in psuedo-science and erroneous medical beliefs. Surprisingly, doctors today in Asia may still prescribe dog meat to patients healing from surgery because it is believed to have strong healing properties. We think they should stick to real research, like the studies that show being around live animals after surgery, or in recovery from a myriad of issues, helps emotional health and aids healing. In fact, dogs don’t just help with healing, they help prevent serious problems, like knowing before someone has a seizure, or their ability to detect cancer.
Dogs do have strong healing properties for humans, but only when their alive and loved. And, that’s the truth.
Here are some unfounded myths that perpetuate the meat trade atrocities:
False Facts About the Dog Meat Trade:
- Dog bone has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Dog meat fortifies the spirit and aids recovery from illness.
- Dog meat has a warming effect and should be eaten in winter (China, Vietnam belief).
- Dog meat has a cooling effect and should be eaten in summer (Korean belief).
- Dog meat and dog penis increase men’s sexual potency and performance
- Purebred dogs are fine to have as pets, but any mutt is meant for meat.
- If you keep a dog for longer than 7 years, it will turn into a wolf.
True Facts About the Dog Meat Trade:
- Dogs traded for consumption are linked to outbreaks of rabies across Asian countries.
- Outbreaks of cholera linked to the production and consumption of dog meat in Vietnam.
- Trichinella, a zoonotic parasite found in dog meat that causes Trichinellosis in humans, poses a major upcoming health problem in Thailand and China.
- Excessive antibiotic use in farmed dogs increases antibiotic resistance, which poses serious health threats to both human and animal welfare.
Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Rehoming Meat Trade Dogs
The Humane Society International (HSI) works heroically to end the grisly meat trade industry in Asia. From raiding trucks and farms, and training officials to enforce laws and improved care, to ending meat trade festivals around the world, they hope to draw attention to the cruelty and put an end to the misery inflicted upon our faithful friends.
Take Action: Join hundreds of thousands of advocates to end the Yulin Dog Meat festival of cruelty by signing HSI’s petition now.
Soi Dog Foundation has also worked relentlessly to end the barbaric dog meat trade. With 900 dogs currently saved from the trade, and living in a shelter in Thailand, they need your help to rehabilitate and re-home these precious dogs.
End the Nightmare
Every year millions of dogs become victims to a grisly meat trade of horrific proportions. But, it does not have end like this for them any longer. As we raise awareness, educate and speak out about this extreme form of animal cruelty, governments will respond. Others will rise up. The youth in Asia are already taking a stand against dog meat festivals. What about you? What do you stand for?