This letter of protest against South Korean dog meat trade was written by John B., an animal advocate in U.K.
He is sending this letter to many of his government officials urging them to take actions to help end this unprecedented cruelty perpetrated in South Korea.
Thank you, John, for this powerful, heartfelt letter and taking actions to help South Korean dogs and cats in meat industry.
“When I watched England’s world cup hopes dashed by Brazil in 2002 I had absolutely no idea. When I bought a Hyundai Santa Fe some years ago I had no idea. When we bought an LG washing machine just four years ago I had no idea. In fact, until I started getting involved in the stand against the Badger cull I had no idea. As the number of friends on my Twitter feed grew, so did the range of animal charities who are out there begging for help. It is little wonder that they are begging for help. We live in a cruel world with a lot of cruel people, I don’t need to reach the converted, I need to reach those who are either indifferent or more likely unaware. I have however opened Pandora’s Box, I have looked inside and of course I cannot now close the lid. How could any reasonable human being with an ounce of compassion not do the same? I refer to what I believe to be the greatest atrocity in animal torture and cruelty taking place every day and condoned by a government which is too weak, or too complicit in agreeing with the practice, to even begin to stop it happening.
I refer to the barbaric dog and cat meat trade, which happens across South East Asia but where South Korea is probably the worst offender. On the basis that it actually imports 20% of this supply from China I would have to level my biggest slice of criticism right at the door of South Korea. Perhaps we all have the image of South Korea as the particularly enlightened and forward thinking representative of this part of the world with its impressive economic growth and its glossy, modern cities; I know I did! What I have discovered is so truly shocking that you quickly run out of adjectives to vent your emotions and you are left with a feeling of deep helplessness and at the same time extreme anger.
I have mulled over whether or not to include direct video footage in this article. In the end I have decided not to. The scenes are so unbelievably cruel that they will haunt and distress many people and I will leave it to each individual to choose whether or not you want to see them. The links at the end of this article will take you to some of the charities who are doing what they can but I warn you they will leave you upset and apoplectic.
The scale of the problem is huge with some 5 million dogs being bred for slaughter each year. You might be forgiven for thinking that South Korea doesn’t have an animal cruelty act, well it does and just about every part of it is flouted routinely and openly because this isn’t a problem happening away from prying eyes, it is taking place in the major cities of South Korea as well.
All countries have their animal cruelty issues of course. In this country the tendency is for isolated acts of individual barbarity to occur which lead to shock and revulsion; they also lead to proper investigations and prosecutions where the perpetrator can be found. I have never in my life seen anything to match the scale and horror of what is happening in South Korea, seemingly with the endorsement of a government which is complicit by its refusal to act.
The first line of defence when seeking to try and justify this behaviour is of course one of tradition. This is a poor excuse and although traditions can be bad or good, the bad ones are there to be abandoned. There was a time of impoverishment in South Korea when hunger and starvation drove people to this behaviour but South Korea has long since risen above this need in economic terms but it has failed to do so in moral ones. In an enlightened move our own government outlawed the cruel practice of fox-hunting a few years ago and though there are some who would dearly love to see it return we have at least shown that a poor tradition can be overturned.
These dogs live a life devoid of any quality, in reality it is simply an existence until one long misery is ended by death. The death is far from humane though and the killers often take a delight in torturing the animals as well before they are finally despatched.
For us to simply stand by and take no action is not an option. We are quick to judge other nations in terms of their human atrocities (unfortunately too often when there is an economic force at play) so why not when the treatment of their animals is out of all proportion vile and abusive? We involve ourselves readily in other nations affairs when we see unacceptable treatment of our fellow man so why not their animals?
The charities websites provide the detail that I cannot. I am not an expert on animal cruelty issues. Like any reasonable mind though I am astonished that this issue has evaded me for so long and feel like I must do what I can as quickly as possible to make up for lost time.
There is plenty you can do. At the simplest level signing petitions helps. There is a comprehensive list of contacts that need to hear your voice and you can send them all emails. By copying and pasting the sample letters available it’s amazing how many you can get through in just half an hour. Don’t be put off when you don’t even get an acknowledgement, this to me just underlines the fact that they know they are in the wrong. The more people you can pass the message on to the better. Many will take action because they simply won’t be able to ignore the horrors that are being perpetrated every day to these poor creatures. It’s also very easy to say I will boycott products from South Korea. When you think about the top 20 South Korean companies simply not buying another Samsung, LG, Hyundai, Kia, Hankook, Kumho, Daewoo and so on is actually very easy indeed. My Samsung Galaxy phone I can assure you will be replaced without helping out the South East Asian market. It can almost be guaranteed that someone in the supply chain of any of these products will be involved in helping to keep this heartless and barbaric trade alive.
You can make a difference the question is will you choose to do so? Watch just one of the gruesome videos and I am certain you will.