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Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Commentary | 0 comments

Annoyed by dog-gone hypocritical animal rights activists

Annoyed by dog-gone hypocritical animal rights activists

Every year In Defense of Animals based in Marin County, Calif., organizes protests in front of the South Korean consulate in San Francisco and Korean-run grocery stores in Oakland, protesting loudly against a small segment of South Korea’s population who still enjoy dog meat despite the cruel ways the dogs are raised and slaughtered.

Photo by Ingrid Miller (courtesy of free via creative commons license)
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photo by Ingrid Miller (courtesy of free via Creative Commons license)

These animal rights groups hypocritically ignore the fact that dog meat as a summertime delicacy is a common belief through Asia, particularly in China, Thailand and Vietnam. CNN exposed the the dog-meat trade, revealing that dogs are commonly stolen from Thailand and smuggled into Vietnam for dog meat restaurants. It appears that Vietnam has much stronger market demand for dog meat than does Thailand, selling it for export rather than domestic markets. These Thai smugglers are catching stray street dogs, ill dogs and even stolen pets then selling them to Vietnamese middlemen for consumption in restaurants.

Thailand does have some regulations on the books in regards to the sale of dog meat (just as South Korea does), but China and Vietnam do not. Yet animal rights organizations target none of these countries with the ferocity directed at South Korea and its communities abroad. They cry out against the dog meat trade in South Korea with catchy chants like “There is no excuse for dog abuse!” yet they ignore dog abuse far worse and more common in China and Vietnam. 

China, Vietnam and Thailand all have consulates in California, two of them are located in San Francisco. The Chinese and Vietnamese Consulates are within 2 miles of the South Korean counsulate and both of them are located in business neighborhoods.  The Chinese consulate is just off of Geary Blvd (Japantown/Western Addition) while the Vietnamese Embassy is located just off of Van Ness Avenue (aka Hwy 101) very close to a Whole Foods Grocery store, which would be full of sympathetic citizens eager to condemn the consumption of dog meat (or any other meat for that matter).

Chinese Consulate
1450 Laguna St., San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 852-5900

Consulate General of Vietnam

1700 California St., San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 922-1707

Both of these locations would bring far more attention, foot traffic and political push to their cause than the South Korean consulate, which is tucked away in a residential neighborhood near the Presidio.

However, despite my disdain of dog meat, I find it pretty arrogant for Westerners to travel to Asian countries — or picket their embassies and consulates — and tell people what to eat. Plenty of South Koreans who abhor the practice of dog-eating are speaking out and raising their own voices on this matter.

That  younger Koreans are not developing a taste for dog meat is a good sign that the practice will fade away on its own. If South Koreans themselves demand government enforcement of laws currently on the books, and work to implement stronger animal protection laws, the practice will fade away in time.

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