I was at the mall the other day and I stopped by the pet store to look at some puppies. I am a sucker for cute puppies. They are just so cute and adorable when they are babies. Just look at those precious paws and floppy ears. I’ve always had a dog while growing up, but currently, I don’t have any pets. I really missing having a dog, but I just can’t deal with the responsibility right now. I don’t have a backyard, and as much as I’d adore having a furry friend around, I can’t have them living inside the house. I can’t deal with the potty training, hair shedding, risking fleas inside the house, etc. But visiting the pet store lets me soak up some of that cuteness without the other junk.
Anyway, as I was melting over puppy cuteness, it got me thinking how people can eat dogs. Okay, maybe the dogs that are eaten aren’t going to be ones that are as cute, but still! They are a man’s best friend. They are loyal unconditionally. And they are more than just a pet. They are a party of the family. In Korea, Boshintang (Dog Stew) is consumed as a medicinal dish, known for its virility and immunity booster. I find serving dog meat to be disgusting and abhorring. My parents even had Boshintang when they were living in Korea, back in the days when it was legal (in the 60s~70s). Serving dog meat has been banned in Korea since 1986, so Boshintang is sold in the black market, primarily in rural areas.
When I visited Korea, I saw some families raising dogs just for the purpose of eating them later. They didn’t sell it, but was consumed by the family members. The dogs were even given names, personifying them even more. So I just couldn’t believe this inhumane act. This was in the rural countryside, mostly the older generation. Boshintang is considered a poor man’s cuisine. I guess back in the days when people were going hungry, they had to make a choice of eating a family member or to die from starvation. The dogs are beaten to death. The severe beating supposedly is to tenderize the meat. I’ve heard that dog meat is very tender (no wonder).