Having a Korean boyfriend means getting a few question asked over and over again, every time people find out who you are dating.
“Is he from North or South Korea?”. South of course. “Aren’t they really poor there?” You’re thinking of North again. “Are Koreans Buddhists?” Most are atheists actually, but there is fair share of other religions represented.
And of course, the unavoidable,
“Do Koreans really eat dogs?”
Now, other’s ignorance can be mildly annoying. But I am painfully aware of how many things I am ignorant about, so this is actually not the reason why that question annoys me so.
No, it annoys me because of the underlying criticism. It is a loaded question, with asker being ready to judge as soon as he or she hears the answer.
Now, as the situation stands, majority of Koreans haven’t tried dog meat. Even fewer eat it regularly. There is a large group of Koreans that is very strongly against eating dog meat. Then there is yet another group who doesn’t eat dog meat themselves but feel others should have the right to do so if they wish. And yet another group, albeit a lot smaller one, who believe it is an important part of Korean history and as such should be preserved.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the dogs they do eat are not pet dogs. It’s not like Koreans get hungry someday, see they forgot to stock the fridge and decide that their beloved pet would make a nice roast. They eat the so called livestock dogs, which are a different breed of dogs and are bred just like any other cattle humans eat.
But as far as the dog-eating itself goes, I have to ask, why not?
“Gasp!” you might say, “she promotes eating puppies!”
Not at all, I would never eat dog meat, but I know why not. What I am wondering is, do you?
Dogs are very intelligent you might say, they feel love, fear, pain, just like we do. They get attached to humans. Well, so do pigs. And did you know that cows have best friends, and if they get separated from each other they show signs of great stress? I bet you didn’t think you’re eating someone’s best friend.
Just in the 2011 U.S. exported 1.75 BILLION tons of pork and over 900 million tons of beef. Exported. That doesn’t even include the amount that was eaten there. Just compare that to 8,500 tons of dog meat that are consumed per year in Korea and you will see it is a staggering difference.
Of course, this is obviously not aimed at vegetarians, or people who are aware of the hypocrisy. It is aimed at those who say: “They eat dog meat!? How repulsive and primitive!” while chewing on their pork chop.
So why don’t I eat dog meat? ONLY because of the culture I’ve been brought up in. I view dogs as pets and nothing more, I would be unable to stop thinking of them that way throughout the whole meal and it would certainly ruin my appetite, if not make me downright nauseated. On the other hand when I bite into beef I don’t even think about where it came from, since it’s been presented to me as food since I was a small child. It’s nothing more than social conditioning. But to think that makes me morally superior to Koreans would take a very heavy twisting of reality.
Edit: 21th of July, 2013. All opinions and comments are welcome! However, please stay on topic. Any comments that are off topic will be removed from this point on.
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