Essay about Korean Dog Eating Tradition

Good Essays

Korean Dog Eating Tradition

The Korean practice of eating dog meat has always been considered a peculiar tradition by foreigners. In recent years, this tradition has come under increasing pressure from animal rights activists, including Bridget Bardot, who wish to see the practice outlawed altogether by the South Korean government. This controversy came to a head in 2002, when activists convinced FIFA to put pressure on South Korea, the co-host of the World Cup, to ban dog meat. William Saletan discusses this controversy in his article ?Wok the Dog,? in which he makes an interesting and well crafted argument supporting the Korean practice. In this article, Saletan effectively deconstructs the opposing arguments and makes the strong …show more content…

He supports this argument with a statement from the Korea Animal Protection Society, which was backed by FIFA, attacking the decision of the South Korean legislature by stating that ?[South Korean officials] think it would be okay as long as dogs are not killed in a cruel manner.? In effect, Saletan illustrates how the anti-dog-meat activists negate their own strongest argument.

Another argument that Saletan deconstructs is that dogs share a special bond with humans, as ?friends, not animals? and thus it would be immoral to kill these companions. This argument is furthered by Bridget Bardot with her claim that ?Cows are grown to be eaten, dogs are not.? Saletan attacks the accuracy of this argument, as well as the validity of its premise, using simple facts and logical reasoning. If it is morally wrong to kill companions, but morally justified to kill livestock, he argues, then the Korean dog meat industry should not be a problem because ?in Korea, until recently, dogs haven?t been pets.? Saletan goes on to explain that the modern Korean culture views dogs as belonging to two separate grades, companions who are raised as pets and friends, and ?meat dogs? who are destined to be slaughtered. This argument uses the activists? own classification system against their position, but Saletan goes further and attacks this classification system itself. His argument against it is a logical one, simply that to ban the eating of one animal because it is a

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