South Korean Ritual of Eating Dog Meat to Combat Heat Attacked by Activists

Dogs waiting to be sold as food are in kept in a cage on a truck in Songnam, about 50km (30 miles) south of Seoul July 29, 2004. While animal rights activists have condemned dog meat as a cruel treatment of the animals, it is still an accepted popular del
Dogs waiting to be sold as food are in kept in a cage on a truck in Songnam, about 50km (30 miles) south of Seoul July 29, 2004. While animal rights activists have condemned dog meat as a cruel treatment of the animals, it is still an accepted popular delicacy for some South Korean, as well in some other Asian countries. Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters

The South Korean tradition of eating dog meat to help cool off in the hot summer months has angered animal rights activists worldwide.

The ritual known as ‘Bok-Nal’, the dog eating days, is a practice celebrated by the people of South Korean, where dog meat and other foods are eaten to boost stamina during the hottest days of the year.

Animal rights activists around the world have staged protests to coincide with the tradition that begins on Tuesday, according to Daily Mail.

Many protestors are packing themselves into wired cages in front of South Korean embassies located in Seoul and London and in various cities around the world.

While South Koreans eat dog meat throughout the year, dog meat is consumed more during Bok-Nal, and restaurants in Seoul that serve the dish say they served more customers on Tuesday than usual.

Animal rights group In Defense of Animals (IDAUSA) said in a statement that dogs and cats are being held in cramped, filthy cages and slaughtered in horrific ways as part of the $2 billion dog and cat meat industry.

"Two and a half million South Korean dogs are electrocuted, hanged, or beaten to death each year," the animal rights group said in a statement on its website.

"They are killed in the cruelest ways imaginable, because many South Koreans believe the insidious myth that the more an animal suffers, the tastier the meat and that the medical properties will be enhanced. Thousands of cats are also slaughtered for soups and so-called “health” tonics. They are thrown into boiling water while still alive," the group said.

IDAUSA said that cats are often bludgeoned and tossed into boiling water while they are still alive.

Seoul is currently experiencing the longest period of time with temperatures above 95 Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) since 1994, Yonhap news agency reported.

"Over the last decade, many in South Korea have embraced the notion of dogs and cats as animal companions. But we must take action to persuade the South Korean government to legalize a ban on dog and cat meat and forever stop this technically illegal, corrupt, and sordid industry," IDAUSA said.

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