Jane Goodall Speaks Out About Dog Meat Farms
It's the hottest time of the year in South Korea. This means that an estimated one million dogs are being killed because people believe that drinking dog - or "Bok Nal" - soup cools the blood. (It doesn't.)
Jane Goodall, famed primatologist and animal lover, has come to the defense of the dogs who can't defend themselves.
"I've always had a great love for dogs," Goodall said in a video message to a conference of animal activists seeking to end the slaughter. The conference, hosted by Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA), took place on August 5, during the window of time when Bok Nal soup is being produced in Korea.
"When I was a child, I had a relationship with [a dog] who taught me so much about animal behavior," Goodall explained. "They've been domesticated, they've been man's best friend for maybe 15,000 years or more, and in that time, they've done so much for us. They've guarded our belongings, they've guarded people, they've guided the blind, they've helped autistic children to read - this and so much more."
Unfortunately, the dog meat trade has a stubborn hold on the region because so many farmers' livelihoods depend on the industry. There are an estimated 17,000 dog meat farms in South Korea.
Luckily, Humane Society International (HSI) is working with the farmers to close the farms and transition to other kinds of work. HSI has closed five of these farms so far, and rescued over 500 dogs from death, bringing them to the U.S. and Canada for adoption.
"[T]o actually kill these wonderful beings for food seems very, very sad for me," Goodall said. "I hope this conference will bring this out into the open, and people will talk about it, and maybe things will change."