Acts of Cruelty to Animals have Reached New Levels of Depravity in South Korea

It seems that acts of cruelty to animals have now reached a new and higher level of depravity. Apparently South Korea has an extensive market for a very special kind of soup. The soup is being used for the treatment of arthritic symptoms.

South Korean meat soup

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According to an article published in the Yanhap News translated by Korean Dogs, “Mr A”, 54 was arrested by the Pusan Bukbu Police on charges of violating South Korea’s Animal Protection Act. Allegedly for more than a year “Mr A” captured and slaughtered approximately 600 stray cats; trapping them with food and then killing them by boiling them alive.

After preparing the carcasses, he then sold the cat meat to local health food stores such as the “Health Food Center”, where they became an expensive but popular sale item for about $14 USD per cat.

However I will spare our readers all the gory details since just thinking about these horrific acts are enough to make me violently ill. It is this writer’s opinion that Mr A’s heinous acts have actually reached a new level of cruelty to animals that are so incredibly depraved that I am loathe to describe them.

South Korea cat meat

South Korea cat meat

The JoongAng Daily reported that the police said that a rumor has been going around that was possibly spread by folks in the elderly community claiming that when cat meat is boiled in a soup it can relieve arthritic pain.

However, the police did advise the community to avoid using illegally obtained cat meat since the country doesn’t regulate cat meat as they do with other meats that are commonly consumed, such as pork and beef.

The police said there were 16 live cats ready for slaughter when they raided Mr A’s secret torture chamber. According to the police he did confess that he had captured and sold around 600 cats. Police expounded on his actions saying that during the over one year period he was able to capitalize royally on his “product” due to the high demand for “cat soup” to ameliorate arthritic symptoms; even though its efficacy is purely a myth. There was no further news about what would become of the 16 remaining cats.

The Health Food stores will not be punished for selling the cat meat because there is no law on the books that were violated. Unfortunately however, according to the police officer in charge, Mr A is only being charged for violating the provisions in the Animal Protection Act which “prohibits the killing by cruel methods and the act of killing an animal with other animals of the same species present at the scene.”

Sadly, since selling stray cats is not a crime, he cannot receive punishment for their sale. Making matters worse, it seems that cats are excluded from the Animal Protection Act. As a result, police are requesting a review by the appropriate governmental authority to find out whether, based on Mr A’s actions, this exclusion is fair.

You can help bring this criminal to justice. While some folks think that petitions are worthless, Change.org does not agree. Please take a moment to sign their petition against the South Korean Dog Meat Cruelty.

Together we can make a difference. What was your reaction to this story? Share your thoughts in a comment.

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21 Responses

  1. Everycat says:

    Michael, the documentary was called “Man & Animal” directed by Tony Thomas, a thoroughly respected documentary maker. It was broadcast in 1995 and I will never forget the scene with the mother taking her son to the cat meat restaurant, choosing a live cat and then following the horrific butchery process the poor cat subjected to. The cat survived the hateful ordeal to the point of it being hacked into pieces.

    Eating cat and dog, killing them in the most brutal manner has long been happening and still is happening in:-

    Mexico
    Texas
    Pennsylvania
    Canada
    Korea
    Vietnam
    China
    Philippines
    Australia
    Africa
    Indonesia
    Thailand
    Laos
    Switzerland/Suisse <— ooh look Europe so civilised!

    In some countries, the practice developed in times of massive famine and war. Often countries that have been at war, invaded etc will develop very brutal attitudes to animals (look at Montenegro for example and many eastern europaen countries) and the countries where cat/dog meat eating is prevalent are no exception.

    In modern times, the practice is usually blamed on the poor who cannot afford education or decent food. However the truth is, that these practices flourish because it is the newly wealthy within those countries who pick up the practice as something to be proud of having taken part in. In China, in all of the southern provinces, this is the case, cat meat restaurants thrive with yuppie customers, just as they did in Tony's documentary.

    Yulin festival got a lot of publicity this year due to activists working hard to get the word out. Boknal is coming up soon, but what the activists avoid mentioning is that this barbarism happens all year around in these countries.

    It's easy for us in the west to look away once the explicit material about these hateful festivals fade from our screens.

    But every day of every year, these poor animals are used in this obscene way. The bitter irony is that amidst the Asian countries where these obscenities are being carried out, many people are now enthusiastic and doting pet stewards, aware of the importance of good welfare for their pets, but, because they have a bit of money, they can choose to go out, select a cat from a cage and watch it slaughtered for their table.

    They do it, not because they are hungry or poor. They do it because it has become aspirational and fashionable. A little similar to the craze of artisanal products. It's a case of "oh look at us, we are so wealthy we can eat this way because we choose to, not because we have to"

    In most of these awful hell holes for animals, such barbaric slaughter has never been a tradition.

  2. jmuhj says:

    I regret being unable to read your story because I am a caring and compassionate person moved emotionally by such descriptions of atrocities.

  3. Vicki says:

    There are some very good comments here which effectively mirror my feelings about this horrible subject. So instead of repeating the information, I will simply say, “this literally makes me sick”!

  4. Serbella McGee says:

    A few years ago one of the shows, Dateline, I believe, aired a feature about this very same thing. They couldn’t show the video of this dog being skinned alive, but the looks on the faces of the reporter and the animal rights advocate as they watched the tape was more than enough for me.

    • Michele S. says:

      Serbella: Channel 4 in the UK screened a similar documentary series back in the 90s and they broadcast everything their reporter filmed with a hidden camera. I have never forgotten one particular cat who was boiled and then skinned alive. Those images will forever haunt me.

      I signed the petition a couple of days ago, but don’t hole out much hope for it having any influence. I know that many petitions do have a successful outcome, but these types of cultural beliefs are deeply ingrained and won’t be quick to change.

      The practise of eating cats and dogs isn’t restricted to the poor or older generations. South Korean, Company Sooam Biotech Research ran a competition in the U.K. last year to promote their cloning technique. The prize on offer was to have your dog cloned for free. I clearly remember one of the contestants asking the young men interviewing candidates whether they’d eaten dog and one of them had.

      • Serbella McGee says:

        Michele, I definitely could not have watched that documentary. The Dateline feature had one line that stayed with me to this day. The reporter stared at the screen with his mouth dropped open, then he said “Even with his skin mostly off, that dog’s tail was still wagging.”

        Now the thing is, I love animals, but I do eat meat on occasion. Hearing more and more about the horrors and the mistreatment that goes on in slaughterhouses, farms and such has caused me to eat less during the years.

        I agree with you, that it isn’t only the poor or older generations. And you’re right about cultural beliefs. That’s a very hard thing to change.

    • Michael Broad says:

      We can’t even think about it because it is too horrible but they can do it as a routine. Why are we so different on animal welfare?

      • Serbella McGee says:

        Michael, I wish I had a good answer to your question. I don’t.

        • Michele S. says:

          I hope that Sarah Hartwell doesn’t mind my posting a quote from one of her Messybeast articles on this subject;

          “I spoke to a Chinese colleague who said that the word for “animal” in his native tongue translates as “moving thing” – animals are considered no more sentient than vegetables.”

          Apparently the skinning of live animals is because of the importance of “fresh” food to the Chinese 🙁

          • Serbella McGee says:

            Thanks, Michael. Guess it’s easier to butcher animals that way. That is sickening to me.

          • Michael Broad says:

            I’ve also read that the Chinese prefer to half kill a cat before it is skinned or boiled or wherever else they do with it because it creates adrenaline in the cat which makes it more effective as a food/treatment against conditions such as arthritis. It is quite horrendous what they think and the description of an animal as a “moving thing” fits in nicely with their treatment of animals. Of course humans are also moving things but then again they don’t treat each other that well either (i.e. thousands of executions for some minor crimes and mass fraud) but I don’t want to be racist because in the West we can’t be that proud about how we treat each other either.

            • Michele S. says:

              I would be very interested in knowing what percentage of people in Asian countries eat cats and dogs.

              We’ve all seen photos and videos on-line from Asian people who clearly dote on their cats/dogs, so perhaps attitudes towards them may slowly be heading in a more positive direction.

              • Dee (Florida) says:

                I so want to agree and so hope that things are changing.
                But, there are so many poverty strickened that they would eat each other if they had nothing else.
                As much as I see it not our responsibility to assist, I will never understand why anyone in third countries couldn’t benefit from our excess. We throw so much away.
                But, then again, we have impoverished here as well, that not even a crumb is thrown their way.
                My new mission is to stop all retailers from dumping foodstuffs into dumpsters instead of offering to non-profits and the needy, humans and animals included.
                Petsmart is my first target.

                • Michele S. says:

                  That’s a very worthy mission Dee. The amount of food that retailers and consumers throw out each week is sinful.

                  French supermarkets will soon be banned from throwing away or destroying unsold food and must instead donate it to charities or for animal feed, under a law set to crack down on food waste. In the UK, retailers have a voluntary arrangement with charities and zoos, but I wish it were mandatory.

  5. Dee (Florida) says:

    People in Asia are able to do this because they can. No law prohibiting. Why they would ever have such disgusting tastes could be theorized in many ways, ie, the poor starving populous, the ignorant, and the greedy sellers.
    But, I tend to just have the belief that they are uncivilized, because they are not nearly as advantaged or educated as our countries.
    But, to qualify…
    It is not the responsibility of the west world to civilize them, whether we want to or not.

  6. Michael Broad says:

    Why are people in Asia able to do this to cats and dogs yet to almost 100% of the people in the West, meaning Europe and North America, it is barbaric brutality and animal cruelty?

    Why are we so different with regards to something so fundamental? To me, the culture in Asia, which is meant to be sophisticated, is very basic and unsophisticated. It almost totally lacks any animal welfare laws and where there are animal welfare laws they are often (almost always) unenforced.

    Asians have a completely different relationship with animals including domestic animals compared to Westerners. I think people need to work out why this stark difference exists.

    Is it acceptable to people in the West to criticise Asians for animal cruelty like this? I think it is. A lot of Asians hate being criticised for what they see as normal behaviour and what we see as barbarism. The world is so disjointed. Our cultures are so different. This creates stress in the world.

    I think there should be real pressure put upon the Vietnamese, South Koreans and the Chinese, to name 3 countries, to stop this. They need to be dragged into the 21st-century.

  7. Serbella McGee says:

    Signed the petition.

  8. Cat says:

    They do the same to dogs. When questioned about cooking the animals alive, the response was that the meat tastes better that way. What is even more atrocious is when the skin the animal alive prior to cooking.

  9. Sandra Murphey, No. CA, USA says:

    I’ve seen these stories before, and it’s hard to imagine that all these people who buy these products are able to overlook how they’re made. In addition to the fact that they don’t work for arthritis symptoms.

    Although we think of cat torture as evil, many farm animals that we eat are also tortured, but for some reason we’re able to bypass that fact in our minds.

    Fortunately there is more attention being brought to these practices, and meat eaters are demanded “humanely raised” animals. It seems like a contradiction to say “humanely raised for slaughter”.

    • Carrie Gobernatz says:

      Animals should NOT BE EATEN AT ALL. And there is no HUMANE SLAUGHTER. If you love animals DO NOT EAT THEM. The hospitals would be empty if people were vegans. More Americans are learning the CRUELTY connected with the meat they are buying. It’s DISGUSTING the terrible things that happen legally to food animals. When I watch these animal rescue shows I want to SCREAM because there a dozen people helping a dolphin and then at lunch they eat a burger. Does not make sense.

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