December 11, 2001
8:28 PM   Subscribe

As Seoul Prepares for Soccer World Cup, a Debate Is Unleashed Over Dog Meat. Cultures collide as FIFA warns and Brigitte Bardot threatens to organize boycotts of Korea over their Canine Cuisine. Koreans are offended. (more)...
posted by Mack Twain (27 comments total)
"Sometimes we become a little obsessed with the feelings of Westerners who try to lecture us on values, and regard others as barbarians," said Kim Dong Soo, a 52-year-old diner, who sat on the restaurant's shiny pine floors and ate, together with two friends, from a hot pot steaming with dog meat stew. "But who are they to lecture us? We have 5,000 years of history, and dog eating is part of our culture." 'Tail'gate parties may never be the same.
posted by Mack Twain at 8:33 PM on December 11, 2001

I think it only fair that Korea respond by banning the screening of any Jerry Lewis movie during the World Cup.
posted by MAYORBOB at 8:33 PM on December 11, 2001

Koreans should be offended. The only difference between eating dogs and pigs is dogs are cuter and we tend to have them in our house. And I say that as a vegetarian.
posted by malphigian at 8:36 PM on December 11, 2001

I'm a vegetarian, too, and I've always thought it the height of hypocrisy for people who eat cows and pigs to decry the moral bankrupcy of eating horses and dogs. It's utter bullshit. These ethnocentric rubes also probably eat veal and suckling (baby) pig. They have no legs to stand on.

posted by UrbanFigaro at 8:45 PM on December 11, 2001

Obviously, they should not be torturing dogs. This is something they have already apparently agreed not to do, but which is still being practiced, probably due to cultural momentum. But the issue of eating dog meat is not one of animal rights, and imposing our western sensibilities on another culture simply because we react with revulsion to what is not all that unusual a practice anyway (after all , what, really is the difference between dog meat and cow meat?) is a bad idea.

There's also the issue of necessity, as many groups of people in poor countries have no choice but to eat any meat that is available.
posted by Hildago at 8:45 PM on December 11, 2001

You know stavrosthewonderchicken is going to have something to say about this, don't you? Hint: Thursday, November 15, 2001
posted by y2karl at 9:02 PM on December 11, 2001

Another episode of Raiders Of The Lost Blog was my first reaction.
posted by y2karl at 9:05 PM on December 11, 2001

Open Letter from Brigitte and a korean response.
posted by shoepal at 9:19 PM on December 11, 2001

I am offended, too, on their behalf.
posted by rushmc at 9:58 PM on December 11, 2001

From the open letter: "The fate of baby seals in Canada, the martyred bears of Bulgaria, the agony of donkeys in Tunisia : all animal suffering affects me deeply."

Martyred bears? That gives me an odd mental picture.

It offends me too. Double standards. If India were to ask the West to not eat beef because they consider it sacred... they'd be laughed at.
posted by mkn at 10:13 PM on December 11, 2001

stavrosthewonderchicken also has an interesting piece about the treatment of immigrant workers in South Korea over at World New York. Somehow I doubt Brigitte Bardot will organize boycotts of the country for that reason, given her attitude towards immigrants in her homeland.
posted by liam at 10:47 PM on December 11, 2001

For posterity's sake, my World New York link should be to here. Apologies.
posted by liam at 11:00 PM on December 11, 2001

Surely the point is that dogs like people very much. The better analogy would be with horses, which the West eat a lot of.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:11 AM on December 12, 2001

I was going to cite Good To Eat aka The Sacred Cow and The Abomniable Pig by (reviewed here along with some of his other works) by anthropologist Marvin Harris ( interview on this topic here), founder of the anthropological school of Cultural Materialism, but was saddened to find his obituary when I went to Google. I had no idea... Here is another comprehensive cultural materialism page. His America Now or Why Things Don't Work - The Anthropology of Every Day Life, although 20 years old is one of the better analyses of present day American society still.

Do read the interview, it has a lot to bear with what's being discussed here.
posted by y2karl at 12:51 AM on December 12, 2001

Great stuff, y2karl. Thanks for the links. I've not got much to say about this that I haven't said already, elsewhere and here (got a bit heated as I recall on the Stile-kitten-eating-video thread a few months ago, which is salient background to this thread perhaps), but I am very interested in what MeFites have to say on the subject...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:01 AM on December 12, 2001

OK, that's not strictly true - I do have more to say. One of the aspects of this that has not been touched on is the widespread belief that boshintang (dog soup) is one of the numerous foods that are 'stamina increasing', which is Konglish code for erection-inducing.

If the primary reason that most men eat the stuff is because of this (presumably erroneous) belief, is it still as justifiable?

The other aspect (as I mention in the blog entry that y2karl referenced earlier) that most people have a problem with is not so much the fact that the doggies are being eaten, but that it's widely held that beating the dogs to death will enhance the curative and aphrodisiac properties of the meat. This is clearly not acceptable to most people, and a part of the story that most media outlets shy away from.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:07 AM on December 12, 2001

D'oh! I are an abominable speller sometimes--too smug to use spell check again...that'll teach me.
posted by y2karl at 1:14 AM on December 12, 2001

Well, I used to hate cats, until I found out how good they taste.
posted by johnnyace at 5:08 AM on December 12, 2001

i go with the eating but not the beating.
posted by Frasermoo at 5:24 AM on December 12, 2001

remember that she (brigitte bardot) is very very very close from the french fascists (fn) - so ethnocentrism is not a surprise
*she* should be eaten (wouldn't taste good tho)
posted by aureliano buendia at 6:48 AM on December 12, 2001

50 years ago she would have tasted sweet as sugar.
posted by Frasermoo at 7:20 AM on December 12, 2001

40 years ago she would have tasted sweet as sugar.
posted by Frasermoo at 7:23 AM on December 12, 2001

Kitten - It's What's for Dinner

(self link?)
posted by NortonDC at 10:09 AM on December 12, 2001

"the martyred bears of Bulgaria, the agony of donkeys in Tunisia"
That 'odd mental picture' led to the following:Bulgaria's dancing bears retire ...check the numbers:A $250,000 bear park, $4,500 per bear, $200 per month for food (each bear) where the average monthly salary is $100. African drought hits donkeys...many owners believe giving water to a donkey while working is wrong.
Y2, thanx for the links to Marvin Harris and Cultural Materialism; I had forgotten reading his stuff some years ago.
posted by Mack Twain at 2:46 PM on December 12, 2001

Just for the sake of completeness, here :

The Anti Dog Meat Movement headquarters. "Japanese eat whale meat and Korean eat dog meat. Two countries are co-hosts of 2002 FIFA World Cup. They said that this worldcup will become a 'green Worldcup'. Is this the truth? What is our next step?"

My suggestion for a next step would be unpleasant, so I'll avoid answering the question. If only they cared as much about humans.

Warning : some nasty imagery ahead, if you follow that link.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:46 AM on December 16, 2001

See, whale meat and shark fin and abalone (and some types of) caviar are different issues to me. These are endangered species because they have not been responsibly harvested. It's much more reasonable to protest this, even if you are a meat-eater.
posted by UrbanFigaro at 10:51 PM on December 16, 2001

urbanFigaro, in Iran, they harvest VERY responsibly abalone - also they now complain that ex-ussr countries are emptying the caspian sea by fishing too much; as in iran there are only 700 people allowed to fish and treat abalone
posted by aureliano buendia at 5:09 AM on December 20, 2001

« Older Guards at Area 51 protest low wages.   |   "Opening a file type previously considered safe, e... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments