Canadian Skater Becomes Champion to Korean Dogs Bound for the Soup Pot. [VIDEO]

Canadian Skater Becomes Champion to Korean Dogs Bound for the Soup Pot. [VIDEO]

Canadian Skater Becomes Champion to Korean Dogs Bound for the Soup Pot. [VIDEO]

During the Olympics, South Korea is openly looking to make nice with North Korea, their evil brother to the north. However, there is one aspect of their culture they’re trying to hush, and it’s happening in the shadow of the Olympic stadium in Pyeongchang.

It’s not Gangnum Style, either.

No, South Korea would like Westerners to forget that there are dog farms nearby — places where dogs grow up just to turn into meat. They never become someone’s companion, they never become a family’s beloved pet. They live out their short lives in cages and meet a brutish end in a butcher’s shop. There are about two million of these dogs who meet the same fate yearly.

However, there is one Olympian athlete who has become a champion to these dogs. Canadian skater Meagan Duhamel has become a voice for them, especially since she met Moo-Tae.

Moo-tae was one of those unlucky pooches destined for the stew pot — that is, until some Buddhist monks rescued him from a dog farm while he was still a puppy. Enter Meagan Duhamel, an avid yoga and meditation practitioner who was in South Korea last year. She found Moo-tae with the monks, and was excited that he “loved to sit with the Buddhas during meditation and yoga,” as she said. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, maybe this dog has some special spiritual energy.’ That was really why I chose him.”

Well, okay. I would’ve chosen him for his enormous brown eyes. Plus, he’s a dachshund mix, which would’ve reminded me of the two we had when I was growing up. I do have a soft spot for the little stinkers.

Today Moo-tae lives with Duhamel and her husband/coach Bruno Marcotte in Montreal. He’s happy with his fellow pets — a beagle and a cat, both rescue animals. And he still loves to sit with Duhamel as she meditates.

Duhamel, Marcotte, and Moo-tae. Credit: Free Korean Dogs.

But it appears that the dog meat trade may be waning. Younger Koreans are rejecting canine consumption, which is practiced more often by older Koreans, who think it increases virility. Moreover, as of 2016, one in five Korean households has a dog or cat as a pet. And even South Korean president Moon Jae-in has a dog in his home — a rescue mutt named Tory.

Furthermore, South Korea isn’t the only Asian nation which is starting to reject the consumption of canines, and of cats, too. Last year Taiwan explicitly banned the sale of dogs and cats for meat, even though the practice was never as widespread there as in Korea. Still, it sends a signal to other Asian nations that animal cruelty is intolerable.

Meagan Duhamel may go back to her native Canada with Olympic medals won for figure skating. Or she may not. However, she’s become a champion of another sort, and that’s for the welfare of four-legged victims of cruelty. And while I’ll certainly cheer on Team USA, as someone whose had many dogs and cats in my life, I salute Meagan Duhamel for publicizing such awful treatment of dogs.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • Timmy says:

    How are dogs different than cattle? Pretty white girl comes in to rescue the oppressed livestock.

    How many hungry children won’t get any meat because of her efforts?

  • parker says:

    First of all, I have cherished my relationships with dogs for 6 decades. But Native Americans from South, Central, and North America have used domesticated canines as beasts of burden and food. To me the issue here, as with all domesticate livestock, is are they raised and slaughtered in a humane matter.

    • Kim Quade says:

      That is true; however, the West has long rejected the notion of using dogs as food. They also have embraced animal abuse as abhorrent, and have written laws to that effect.

      It appears, as I noted in the article, that South Korea is moving in that direction as well as it grows in wealth and in westernization.

      As far as humane slaughter methods — that’s not always the case in Asia. Dogs are kept in inhumane conditions, often without food or water. And there is the tradition of torturing dogs to death — the belief is that drawn-out death improves the meat. There may be criticisms of how we butcher cattle in the U.S, but I have never heard of intentional torture prior to slaughter.

      The Yulin dog festival in China is a prime example of that cruelty. And again, it’s not a matter of feeding the starving populace. That festival runs only about two weeks or so in June.

  • Jeffersonian says:

    I love dogs as much as the next guy and wouldn’t consider eating one. Fortunately for me I live in a truly rich country in which we have many options from which to obtain our necessary protein. At a reasonable price. I’m not certain that is the case in South Korea. To refute one of your more inflammatory assertion though I would question your premise that one can raise an animal, any animal, to a consumption ready state by depriving it of food and water. That makes no sense. Thank you.

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