People in This Country Eat Dogs

It is no secret that people in some countries use dogs for food. For example, the starving population of North Korea is known for eating dogs — sometimes the people have no choice. In Vietnam, however, people eat dogs for a particular reason.

Find out the outrageous reason why the Vietnamese eat dogs on page 5 — and discover the heartbreaking way in which they get their food supply on page 6. As you click through, keep in mind that eating dogs is a cultural thing in Vietnam — and the Vietnamese find some American habits repulsive, such as letting a dog sleep in the bed. The Vietnamese would rather sleep with rats than dogs, according to the PRI website.

1. Animal rights activist exposes Vietnamese dog trade

A protester carrying a dog displays a t-shirt condeming the eating of dog meat
Protests have been widespread. | Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

In March 2018, the New York Post ran a shocking story about people in Vietnam eating dogs. A devastating video accompanied the article, which was shot by an anonymous animal rights activist in Vườn Quốc Gia Bạch Mã village. The activist made the video to raise awareness about the awful trade. Lately, there has been a rising opposition to eating dogs and many animal rights groups are focusing on the illicit, unregulated industry.

Next: This is not a secret.

2. Dogs are mainstream food in Vietnam

Korea dog meat farm
It’s a mainstream food source. | Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

You’ve probably seen sensational headlines about the cat meat trade, but dog meat is mainstream in Vietnam, according to the New York Post. It is estimated that about 5 million dogs are eaten annually in the country. Hanoi is the most lucrative market for to buy and sell dogs for eating purposes.

Next: This is horrifying.

3. Inhumane treatment

Korea dog meat farms
The images are truly horrifying. | Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

There are pictures that show a Vietnam dog meat market, according to the New York Post. It shows a plethora of animals rammed into cages, with no room to move. The dogs are delivered to restaurants, where they are skinned and boiled alive. The New York Post also talked about a previously unseen clip an activist took from a Hanoi meat market, which shows a pile of butchered dog carcasses.

Next: You’ll be shocked at how many countries eat domestic animals

4. These countries are known for eating cats and dogs

Chef with dog meat stew
South Korea is also known for eating dog meat. | Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Vietnam and North Korea aren’t the only countries that view pets as food. According to The Daily Meal, around 2.5 million cats and dogs are eaten in South Korean each year — they are considered health food. In China, restaurants list a variety of dog menu items, including dog soup, dog steak, and dog hot pot. And in Switzerland, eating cat and dog meat is common for Alpine farmers — it’s considered very “beefy.” At least laws in Switzerland stipulate that the animals must be killed humanely.

Next: Here’s the reason you’ve been waiting to hear.

5. Why Vietnamese people eat dogs

Animal Rights Activists Protest Against Eating Dog Meat
They think it makes them tough. | Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

“In Vietnam, it’s believed eating tough meat makes a tough man, ” said Michele Brown, CEO of the Fight Dog Meat charity. “Many think dog meat boost’s a man’s libido, helps their joints and even cures illness. But none of this is scientifically proven. The preference is for tough meat, it’s like the opposite of meat eaten in the West. So, they think by terrifying the dogs, they flood them with adrenaline and make the meat tastier.”

Next: You’d better sit down when you read this.

6. Where they get the dogs

Two women sit selling young dogs at a road side
Many of them were stolen. | Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/GettyImages

Many of the dogs used for food are … wait for it … stolen pets, according to the New York Post. “These dogs are often snatched under cover of darkness. They are stunned or poisoned, then have their stomachs pumped to boost their value,” said Brown. “Many die but the survivors are sold to slaughterhouses, restaurants or markets like the one I captured in Hanoi.”

“This is why awareness is vital. We must pressure the government from the sidelines to break the cycle and shut the trade down. These animals deserve to be protected by the laws of the land,” said Brown.

Next: Dog restaurants on the rise

7. Dog restaurants are cropping up all over Vietnam, but so is pet ownership

Vietnamese man with dog
Pet ownership is increasing. | Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/GettyImages

Strangely, pet ownership in Vietnam is growing — and creating a booming dog theft industry for dog restaurants, which are also increasing. In the past, many residents of Southeast Asia simply could not afford to keep dogs as pets like Americans do.

It has only been in recent years that Asia’s economy has gotten to the point where a growing class of citizens has been able to afford pets, according to the PRI website. Therefore, there is has been a clash between those who keep dogs as pets and those who view them as dinner in Southeast Asia’s dog-eating heartland.

Read more: Here Are Hollywood’s Most Passionate Celebrity Animal Activists

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