There are over 1,500 meat farms in South Korea. These farms are still functioning and they continue to have buyers. The dog meat business is something that is heartbreaking for most people to even consider.
Yet, every once in awhile, a little happy ending will come out of this horrible trade.
Earlier this year, a man named Lee Tae Hyung decided to give up his farm in order to focus on his blueberry farm. His 57 dogs became property of Humane Society International. By March these dogs were flown to the USA and adopted to new loving families.
One dog, now named Jin Joo, has become a happy family member of the Nam family. Ms. Nam had always spoken to her husband about the famous meat dogs in Korea and wanted to adopt one.
Born in South Korea, Nam feels that the existence of dog farms hurts the image of her home country, “I’m now a citizen of the U.S. but my roots are South Korean. As a Korean person I feel very sad about what happens in my country,” she says. She explains that the older community may still see dogs as guardians or “garbage disposals” however the younger generation see them as loving companions.
“We see dogs as our family. I keep thinking how to explain that to people,” she says.
Nam wants to continue to help animals in her country therefore this May she will be traveling to South Korea to volunteer with an animal welfare group.
As for Jin Joo, the four-month-old puppy was timid at first but warmed up, “She was shaking when she got in the car the first time. When she got home, she adapted very quickly,” Nam says. Now Jin Joo is a solid member of the family. She has new siblings to play with and a full life ahead of her. Nam’s daughters love to be chased around the house by Jin Joo and she gets all the walks in the world.
There is no fear about becoming food. Only welcoming love, hugs and cuddles.