*Just to let you know, this article contains images that might upset some readers
What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘dog’? Man’s best friend? Insanely loveable and cute fluff balls? Family? What about … food? Probably not. In fact, thinking about dogs as food might make you feel queasy or upset. Here in Australia and in most countries, we would never ever think about eating Fido. Yet in a lot of Asian countries, dog meat is readily available and consumed. The worst part? The conditions under which the dogs are transported and slaughtered are completely barbaric and inhumane. Every year tens of thousands of dogs are inhumanely transported from Thailand to neighbouring countries, and many die from suffocation before they get there. Unfortunately, these are the lucky ones. The dogs that are still alive are not humanely killed and are often tortured for hours before being skinned alive. It’s believed the pain inflicted on the dogs leads to a more tender cut of meat.
Since it’s acceptable to eat meat in many Asian countries, the dog meat trade lives on. But what also perpetuates this cruel trade is tourism. Traveling abroad is a time for experimenting, especially with food. When in Ireland, you eat haggis. When in Australia, you eat a meat pie. When in Spain, you eat chorizo. When in Asia? A lot of people eat dogs. This has to stop. More often than not, tourists don’t realise the sheer horror and cruelty that takes place in order to get that dog meat on their plate.
The dog meat trade is vicious and inhumane and we won’t stand for it. So now that you know…what can you do about it?
Spread the word!
Start by sharing this story. Tell your parents, tell your friends, tell your aunt and tell the postman. Keep spreading the word about how horrific the dog meat trade is and ensure tourists do not eat or try dog meat when they’re in Asia.
Donate / sponsor a dog
Incredible not-for-profits (including our charity partner Soi Dog) are working tirelessly on the ground to rescue dogs and cats who are victims of the dog meat trade. Soi Dog was created with a mission to humanely reduce the stray population of animals through a programme of mass sterilisation, to provide medical treatment for the sick and injured, and to shelter and adopt; all being humane welfare options the animals had never had access to before. Through foundations like Soi Dog, you are able to sponsor a dog or cat, which pays for their urgent treatment and care until they are ready to be adopted.
Humane Society International are also working with local organisations in Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and China to raise awareness of the horrible dog meat trade flourishing in these countries. They participate in raids on trucks crammed with dogs headed for slaughter as well as provide funding to train officials to improve the enforcement of laws and support care for animals. Check out their work and donate here.
“My name is Sylvestor and my story begins when I was grabbed from the street and crushed into a cage with many other dogs. We were then driven away on a truck to cross the Thai border. I could not understand why I was in this cage and why these people were doing this to me. I was terrified and so were all the other dogs crushed into the cages.
I could hear the younger dogs crying with fear as we travelled through the night, the older dogs unable to cope with the stress and heat during the day. Many died as we drove towards the border – I was beginning to give up too.
I awoke to the rattling of cages and the truck stopping abruptly. All the cages were taken off and we were released and put into a big truck and taken to a shelter in northern Thailand. This is where I live now with so many other other rescued dogs.”
Adopt a dog
The rescued dogs and cats at Soi Dog are often put up for adoption once they have been properly healed. Giving these animals a loving home and effectually providing Soi Dog with more resources to take in more dogs and cats is one of the best things you can do. In Australia, it’s quite difficult and very expensive to adopt the dogs and cats from Soi Dog, mainly due to our strict quarantine laws. However, adopting from the UK, US, Canada and Europe is easier and cheaper.
Volunteer your time
If you’re ever in Phuket, Thailand, consider visiting the Soi Dog shelter. The main role of volunteers is to socialise and walk the dogs, and socialise the cats and puppies. Many of the animals Soi Dog rescues are afraid of humans due to the brutal treatment they received before being rescued, so for the dogs and cats to be adopted, they need to be taught how to trust people. Soi Dog recommend that volunteers spend a month or longer at the shelter because it enables the formation of a closer relationship with the animals. You can also volunteer by giving tours of the shelter and talking with visitors.
There’s also the not-for-profit Last Chance for Animals (LCA) who are dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and media attention. Check out their amazing work here.
A big thanks to our friends at the Soi Dog Foundation for supplying the pictures.
Check out our calendar for other incredible charity challenges and causes to get behind!