South Korea's First Lady Speaks Out Against Animal Abusers, Dog Meat Consumption
Kim Keon-hee described the act of refraining from eating dog meat as "an expression of respect for man's best friend", adding that it also means "respect for life".
South Korea’s First Lady Kim Keon-hee has stepped forward to advocate for an end to dog meat consumption, Yonhap News Agency reports, citing Kim’s recent interview with the Seoul Shinmun newspaper.
According to the media outlet, Kim said that South Korea and China are currently the only countries among the big economies where people consume dog meat, and that, when it comes to the practice of eating dog meat, she believes "the universal culture should be shared with developed countries because it can create negative sentiment" against South Korea.
"Not consuming dog meat is ultimately an expression of respect for man's best friend and it also means respect for life", she said.
The development comes as dog meat consumption has witnessed a decline in South Korea in recent decades, with people starting to regard the tradition as an international embarrassment, the media outlet notes, adding, however, that there are also those who argue that people should be free to choose what to eat.
29 March, 07:30 GMT
The first lady also reportedly complained about South Korea having "the weakest animal protection laws" among developed countries, and called for ramping up punishment for animal abusers.
"About 15 million people have pets in our country. If order is established by strengthening the level of punishment for abusers, I believe we can become a mature society", she said. "After all, animal abuse and domestic violence are just different branches from the same stem".
South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol, Kim’s husband, previously said in his presidential election manifesto that he will increase the penalties for animal abuse and seek the prohibition of dog meat consumption, the media outlet points out.