Many people in several Asian countries still enjoy consuming dishes made with dog meat despite the stigma attached to it.
America’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell wants this practice to stop and has donated more than $32,000 to the Humane Society International in the United Kingdom to help the charity rescue pups from a South Korean meat farm, the charity announced on September 27.
In December of 2017, the 58-year-old entertainment mogul, who has supported HSI’s efforts in the past, talked with Pip Tomson of Good Morning Britain about this sad issue.
“It’s like eating your friend,” explained Cowell, who shares his home with three Yorkshire terriers — Freddie, Squiddly, and Diddly.
“Ironically, some of those people who are eating dogs, if those dogs were their pet, that dog would be protecting that person’s life, that’s the irony. The joy, the love they bring into your life, what they do for you, you can’t put into words.”
While consuming dog meat is on the decline in South Korea, there are still thousands of factory farms in the country that breed and raise approximately 2.5 million dogs per year solely for human consumption.
The delicacy is especially popular during the Bok days in July and August when South Koreans like to feast on bosintang — a soup made with boiled dog meat, vegetables, and spices — which has long been claimed to increase stamina and virility.
UPDATE: Thanks to your generous support, we have met our matching gift goal of £25,000! ???? A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has donated & to @SimonCowell for your incredible gift. Please stay tuned for updates as we begin to rescue 200+ dogs from the SK dog meat farm next week! pic.twitter.com/TNaVNmD21F
— Humane Society Int'l (@HSIGlobal) September 28, 2018
HSI said that it has already closed down 12 dog meat farms and has saved nearly 1,400 hounds from being killed and eaten.
If it succeeds in closing down this specific South Korean slaughterhouse, an additional 200 dogs and puppies will get to live.
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UPDATE: Thanks to your generous support, rescue preparations are now underway to save more than 200 dogs from a life of pain and misery on a South Korean dog meat farm. Our Animal Rescue Team is gearing up to leave next week but we still need your help! Please, click on the link in our bio to donate to advance our rescue efforts and support our lifesaving work for animals worldwide! ????
“Simon’s generous donation means the world to us, and provides a huge boost to our appeal to close this horrendous dog meat farm,” said Claire Bass, HSI U.K.’s executive director.
“With every dog farm we close and every farmer we help switch to a more profitable, humane business, we’re showing the South Korean government that it’s possible to end this cruel trade. These poor dogs have had the worst lives so far, so we’re desperate to get them out of those dreadful cages and show them love, soft beds, and loving arms for the first time in their lives.”
While rescuing the animals, HSI staff members also try to help farmers get out of the dog meat industry by offering tips and assistance regarding alternative options, such as mushroom or chili pepper growing.
HSI hopes to send a team to South Korea the first week of October to begin the process of rescuing the dogs and closing down the farm.
The organization will fly the majority of the hounds to its Canadian shelter, but will most likely bring some pups back to the U.K. as well. While the canines won’t be immediately available for adoption, those interested in providing stable, forever homes, or would like to make a donation can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.