It’s like eating your friend. 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.
– Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell is calling for the end of the dog meat trade in South Korea, where more than 2.5 million canines are bred for consumption annually.
The methods used to kill the dogs are brutal - electrocution is most common but hanging is also used. They are slaughtered in full view of other dogs, and their final moments are painful and terrifying.
Good Morning Britain's correspondent Pip Tomson joined a rescue mission with Humane Society International, whose ultimate goal is a ban on the dog meat trade, to save over 170 dogs in a farm there.
Speaking of the estimated 17,000 dog meat farms in South Korea, Cowell said: “It is a strength, in my opinion, to say we’re not going to do it. If they all could come together now, maybe through social media, maybe through a different generation who just say no, enough people will listen. That’s what happens in the world today.”
Now helping GMB to re-home 13 of the saved dogs that are being brought to the UK, Cowell said: “The joy, the love they bring into your life, what they do for you, you can’t put it into words.”
Pip said: “The younger generation in South Korea is starting to turn against the dog meat trade. Growing numbers of people have them as pets. It is the older generation that needs some persuading and that takes time. It is an incredibly sensitive issue because they don’t know any different. This is about treating this subject in a very sensitive manner.”
Of questions over whether it’s simply the culture, Pip said: “Just because it’s culture, doesn’t make it right.”
“They make a distinction, which I think is wrong, between a dog meat dog, and a pet dog.”
And of what the difference is between eating dog, chicken or cow, Pip said: “Maybe there’s not [a difference]. Doing something like this, focuses people’s minds. It might also make people think, should we be eating pig? Should we be eating cow?”
Chef Antony Worrall Thompson and TV presenter Sara Damergi also joined Pip to air their views on the debate.