We held a silent protest against the dog meat trade at the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics as part of our “I Am Not Food” campaign.
The protest was a memorial for the more than 2,000,000 dogs that are killed every year in the dog meat trade in South Korea. More than 30 staff and volunteers took part. The activists and volunteers wore yellow dog masks and stood silently for three hours of silent protest.
What particularly grabbed people’s attention were the frozen bodies of dead puppies that three of activists were holding. They had frozen to death in the cages on a dog meat farm in Pocheon, Gyeonggi province. We found them in the refrigerator of the farm. They were going to be sold for “puppy soup.”
While some may criticize us for being sensationalist and for co-opting an event that should be a positive celebration with such shock tactics, we felt that it was our duty to spread awareness of the darker side of South Korea while the eyes of the world were turned this way.
And we know we are having an effect on public perception both in South Korea and around the world.
Watching the demonstration, a parent explained to their child, “Daughter, dogs are not something we eat.” We spoke to foreigners—many of whom had never been to South Korea before—about the issue of dog meat consumption. Many showed a deep concern, and some even joined in with our protest.