The consumption of dog meat has had a long history in South Korea as well as other Eastern Asian countries.
South Koreans call their 3 hottest days of the year Boknal and traditionally go to picnics in the mountains and valleys. People beat the summer heat by dining on liquor and dog meat. Dog meat is a traditional cuisine. The meat is considered to possess qualities that help stamina and balance the body's heat during the summer months.
Due to animal rights and sanitary concerns, dog meat consumption has been controversial both inside and outside of the country.
Although about 30% of the population have eaten dog meat at least once in their lifetime, only a small number eats dog meat regularly in the country.
There is a large and vocal group of Korean people that are against the practice of eating dog meat. Dog meat festival which was planned to showcase canine food products, including barbecued dog, sausages and steamed paws in a traditional open-air market was fiercely protested by South Korean animal advocates and many Internet users last June. The continued protests eventually led the cancellation of the festival in the country.
Although there is a smaller number of pro-dog cuisine group, majority of Koreans do not eat or enjoy the meat, but some of them feel that it is the right of others to do so.
The breed raised in dog farms for meat consumption differs from breeds raised for domestic pets. The meat is often consumed in summer, especially on Boknal and is either roasted or prepared. In its most popular style, the meat is served as spicy soups or stews.
Start the slideshow to see how Korean restaurants serve dog meat on Boknal :