The following is a letter sent by a KARA supporter to US Trade Committee members, as well as senators, representatives, Obama and Nancy Pelosi.
Dear Subcommittee Member:
I am writing to respectfully ask the Obama Administration to NOT ratify the US-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
I have just returned from a two month work-related trip to South Korea and I was utterly shocked, mortified and appalled by the country’s practice of intentional torture to dogs and cats for use as aphrodisiacs. This is the worst cruelty on earth (along with fur farming) and demonstrates a disturbing lack of consciousness or compassion shown to whom the rest of the world consider companion animals. I was in utter disbelief to learn and see what is going on there; all while the US is spending billions of dollars operating military installations to support and protect South Korea. Why are we not putting pressure on them to eliminate these extreme atrocities?
Don’t be misled that dog/cat eating is food for survival; it is a known fact that this practice is propagated by those profiting by the myth that dog/cat consumption increases sexual prowess. The belief that adrenaline released into the muscles of animals while they are tortured is what will increase sexual performance is why they intentionally, burn, dismember, beat and boil alive the animals…and right in front of the others awaiting the same fate.
Not unrelated, the South Korean Government selectively complies with its own laws and misleads the citizens as well as the global community. It does this explicitly by failing to uphold its’ own Food Sanitation Law of 1984 and the more recent amendments to Korea's Animal Protection Act of 1991 which bans eating dog and cat. Yet, it takes place right out in public in virtually every market in South Korea! In fact, it is so public that children and families (and tourists) walking through the markets to buy produce must witness the brutality, torture and slaughter of dogs and cats. It is not a small or isolated problem either. Estimates are that 4-8 million dogs and cats annually are eaten and that it is served in over 7,800 restaurants throughout South Korea.
And while most Koreans are increasingly opposed to this practice and believe it to be culturally embarrassing, it is the wealthy male businessmen who are the consumers. The meat and stews are far too expensive for the average citizen to afford. South Every Korean person with whom I spoke regarding how and why the government does not enforce its’ own laws to protect the animals stated that the government officials are corrupt and receive payoffs. This is a multi-million dollar business. It is a commonly held belief by Korean citizens that their government is corrupt. How can a country who demonstrates this unwillingness to enforce its own laws while citizens plead for lawful intervention abide by the terms of any Free Trade Agreement? For decades, South Korea has flouted international censure of this trade. They have manipulated every effort to end the agony of stolen or factory-farmed dogs and cats. They also placate the people by passing laws that they have no intention of enforcing.
While animal protection may seem to be a marginal issue at first glance, I ask you to consider that in America, roughly 77.5 million dogs and 93.6 million cats live as companions with people.
U.S. voters, your constituents, oppose favored status for a nation that not only consumes cats and dogs — but where torture and cruelty are the goal of this practice. Please do not confirm the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement. The only item we need to be trading with them on is Viagra in exchange for human decency.