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Bok-Nal Dog Eating Ritual

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I just recently became aware of something called the Bok-Nal dog eating ritual. This is a South Korean ritual that has angered many animal rights activists and volunteers throughout the world – it is called ‘Bok-Nal’, apparently Korean for ‘dog-eating days’. They practice the ritual on 3 special days every summer. These people believe that eating dog meat, coupled with other foods, helps them to withstand the summer heat better, as well as benefit from its ‘medicinal effects’.

Bok-Nal Dog Eating Ritual

Despite the fact that South Koreans eat dog meat throughout the year, it is during Bok-Nal that dog meat is sold, served and eaten the most, with more customers ordering dog meat in restaurants than on other days.

There are 3 traditional days each summer that the Bok-Nal dog eating ritual is practiced, according to this quote from a news story on

…days considered to be the hottest of the year. Some people consume dog meat on these days for its supposedly cooling properties. The practice is controversial both within and outside of South Korea.

Protestors from various places around the world have involved themselves in various protests by caging themselves inside dog cages with placards on the 3 days of Bok-Nal.

According to In Defense of Animals (IDAUSA), an animal rights group, dogs (and even cats) in this $2 billion industry in South Korea are held in dirty cages, and eventually slaughtered inhumanely. Each year, nearly 2 and a half million dogs are hanged, beaten to death and electrocuted, the group added. The reason that they are killed in more gruesome ways is that South Koreans believe that the more the animal suffers, the tastier they will become when cooked and served, and the medicinal benefits are said to be enhanced too.

While it is true that South Koreans eat dog (and cat) meat, they are not alone. You can also find some dog and cat meat in other Asian countries as well, but usually in very little amounts, as animal rights activists in their governments have already passed laws that banned the inhumane killing of these animals and eating them as food.

And it is not just the eating that is disturbing here; it is the way they torture, slaughter and kill the animals, which is clearly an act of brutality and heartlessness. Even cows and pigs, before they are brought into slaughter houses are tended carefully and some even receive anesthesia so that they do not die in pain and in vain. Some studies show that eating meat from a stressed animal can actually increase the stress of the one who eats the meat.

According to another statement by IDAUSA, the last decade in particular has seen many South Koreans who are kind to dogs and cats and treat them as companions. But there are still some people who value tradition and a corrupt industry over companionship with these innocent pets. The IDA is inviting everyone to help persuade the South Korean government to finally take action on banning dog and cat meat to put an end to this heartless pet killing industry.

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  1. Avatar Of Ted Bee

    Ted Bee


    How about, let’s stop eating meat altogether? Protesting dog eating whole tasting a hamburger, I love the hypocrisy of some people. I’m not claiming anyone here does so, but many fierce anti-dog-meat are just as foerce pig and cow meat eaters. Stop the torture. Go veg!

  2. Avatar Of Sharon sharon says:

    This is heartbreaking these poor dogs and cats are slaughter in the most disgusting evil way anyone could possibly imagine , the poor animals know whats happening as the are terrified crying ,they are beaten , thrown into a machine which pulls there fur off with boil water , still alive blow torch them . then chucked into boiling water , some cut the throats some beat first then hang them its the worst thing i have ever seen . they mouths are bound up, and legs are tied up . many bones are broken in the process , i have seen dogs dragged by cars and bikes on the way to the slaughter .they are fed the inners of the dead dogs , which is festered with maggots no water and living in there own filth , puppies too , this has to stopped . it goes on in bok nal for a month .

  3. Avatar Of Melanie



    This is awful and I hope that stricter laws in South Korea will help put an end to it. As a vegan, I do not see this “tradition” any differently than American holidays that center around the food on the table. Thanksgiving, for example, causes an increase in the slaughter of turkeys. Ham for Easter increases pig slaughter. The USDA does a horrible job at enforcing “humane” slaughter. There really is no such thing. Sure I love dogs and cats but the same things go on here in the United States just different animals. It is all very sickening and had everything to do with my choice to become a vegan.

  4. Avatar Of Billinorlando



    Save a dog. Eat a Korean.

  5. Avatar Of Tanya Stephens

    Tanya Stephens


    This just really breaks my heart. These poor dogs (and cats) are NOT food!!! They are companions to millions, service animals, rescue animals and all around caring/feeling animals!!! This has got to stop!!!!

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