In the same op-ed, Basinger wrote about her visit to South Korea in 2019, where she protested against the inhumane treatment of dogs and their sale in the country’s meat industry.
She thanked the President of South Korea, Yoon Suk-yeol, who doubled as an animal lover, for speaking up against the meat trade. The president boasts of four dogs and three cats living in the home, which he shares with his wife.
Read on to learn more about the op-ed.
Kim Basinger Says ‘The World Is Watching’
The American actress, Basinger, wrote an op-ed as per Newsweek, that explored the dog meat industry in South Korea and called for a ban on it.
“Korea was and still is the only country in the world that purposely raises dogs for meat consumption,” Basinger began in her op-ed. “Yes, Indonesia, China, and Vietnam also have dog meat trades, but none have large-scale dog breeding farms.”
She continued, “South Korea is a very beautiful and progressive country and based on my last visit and the many conversations I have had, I believe as a people, Koreans no longer want to be recognized as the only country in the world that raises dogs for human consumption.”
Opinion polls held in 2020 showed that 84 percent of Koreans weren’t consumers of dog meat, and about 60 percent also agreed with the idea of a ban.
South Korea Has Grown To Become ‘Progressive And Successful’
According to Newsweek, Basinger acknowledged that while Korea used to be one of the poorest countries, it has evolved into one of the richest in the world.
“Korea has always been a leader in fashion, beauty, film, television, music, and cuisine,” she went on. “Since the last time I was there, BTS consolidated its place as the biggest band on the planet, Squid Game the most watched series on Netflix, and Park Chan-wook, the best director at Cannes.”
While Korea has grown to be great, progressive, and successful by many metrics, Basinger shared that “the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
“A light has been shining on South Korea for a long time. The timing could not be better for Korea to take this step and become an example for every other country on the planet—that letting go of past traditions in the name of humanity and compassion gives a nation strength, not weakness.”
Kim Basinger Understands That Eating Dogs In Korea Is A Cultural Issue
While speaking against the trade of dog meat in her op-ed, she acknowledged that she might be trespassing and condemning another culture.
“I understand and am truly sensitive to the fact that this is a cultural issue,” she wrote. “Koreans have eaten dog meat for a long time, and due to the importance of cows in farming, traditionally the Korean people considered cows, rather than dogs, to be man’s best friend.”
Basinger further stated that activist groups such as the Last Chance for Animals (LCA) and Animal Liberation Wave (ALW) would also be raising awareness around the time during the summer when dog meat sales and ingestion were at an all-time high.
“Their point will not be to judge the Korean culture; it is quite the opposite,” Basinger explained of the activist groups. “Instead, ALW and LCA efforts this year will highlight the rising animal rights movement in Korea that is leading to monumental change.”
Kim Basinger Says Dog Meat Ban In South Korea Is Unifying People
As reported by Newsweek, Basinger also explained that the ban on the dog meat trade appeared to unite people from all political fronts.
“Liberals and conservatives in Korea, alike, seem to agree, and each day there is growing public support to ban the dog meat trade. It is time for Korea to finally make the great transition.”
She also stated that she hoped to be able to make another trip to South Korea to support the president’s resolve on the trade of dog meat.
“I want to meet with them to thank them and tell them they are not alone. The world is watching. Perhaps the country that now produces many of the best music, movies, and tv shows, will also prove to be the best in its treatment of animals,” Basinger concluded.
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