News Stories

The Agony of the Dogs

Dogs are not only considered a delicacy in Vietnam, they are slaughtered with intentional cruelty because the adrenaline this produces in the suffering animal improves the flavor. Dogs are also rare in Vietnam and must be smuggled in from other countries in an illegal trade that activists in Thailand are trying hard to stop. This is because the country where most of the smuggling originates is Thailand. Pet dogs provide the best meat and, because of their love of man, are easiest to handle. Activists believe that 98% of the animals involved are stolen pets.

The dogs are jammed into wire baskets where they often spend days packed together so tightly that they cannot move. They are smuggled from northeast Thailand across the Mekong River to restaurants in Vietnam. When they arrive, they are slaughtered in front of each other, so that the animals will experience maximum fear and the meat will obtain the greatest flavor. Animal rights activists believe that as many as 200,000 dogs are smuggled along this route ever year.

Dog smuggling is only one of many 'cruelty trades' in Asia, but it is probably the most cruel. The others involve things like whale hunting by the Japanese and the smuggling of ivory and Rhino horn from Africa by the Chinese. These three trades are decimating endangered species, but only dog smuggling is cruel enough to use the dog's innate trust of man as a weapon against him.

How can we help stop this monstrous trade? The Soi Dog Foundation of Phuket is Thailand's leading advocate for the animals. To go to their website, click here. To join Whitley and Anne Strieber in sponsoring their work, click here.

Thanks to CNN for their recent coverage of this problem. To read their story, click here.

Read Anne Strieber's moving Diary, 'the Miracle of Dog as God' about the miracle she an Whitley recently experienced involving dogs. Learn about the deep spiritual significance of the dog in Whitley Strieber's Journal entry, the Dog God and the Future of Man.

Not an Unknowncountry subscriber? If had not been for the support of our subscribers, you would never have read this important story. To explore our options, click here.


Gut wrenching. (killed my happy mood feeling the suffering literally in my gut). Prayers, prayers, prayers for ALL living creatures.

Geezzz.... I always feel like checking the date on these type of stories just to make sure it's 2013 AD not BC. Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention Whitley & Anne. I'll do my small bitpart in helping but it's hard to fathom how such cruelty exists in today's world.

I think more results could be gathered by implementing some sort of political/policy response from the US Gov't... on second thought moving anything through the DC bureaucracy is almost impossible.

This is sad. Kind of thing makes me ashamed to be human. I think there is something wrong with the culture of the countries where this is going on. Every culture has its issues ... animal disregard and outright cruelty seem to be a huge problem in these regions. I hate to say it but its true.

I seriously can not stand living here anymore. Is there nothing that these wretched people will not eat?
I side with all the mistreated and suffering.

that is disgusting. Something is WRONG with those people. Granted, we did subject them to a horrific war and people do act out their traumas on others/other species - BUT - this sounds like it goes back from long before the war, who the heck would know adrenaline "improves the flavor"??? Is that also true with our cows and pigs and chickens - because I'm not a vegan (yet) but I think about it, a lot... Then yes, all the idiotic myths about tiger penis and rhino horn and so forth... I'm not a fan of big pharma, but for crying out loud, get them some viagra, leave the animals alone.

This article made me weep. This practice is . . . evil.

I will point out, however, that the animal welfare movement is relatively young,
having originated in Great Britain during the 19th century. Numerous cruel practices involving animals flourished at that time across Europe and in the U.S., practices that in the West are now condemned, if not universally, at least overwhelmingly. But many abuses still occur in the West, including the crueltiies of factory farming. (I eat commercial meat. With guilt.)

A hundred years ago, perhaps even a few decades ago, there would have been no activists in Thailand trying to shut down the dog smuggling. There would have been no activists in Egypt, trying to get prosecuted a pair of young men who filmed themselves throwing a puppy off a high building onto the concrete below. There would have been no activists trying to shut down whaling.

Humanity evolves. Slowly.

Being a life-long dog lover, I am utterly sickened by this story, and deeply shaken. But that being said, I have to wonder how much of this is my cultural bias. The cow is sacred to many cultures, yet I don't bat an eye about consuming them. The pig is on the opposite end of sacred for many, and I eat them, too. And some of the industrial farming methods for chickens are simply obscene. Yet I'm very happy to eat them on a regular basis. Though my gut reaction is to fight to stop this terrible and cruel trade in dogs, do I have any more right to do so than someone who deeply loves cows has to shut down my favorite burger place? Moreso, are we willing to accept a trade in dog meat that is more ethical? I don't have an answer here, just want to spur some thought.

Absolutely sickening when you think about the people who can - day after day - throw live dogs in wire baskets, knowing they will suffer for days. Not minutes, not a few seconds, but DAYS. Un - f*#*#*#ing believable!!! This is psychopathic behaviour. Yes, species hunt and kill, but watch any NatGeo doc showing a lion take down a gazelle. It is swift and efficient.
As far as I know, no other species, aside from Man(un)kind is capable of torturing its prey.
For those of us who want to do our part, taking any step forward is positive. Buy organic and local as much as possible. Know the source of your food - as much as possible. Go vegetarian one, then two, then maybe 3 or 4 days a week.

A wonderful (and depressing) documentary about shark finning:
http://www.sharkwater.com/

But I agree with some of the above comments - we are evolving....slowly.....it seems.
Movies like "Sharkwater" do offer glimmers of hope. When the general population is made aware of these crimes, they rally, sign petitions and change their own habits. Onward and upward!

I just made a donation to Soi Dog. Every little bit helps :)

welcome to my world...it moved me to be an activist and veg 30 years ago - admittedly, it took me a while but vegan for the last few months. I'm moved to fill you in on what really goes on but to be very honest, you get too tired from working in the field to go over it again. Be assured though that awareness has risen with the Internet whether it's about skinning dogs alive in Asia, setting bulls on fire in Spain, stopping renegade countries from illegal whaling, not to forget many of the cruel practices in the USA...on and on. I like to think the growing concern for other earthlings is part of our evolving and there is hope.

Anyone who engages in this sort of cruelty needs to die a slow and horrible death. I have no mercy for people who do this to innocent animals.

Every piece of meat you eat now was an animal that was treated in much the same way. There is a myth of "humane meat" running around that makes one think their steak or bacon was once a happy cow or a frolicking pig, but it's just not true. If you're concerned about these dog's suffering then do consider going vegan for the animals you choose to think of as food and not friend.

It is true about all our food animals as well. You'll find every culture has five or six animals it thinks of as food and it varies from place to place. You won't regret going vegan once you get into the swing of it. If anything, I realized all the amazing cuisines and foods I was missing out on. Cheers.

Kudos to you. Vegans go all the way, heh.

everyone here is a caring&thinking human being with their heart in the right place but-stop saying this pains you&you might go vegetarian/vegan-just fucking do it! stop the suffering on your end now! the animals you eat aren't as cute&cuddly as dogs&cats but-they'''re killed/tortured in a way that has them filled with terror all the way to the end&the way they experience their lives(&deaths)is as profoundly&deeply as you experience yours-anyone who says they"need"meat in their diet is full of shit-check out "diet for a new america" it is all scientific fact-not opinion-like some peoples "diet" books are-there has been so much advancement as far as vegetarian/vegan/raw options&dietary research that there is no excuse-when i went veg in the 80s there were alot less choices but-it still wasn't all that hard-please people make this a part of your journey here-you don't need to take lives to feel full

everyone here is a caring&thinking human being with their heart in the right place but-stop saying this pains you&you might go vegetarian/vegan-just fucking do it! stop the suffering on your end now! the animals you eat aren't as cute&cuddly as dogs&cats but-they'''re killed/tortured in a way that has them filled with terror all the way to the end&the way they experience their lives(&deaths)is as profoundly&deeply as you experience yours-anyone who says they"need"meat in their diet is full of shit-check out "diet for a new america" it is all scientific fact-not opinion-like some peoples "diet" books are-there has been so much advancement as far as vegetarian/vegan/raw options&dietary research that there is no excuse-when i went veg in the 80s there were alot less choices but-it still wasn't all that hard-please people make this a part of your journey here-you don't need to take lives to feel full

everyone here is a caring&thinking human being with their heart in the right place but-stop saying this pains you&you might go vegetarian/vegan-just fucking do it! stop the suffering on your end now! the animals you eat aren't as cute&cuddly as dogs&cats but-they'''re killed/tortured in a way that has them filled with terror all the way to the end&the way they experience their lives(&deaths)is as profoundly&deeply as you experience yours-anyone who says they"need"meat in their diet is full of shit-check out "diet for a new america" it is all scientific fact-not opinion-like some peoples "diet" books are-there has been so much advancement as far as vegetarian/vegan/raw options&dietary research that there is no excuse-when i went veg in the 80s there were alot less choices but-it still wasn't all that hard-please people make this a part of your journey here-you don't need to take lives to feel full

everyone here is a caring&thinking human being with their heart in the right place but-stop saying this pains you&you might go vegetarian/vegan-just fucking do it! stop the suffering on your end now! the animals you eat aren't as cute&cuddly as dogs&cats but-they'''re killed/tortured in a way that has them filled with terror all the way to the end&the way they experience their lives(&deaths)is as profoundly&deeply as you experience yours-anyone who says they"need"meat in their diet is full of shit-check out "diet for a new america" it is all scientific fact-not opinion-like some peoples "diet" books are-there has been so much advancement as far as vegetarian/vegan/raw options&dietary research that there is no excuse-when i went veg in the 80s there were alot less choices but-it still wasn't all that hard-please people make this a part of your journey here-you don't need to take lives to feel full

everyone here is a caring&thinking human being with their heart in the right place but-stop saying this pains you&you might go vegetarian/vegan-just fucking do it! stop the suffering on your end now! the animals you eat aren't as cute&cuddly as dogs&cats but-they'''re killed/tortured in a way that has them filled with terror all the way to the end&the way they experience their lives(&deaths)is as profoundly&deeply as you experience yours-anyone who says they"need"meat in their diet is full of shit-check out "diet for a new america" it is all scientific fact-not opinion-like some peoples "diet" books are-there has been so much advancement as far as vegetarian/vegan/raw options&dietary research that there is no excuse-when i went veg in the 80s there were alot less choices but-it still wasn't all that hard-please people make this a part of your journey here-you don't need to take lives to feel full

Barbaric and outrageous.

The people at Soi Dog Rescue are doing great work in a country where I thought little good would happen for any animal. I'm glad to see I was wrong. However, we need to clean up our act in this country. The outrageous AG-GAG laws that have been passed in a number of states are outrageous - prosecuting whistleblowers who document abusers and cruelty on factory farms, slaughter houses, etc. instead of the lawbreakers. Welcome to the Corporate States of America.

What can I personally do to stop things like this from happening?

I'm surprised that the left hasn't started screaming in disgust about the need for acceptance of cultural relevatism over issues such as this. Of course though, whatever goes on in other countries, such as this abhorrant practice, seems to be conveniently ignored by lefties.

It's far easier to continue to scream "Nazi.!!" and "Fascist..!" at a hard working middle class white European than actually do something about such animal cruelty. Such barbarism abroad will continue with relish, (pardon the pun), until all people try harder to remain objective in their perception of this often brutal world.

I no longer give to charity, by the way. At best, 16-18% (on average) of most donations go to administration costs, helping to fund the lazy lifestyles of the ego-centric lovey-dovey lefties drawn to such 'careers'. Some charities are better than others, it has to be said.

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