Gus Kenworthy, an American freestyle skier who competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, accomplished an amazing feat while in South Korea. According to Unilad, Kenworthy worked with Humane Society International to convince a dog “rancher” to shut down his farm and part ways with the 90 dogs on his property who were facing a cruel fate.
Kenworthy took to Instagram during the games to educate his followers about the inhumane treatment of dogs who are considered to be livestock on the country’s dog meat farms. In a lengthy Instagram post, he described what he and his boyfriend, actor Matthew Wilkas, observed when they visited one of the thousands of dog farms in the country:
“This morning Matt and I had a heart-wrenching visit to one of the 17,000 dog farms here in South Korea. Across the country there are 2.5 million dogs being raised for food in some of the most disturbing conditions imaginable.”
Kenworthy described the cruel treatment the dogs are subjected to, including being physically abused, forced to live in tiny, wire-floored pens, and exposed to the elements, even when it is bitterly cold outdoors. He wrote, “When it comes time to put one down it is done so in front of the other dogs by means of electrocution sometimes taking up to 20 agonizing minutes.”
Kenworthy acknowledged that there is an argument that dog meat consumption is simply part of Korean culture, but he warned that culture should not be an excuse for cruelty – he stated:
“While I don’t personally agree with it, I do agree that it’s not my place to impose western ideals on the people here. The way these animals are being treated, however, is completely inhumane and culture should never be a scapegoat for cruelty.”
Thanks to the farmer seeing the “error of his ways” all of the dogs from the one particular farm are going to be brought to the United States and Canada. One of the puppies will even find her “fur-ever” home with Kenworthy. He wrote, “I adopted the sweet baby in the first pic (we named her Beemo) and she’ll be coming to the US to live with me as soon as she’s through with her vaccinations in a short couple of weeks. I cannot wait to give her the best life possible!”
Though Beemo and the other dogs from the farmer’s meat operation are now safe, Kenworthy reminded his followers that there are “still millions of dogs” who are still in need in South Korea. He wrote, “I’m hoping to use this visit as an opportunity to raise awareness to the inhumanity of the dog meat trade and the plight of dogs everywhere, including back home in the US where millions of dogs are in need of loving homes! Go to @hsiglobal‘s page to see how you can help. #dogsarefriendsnotfood#adoptdontshop ❤🐶”
(Photos via Instagram/@guskenworthy)
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