As a food source

Dog meat is consumed in some East Asian countries, including Korea, China, and Vietnam, a practice that dates back to antiquity.[69] It is estimated that 13–16 million dogs are killed and consumed in Asia every year.[70] The BBC claims that, in 1999, more than 6,000 restaurants served soups made from dog meat in South Korea.[71] In Korea, the primary dog breed raised for meat, the nureongi (?), differs from those breeds raised for pets that Koreans may keep in their homes.[72] The most popular Korean dog dish is gaejang-guk (also called bosintang), a spicy stew meant to balance the body's heat during the summer months; followers of the custom claim this is done to ensure good health by balancing one's gi, or vital energy of the body. A 19th century version of gaejang-guk explains that the dish is prepared by boiling dog meat with scallions and chili powder. Variations of the dish contain chicken and bamboo shoots. While the dishes are still popular in Korea with a segment of the population, dog is not as widely consumed as beef, chicken, and pork.[73] Other cultures, such as Polynesia and pre-Columbian Mexico, also consumed dog meat in their history. However, Western, South Asian, African, and Middle Eastern cultures, in general, regard consumption of dog meat as taboo. In some places, however, such as in rural areas of Poland, dog fat is believed to have medicinal properties—being good for the lungs for instance.[74] A CNN report in China dated March 2010 interviews a dog meat vendor who states that most of the dogs that are available for selling to restaurant are raised in special farms but that there is always a chance that a sold dog is someone's lost pet, although dog pet breeds are not considered edible.[75] Dog meat is also consumed in some parts of Switzerland. Boshintang (?; ?), or Gaejangguk (?, -?-) is a Korean soup that includes dog meat as its primary ingredient.[1] The soup has been claimed to provide increased virility.[2] The meat is boiled with vegetables such as green onions, perilla leaves, and dandelions, and spices such as Doenjang (), Gochujang (?), and perilla seed powder.[3] It is seasoned with Agastache rugosa before eating. The dish, one of the most common Korean foods made from dog meat, has a long history in Korean culture, but has in recent yea

s been criticized both inside and outside Korea due to concerns about animal rights and sanitation. The consumption of dog meat can be traced back to antiquity. Dog bones were excavated in a neolithic settlement in Changnyeong (), South Gyeongsang Province. A wall painting in the Goguryeo tombs complex (? ?; ? ?) in South Hwangghae Province, a UNESCO World Heritage site which dates from 4th century AD, depicts a slaughtered dog in a storehouse (Ahn, 2000).[4] Approximately in 1816, Jeong Hak Yu (?; ?), the second son of Jeong Yak-yong (?; ?), a prominent politician and scholar of Choseon dynasty at the time, wrote a poem called Nongawollyeonga (?; ?). This poem, an important source of Korean folk history, describes what ordinary Korean farmer families did in each month of a year. In the description of August, the poem tells of a married woman visiting her birth parents with boiled dog meat, rice cake, and rice wine, thus showing the popularity of dog meat at the time (Ahn, 2000; Seo, 2002). In Dongguk Seshigi (?; ?), a book written by a Korean scholar Hong Suk Mo (?; ?) in 1849, contains a recipe of Boshintang including a boiled dog and green onion.[4] A common misconception is that Boshintang (and dog meat in general) is outright illegal in South Korea, this is not quite true. It is not classified as a livestock (under the Livestock Sanitation Management Act[5] - livestock covered are cattle, horse, sheep, pig, chicken, duck, deer, rabbit, turkey, geese, quail, pheasant and donkey[6]), which some have taken to indicate its illegality, but it simply means it is unregulated except by the more general Food Sanitation Law. As such, restaurants serving Boshintang are subject to regular inspection by city food hygiene inspections (including testing of the dog meat for contaminants), as are all other restaurants. The conditions of the raising and of the slaughtering of the animals are not subject to inspection, unlike the above regulated livestock. Dog meat (of which Boshintang is one of the most commonly served dishes) is still regularly consumed and can be found easily at many restaurants across South Korea. In 2006 it was, in fact, the 4th most commonly consumed meat in South Korea, after beef, chicken and pork (an industry value of 1.4 trillion won).