Media outlets in North Korea have recently been producing several stories promoting dog meat as “stamina food” to encourage its citizens to eat more of the generally taboo dish.
Called “dangogi,” which literally means sweet meat, North Korean media highlighted its purported health benefits in a series of varied program features, reported Korea Times.
In a public broadcast last week, popular local radio program Tongil Voice recommended dog stew to its listeners as the “finest medicine.”
“There’s an old saying that even a slice of dangogi can be good medicine during the dog days,” it said. “It shows our people’s love for dangogi and that dangogi is the finest of all medicines, especially during the dog days when the weather is scorching.”
Another radio network, The Korean Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS), even launched a cooking show in which contestants in Pyongyang used dog meat to cook a variety of recipes.
“The contest showed a part of our excellent traditions and customs,” the KCBS proclaimed. “It also took place in a timely manner considering we’ve been improving our living and culinary culture in line with our goal of building a highly-civilized socialist state.”
Last month, television network The Korean Central Television (KCTV) reported on a dog meat restaurant in Pyongyang “being successful in making dog meat more unique.”
North Korean propaganda channel on Youtube DPRK Today recently proclaimed that dog meat is more nutritious than poultry, pork and beef. The report, which cited an encyclopedic text of medicine written around the 14th-19th century (Joseon Kingdom era), further stated that the meat is great for the digestive system. The report further suggested that the dog should be beaten to death and fur must be shaved before it is roasted.
Consumption of dog meat, while considered taboo in Western and other cultures, has continued to be part of the traditional and day-to-day cuisine of many other cultures.
At present, dog meat consumption is still prevalent in some parts of China, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Switzerland, remote parts of Europe, the Americas, and the African continent. In Asia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines have banned the slaughter of dogs for meat consumption.
Around 25 million dogs are consumed around the world annually, according to an estimate in 2014.