Gus Kenworthy may not have been able to replicate his Sochi success this year, as he finished 12th in the slopestyle final, but he once again endeared himself to dog-lovers worldwide. In 2014 he adopted several stray puppies before returning to the U.S. from Sochi and now he returns from PyeongChang with another adopted dog – this time saved from a South Korean dog meat farm.
It was last Saturday morning that Kenworthy visited a dog farm with his boyfriend. More than two million dogs are killed in Korea each year in order to feed the dog meat industry, according to Associated Press. Even though South Koreans themselves are more and more withdrawing from the practice, especially among the younger generations, dog farms are still a legal practice in the country, as well as in many other parts of Asia, much to the dismay of American and European tourists.
Gus isn’t the only one who’s working to save puppies from the dog eating farms of South Korea. Yahoo Sports’ Eric Adelson detailes, that there is a movement to save hundreds of dogs from the dog farms:
“With the Winter Games coming to a close, there’s a movement afoot here to rescue some canines that otherwise might be slaughtered for meat. An international organization devoted to protecting animals is looking to save hundreds of dogs by sending them to North America with flight volunteers.
The goal is to match each dog with a North America-bound traveler who is leaving after the Games. Then an adoption agency will meet the traveler in the U.S. or Canada and find the dog better care and a safe home.”
According to Kenworthy the treatment of the dogs is “completely inhumane.”
“There is an argument to be made that eating dogs is a part of Korean culture. And, 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,” Kenworthy wrote. “The way these animals are being treated, however, is completely inhumane and culture should never be a scapegoat for cruelty.”
Comments are flying in every direction in Twitter after Kenworthy’s tweet, with some people supporting him, others commenting that this is interfering with a foreign culture, and some asking why the same attitude isn’t deployed against the inhumane environment of cow and pig farms in the U.S. Whichever side if the fence we all fall, we should all at least be happy for the lucky puppy that Kenworthy saved!