Olympic skier, queer icon, heartthrob, and man you'd love to bring home to mom Gus Kenworthy has been in PyeongChang, South Korea, to compete in the Winter Olympic Games.
On Friday, Kenworthy went to a local dog farm and tweeted about the experience:
The number of dog farms he references is in line with the Humane Society International's estimate.
A December 2017 article states:
At the Namyangju farm, dogs including golden retrievers, spaniels, beagles, greyhounds as well as Korean jindos and mastiffs, were being kept in filthy and deprived conditions, spending their whole lives in rows of barren wire cages, exposed to the elements and with no veterinary care whatsoever. HSI found many of the dogs suffering from eye infections, skin disease, as well as painful leg and paw sores from endless days of standing and sitting on thin wire mesh. Their fate would have been to be killed by electrocution at the local market or slaughterhouse and made into a spicy soup called bosintang, but instead they’ve been saved by HSI as part of the charity’s campaign to see an end to the brutal dog meat trade.
They go on to explain that despite the size of the industry, dog farming is extremely controversial, even within South Korea, and most don't eat dog meat. Even the current South Korean President, Moon Jae-In, owns a dog that was rescued from one of these farms.
Some people pointed out that these factory farming conditions are nothing new:
This is neo-colonialism at its finest. Just because you like dogs doesn't make eating pigs/cows/chicken etc any more moral. Especially when they are treated in equally barbaric ways.— Selah (@GOATnetsova) February 23, 2018
great so now you're going to protest the appalling farming conditions in America too right? or are you only going to take the moral high ground when it comes to Eastern countries?— Abby (@goabby19) February 23, 2018
There are animals living like this IN America and the majority of Americans eat them. Let’s fix water our own grass first.— lexx🐝🌻 (@lexxbeelexx) February 23, 2018
Which quickly got this response from Kenworthy:
Just b/c 10 things are wrong doesn't mean working to solve 1 issue is bad b/c it leaves 9 other problems. It's still positive change. The number of 🐷🐄🐓 raised for food in the US is over 150bill a year. Yes, that DOES need to change but it's a MUCH bigger change to make happen. https://t.co/RkF6K9AOTO— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) February 23, 2018
The problem w/ the dogs here in Korea is much more manageable and there are plenty of people in the world who would happily take care of these dogs and show them the love they so desperately deserve.— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) February 23, 2018
Others jumped in to defend Kenworthy:
i wish the statements ”it’s not my place to impose western ideals” & “culture should never be a scapegoat for cruelty” would make their way into our govt’s vocabulary.— sebi bieber (@_sebz) February 23, 2018
it’s much easier to get a message across when it’s not buried by blame passing/accusations cc: @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/RT2S7X9ENp
Why can't he bring attention to an issue without bringing attention to all the others? He's using his voice to call out people who torture dogs after he visited a dog meat farm. Why is that a bad thing?— Viviana Siciliana 🌊🇺🇸🌊 (@Viviana_Diacesa) February 23, 2018
And Jake Steiner, a journalist for AP Sports, told us that Kenworthy was considering rescuing one of the pups: