The Story of Cheonsa

This summer came just like every year. As the days get hotter, my heart gets more and more worried. Just like my heart races, I want to run somewhere far away. But I cannot. I also cannot sit, nor stand, because the leash around my throat is way too short.

Around me, the space is full of dogs just like me. The dog curled up next to me once had an owner and a home – but now we live in the same conditions.

We don’t have a name. We are alive, but we do not live. We are choking while waiting for our turn. All we do is waiting to “die like a dog” – we are awaiting a horrible, useless death.

The day came. We sense that quickly. We cry, and even though we know it will not be of much use – there is no way not to cry. We groan as we are wriggling our bodies.

The dog tied up in front of me gets dragged away. I do not want to see my fellow hanging on a tree. I do not want to hear my fellow’s last shriek. I wail with strange sounds. I try to wail loudly, so I do not have to hear my fellow’s last cry. But my cries cannot cover the scent of death. I am scared, very very scared, I’m so scared I cannot breathe.

The dog who was crying right next to me is getting dragged away and I hear that horrible shriek again. And again. And again. And now it’s my turn.

The string twisted around my neck gets pulled and I get lifted in the air. I twist and turn, but because of that, the string around my neck gets tighter. I cannot breathe. I think this is my end – but I hear something.

“Stop! I said stop! Please stop, please!”

The sound gets louder and louder.

“Ahjussi, how can those dogs die like this? It’s illegal!”

“What do I care? Go back where you came from!”

“Please let this dog down, okay?”

And like that, just as I was close to death, I get my breath back.

The story above is the story of a nameless dog, that almost got illegally slaughtered – and it is a real story, told from the point of few of the dog.

The dog was tied up on the tree – just right before her breath stopped, her rescuer walked by the place by accident. Thanks to that, her life is spared. The rescuer talked to the man for a long time, paid and bought the dog. Because the rescuer could not care for the dog, the dog was given away for adoption and got the name “Cheonsa”, which means Angel. Cheonsa’s treatment went well and she got healthy again. But the happiness lasted only for a short time. Because Cheonsa barked really loud, the neighbors were complaining a lot – so she had to be given away again.

Cheonsa’s rescuer really could not take care for her, but really wanted to help her. This person thought that if the barking problem is solved, she will be happy and live in a loving family. So Cheonsa got an operation on her vocal cords and was taken back. But it did not take long and she was given back again. Apparently, her loud barking was just an excuse and not the real reason for the terminated adoption.

We do not know if Cheonsa was born and raised in a dog farm, or if she was abandoned and captured. All we do know is that more than 5 million dogs get killed for food every year in South Korea, Cheonsa would have been one of them if it wasn’t for the rescuer, who saved her life.

It is still true, that in Korea, countless animals get killed for Boknal every year. When farming was still our key industry, it was considered that it is important to eat “health food” (meat) on the hottest days in summer (“Sam-Bok”) to gain energy for labor. But now time has changed and the whole farming industry is under 5%, but the belief, that you have to eat meat on these days is still spread through the country. On Boknal, especially dog meat is consumed. It is believed that dog meat is beneficial for the human body, even though there is no scientific proof for that. Countless dogs are dying in the name of ‘recovery of the vitality of the human.’

Animal rights organization CARE opposes dog eating and therefore teamed up with foreign artists for a “Draw my life” video. It shows the reality of a dog farm – it shows the life of a dog born in a dog farm. It shows his life, living in horrible conditions and eating waste – up to his horrible and pointless death.

The reason, why we oppose dog meat, is that because of its consumption the illegal industry continues to exist. We oppose it, because the dogs, who are raised and kept in those unhygienic and inhumane dog farms, die a horrible death full of pain. Those dogs are born and raised in a world full of pain and restlessness – just to keep us “healthy”?  Why should it be okay that they witness the deaths of their friends and then die a miserable death just for “beneficial nourishment”?

Cheonsa experienced horrible abuse from humans, Cheonsa was rescued right before she would have been slaughtered, Cheonsa got a vocal cords operation, Cheonsa’s adoption was terminated and now animal rights organization CARE is looking after her. Cheonsa got her voice removed by force so she could live with humans, but she still barks thankfully at humans, who care for her, with a hollow voice. Animals have feelings, too. Animals can feel pain, they feel fear, they feel joy, they feel love. But just because they are dogs, some do not experience happiness for a single second, from their birth until their death. That has to stop.

That’s why you should join us and let animals feel joy and love instead of pain and fear. Remember that, to keep your body healthy during the heat of the hottest days, you have to drink a lot of water and eat fresh fruits and vegetables and do not need meat.

For animals like Cheonsa, we ask you to help us build a Healing Shelter, to make those suffering animals happy and healthy again.


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