The Stop It 2017 festival held on July 9th at Seoul Plaza in front of Seoul City Hall was a roaring success, despite the occasional downpour.
The event was hosted by CARE, the Korean Animal Welfare Association, and Animal Related Organizations Association. It was attended by 40 other organizations, including animal protection and environmental organizations, veterinary associations, and political parties.
Representing the Korean Veterinary Association, the Korean Feline Veterinary Association, and the Seoul Veterinary Association respectively, were their presidents, Ok Yeong Kim, Jae Yeong Kim, and Yeong Min Chae.
Representing the Democratic Party of Korea were Jeong Ae Han and Han Jeong Kim, and representing the Justice Party was Jeong Mi Lee, showing that animal welfare in South Korea is an important non-partisan issue.
The festival was MC’d by the singer, Da Hae Bae.
Something for everyone at the festival
There were exhibitions illustrating the reality of the dog meat industry. On display were cages from dog meat farms, pictures from undercover investigations, and you could take a virtual reality tour of a dog meat farm.
There was face painting, citizens calligraphy, and a flash mob-style recreation of the Independence Movement of March 1st, 1919.
There was also a street parade with a marching band, and a protest march of more than 1,000 people from Seoul Plaza to Cheongye Stream Plaza, along Namdaemun Road and back to Seoul Plaza. The marchers called on citizens to join them, calling for a ban on dog meat, respect for all life, and the strengthening of animal protection laws.
Due to the success of this first Stop It anti-dog-meat festival, So-yeon Park called upon the animal rights groups in attendance to form a coalition and work together to campaign for the banning of dog meat in South Korea, and to make the Stop It festival an annual event until that goal is achieved.