When we open all of our senses to receive the messages from the larger world around us, we are able to transcend what we normally perceive as boundaries.
On the surface, cultural customs, religious practices, and political policies may divide us, but with unbridled receptivity, it is possible to even overcome differences in language.
Images, more than words, stir our emotions, and ignite us to do our part to stop the cruelty and find better, more compassionate solutions to the challenges we must confront and resolve.
To prove this point to myself, the first time I watched the YouTube video, Foot-and-mouth Disease – Pigs Buried Alive in Korea, I watched the Korean language version.
As unfamiliar symbols faded in and out from the black screen, my tension rose. I knew I would be able to understand the premise by watching the live footage…
Ruthlessly dumped into an open mass execution pit, the pigs cry endlessly. Eerily, snow begins to fall and screams drown out the soft falling flakes. More fleshy-pink pigs spill into the tomb. With less room to move, their agitation is amplified.
Among them, one black pig stands out as the heartbeat of this manmade colossus before it is extinguished.
Day turns to night; the depravity continues. The wailing pigs fill the grave in the distance; a human witness weeps.
Then I watched the English language version of the video to understand why this was happening.
“Since 2007, Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth has been investigating nationwide bird flu and foot-and-mouth disease live-burial fields,” says Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth Founder, So-Youn Park who gathered extensive evidence of the live burial on a farm near Yi Cheon in 2011.
As the graphic footage reached media outlets globally, Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth continued to ask for bans, but the numbers of animals buried continued to reach higher and higher into the millions.
During the same year, and into 2012, Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth also began investigating the reality of South Korean dog meat farms and dog meat trade, as So-Youn says, “Especially through corrupt shelters where the shelter runners sold rescued dogs to dog meat farms.”
“We’ve investigated approximately eighty-eight dog meat related places such as dog meat farms, slaughter houses, pet auctions, transports, and restaurants,” So-Youn says. “We’re planning to commence a long-term campaign this year.”
Diverse plans are underway to prepare an effective campaign. So-Youn states, “Animal protection awareness is also rising fast, so together it will make synergy.”
Meanwhile, Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth is also tackling the fur industry. According to So-Youn, “There are not many fur-animal farms in Korea, so it is hard to investigate.”
With no actual video on the cruelty of fur farms, Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth mainly uses foreign information; however, So-Youn adds, “Korea’s consumer rate of fur is high and still going up.”
Since fur comes into Korea from other countries, they have countered the influx by holding an annual all-faux-fur fashion show. “There are many fake fur manufacturers in Korea, who want to export to China. We will continue the fashion show yearly with these companies.”
“Mayor Park is one of the not too many politicians who think about animal rights,” So-Youn states referring specifically to Mayor Park’s implementation of Seoul’s Animal Protection Division.
“The fake-fur business could help the market,” So-Youn believes. “We hope to persuade Mayor Park to raise the export rate and make a world renowned fashion show which is positive and animal protective.”
So-Youn Park is one of the featured international speakers at the Anti-Fur Society Animal Rights Conference, May 31 to June 2, 2013, in Alexandria, Virginia.
Register for the Anti-Fur Society Animal Rights Conference, May 31 to June 2, 2013, at the Sheraton Suites in Old Town Alexandria, 801 N Saint Asaph Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.
Read the featured speaker biographies at the 2013 Anti-Fur Society Animal Rights Conference.
Follow Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth on Facebook.