Susan Song meant it when she told her fellow advocates, “We’re going to deliver our message to President Moon Jae-in face-to-face.”
After working full time on the anti-dog meat campaign for 14 months, Ms. Song, a New York-based animal rights activist, got her chance. President Moon Jae-in was scheduled to be in New York City for a week in September 2017 for the United Nations General Assembly, and she was determined to find him and make a plea to save the dogs and cats of South Korea.
She researched his schedule of public appearances so that she and her colleagues could position themselves in a spot where they would have the best chance to encounter him. She also bought a traditional Korean dress (hanbok) so that she would stand out in a crowd.
On President Moon’s very first day in town, Ms. Song got her chance. While standing in front of a hotel where President Moon was scheduled to speak, she saw a motorcade approaching and thought “This is it.” Seconds later, she saw the President in the third car. Gridlock traffic prevented the motorcade from moving ahead, so Ms. Song and her fellow activists had his undivided attention for almost two minutes.
“He saw my traditional Korean dress and smiled broadly, but the smile turned to sadness and empathy when we showed him our posters about the horrific Korean dog meat trade,” said Ms. Song. “I know his response was genuine not only because I saw the look in his eyes but also because he has two rescue dogs and a cat. He understands and cares about the plight of these poor animals, which is why I have no doubt that he will shut down the dog meat trade.”
In November, Ms. Song and her husband traveled to South Korea to meet with local activists, participate in protests, and discover what else she could do from the U.S. to assist in the effort to save the dogs and cats of South Korea.
To find out how you can help, please visit KoreanDogs.org