The freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy might go down in the history books as an Olympic-medal winning athlete, but that definitely isn’t the only accomplishment he should be praised for.
Right now, he’s heavily preparing for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
After the last Winter Olympics, though, he came home with something far more valuable than a medal.
Gus Kenworthy competed in the 2014 Olympics in Russia and brought the silver medal to the United States with his great performance. Four years later, he decided to show his skiing skills at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Although the experience was great and the country definitely beautiful, there were also parts of his trip that absolutely broke his heart.
He witnessed horrible animal abuse at a dog meat farm, and it was absolutely heart-wrenching for the animal lover.
Dog meat for human consumption isn’t uncommon in some parts of the country, and it’s estimated that there are currently more than 17,000 dog farms in South-Korea, housing over 2.5 million dogs who are bred purely for food.
While eating dogs is something that the majority of the world doesn’t agree on, Gus also feels like it isn’t his place to judge a country’s culture.
However, the way animals are being treated for it, is a completely different story.
“This morning Matt and I had a heart-wrenching visit to one of the 17,000 dog farms here in South Korea. Across the country, there are 2.5 million dogs being raised for food in some of the most disturbing conditions imaginable. Yes, there is an argument to be made that eating dogs is a part of Korean culture. And, while I don’t personally agree with it, I do agree that it’s not my place to impose western ideals on the people here. The way these animals are being treated, however, is completely inhumane and culture should never be a scapegoat for cruelty,” he posted on Instagram along with a saved puppy and his boyfriend Matt.
They visited one of the farms in the city which, apparently, was one of the ‘better’ farms out there. However, the way these animals were treated was just heartbreaking.
The ‘caretakers’ physically abused them regularly and you could tell that they were absolutely malnourished. The poor dogs were also packed together in pens, barely having room to even walk around.
They weren’t even protected from the harsh weather conditions – and the climate over there can be quite extreme on both ends of the weather-spectrum.