S1 E1: Marc Ching: On His Time in Asia’s Dog Slaughterhouses
Marc Ching has all of the makings of a superhero. He is the founder of the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, which is an organization that’s dedicated to rescuing abused and neglected animals. In 2015 he expanded that outreach to include rescuing dog from the horrific Asian dog meat trade - where it’s estimated that 30 million dogs a year are killed for their meat. What makes it especially horrific though, is that many of those dogs are brutally tortured first. Between 2015, when he first he learned of the trade and 2018, Marc has made close to twenty trips going undercover into multiple dog slaughterhouses. When he’s been inside, posed as a wealthy meat buyer, he has filmed hundreds of videos that show some of the worst things that human beings are capable of: dogs being nail gunned to walls, being beaten with lead pipes and bats, being blowtorched, having their limbs chopped off while they bleed out, all while the dogs are fully conscious and alive. This is done because of the myth that dogs that die in terror and agony taste better.
I think that until Marc started risking his life to go inside and make these videos, very few people in the US at least had any idea that the dog meat trade even existed and far fewer knew of the torture that often goes hand and hand within it.
Marc is a huge hero of mine but I would guess that he’s a huge hero of anyone who has ever met him. He’s tough, he’s brave, he’s relentless, and he is as compassionate as they come. He is one of those people who - the minute that he heard about something terrible happening jumped on a plane, and then he figured out how he could help. He hasn’t stopped helping since, not only with dogs from the meat trade but also in the US, taking on some of the hardest rescue and abuse cases there are, running clinics and doing rescue in Mexico, and working on legislation and changing laws to give the animals here better lives.
I interviewed Marc right after one of these trips. He’d just returned from China, Cambodia, and South Korea. Our conversation will give you some insight as to what he’s faced, what these dogs go through and just how incredibly difficult the work he’s done and is doing is.
Just a warning, some of what we discuss is tough to hear: details on some of what he’s seen, filmed and bared witness to inside the slaughterhouses. I think our minds often want to skip through the terrible parts because it’s so hard to hear about, but I also think that’s part of our responsibility as humans on this planet, to bear witness to see or hear about what we are doing to other species. If Marc can be in it, and see it first hand and film it and if these animals have to actually endure it, then I think that the least we can do is allow ourselves to hear about it, to become aware of it.