True, some South Koreans still eat dog meat.
True, Samsung is a South Korean company.
But, no, Samsung does not sell and distribute a washing machine-like device with spikes in which dogs — sometimes alive — are spun to remove their fur.
Snopes.com has labeled the rumor false.
A call to boycott the South Korean multinational conglomerate — featuring a photo of the alleged device — has been widely shared over the Internet.
“The device pictured in the graphic is real, but the accompanying description of it is inaccurate,” says Snopes. “This device is not manufactured or sold by Samsung, and it was not used to skin a live dog.”
Snopes reported the photograph used in the graphic was taken by Swiss documentary photographer Didier Ruef in South Korea in 2002, who noted the device was being used to eliminate the fur from an already-dead dog.
The machine resembles a commercially available device that is used to de-feather slaughtered chickens, but it was more likely a homemade version, Snopes said.
samsung2The graphic bouncing around the Internet shows the machine, and falsely describes it this way:
“These machines are manufactured by Samsung to ripped (sic) the hair off dogs while they are still alive in the machine as it spins!
“Samsung supplies these machines to vendors and dog meat traders. Not only is Samsung actively helping the barbaric practice of dog eating to continue but are also contributing to the suffering of thousands of dogs that are being tortured and killed, by being boiled, blow torched or skinned alive, the most horrific brutal methods possible by the dog meat butchers.
“Samsung does not care! Their interest is only in profit.”
How Samsung came to be pinpointed in the campaign, and who is behind it, are both unclear.
There are petitions online that encourage boycotts of Samsung and LG products.
But those aren’t aimed at those company’s products — only at encouraging those companies to use their influence to help end the practice.
Having visited and been sickened and appalled by the open air markets in South Korea where live dogs are butchered and sold for their meat, I’m all for calls to end the practice, and all for well-aimed boycotts.
But such calls need to be culturally respectful, and they need to be based on truth — which is plenty horrible enough — not manufactured facts and made up scapegoats.