A new video released by animal protection organization Humane Society International (HSI) shows Simon Cowell's 'emotional first meeting' with a dog he helped rescue from a meat farm in South Korea.
The music mogul, who is believed to be following a plant-based diet, made a donation to HSI which was used to rescue more than 200 others from the dog meat trade.
The video shows Cowell meeting maltese-cross Robin during an interview with Good Morning Britain’s Philippa Tomson, who has traveled to South Korea twice with HSI to see its dog meat campaign in action.
'He'd be in someone's stomach'
Speaking to Tomson, Cowell said: "This is difficult for me … but it is important because without people like you, he’d basically be in someone’s stomach. Now you think about that, right?
"And dogs will give up their lives for you. They really would…and they’ll look after your kids, they put their lives in front of your kids. I’ve seen it with my dogs, and my dogs are tiny. So what you do is so important, bless you."
'An end to this brutal industry'
In a statement sent to Plant Based News, HSI’s Wendy Higgins, who was at the dog farm closure to rescue Robin, said: "Simon's generous donation helped us save Robin and all the dogs languishing on the meat farm. We found them in the most appalling conditions, stuck in barren, rusty wire cages, and many of them were really suffering.
"With every dog farm we close and every farmer we help switch to a more profitable, humane business, we’re demonstrating to the South Korean government that it’s possible to end this cruel trade. Most people in South Korea don’t eat dogs, and there are increasingly vocal calls in the country for an end to this brutal industry."
HSI adds that while dog meat is banned in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, and Singapore, 'an estimated 30 million dogs a year are still killed for meat in other parts of Asia, including in South Korea where around 2 million dogs a year are raised on thousands of farms across the country'. The organization has so far permanently closed down 16 dog meat farms and rescued more than 2,000 dogs, 30 of whom now live in the U.K.