I spent two months travelling around China in 2005 and was appalled by the way that all animals were treated in the land of the rising sun.
Fortunately, the Dog Meat and Lychees Festival held in Yulin in the Guangxi region was not in existence in 2005, but I saw live dogs in cages and even a cooked dog or two hung up at food stalls during my time on the road.
This barbaric festival which began in 2009 is celebrated annually in Yulin, during the summer solstice in June, by eating dog meat and lychees. Throughout the 10 days of festivities, dogs are paraded in wooden crates and metal cages and are taken to be slaughtered and cooked for consumption by festival participants.
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The Yulin residents defend their dog meat-eating ways, citing times during the Cultural Revolution in China when food was scarce. Citizens were advised by the Chinese government to either surrender their dogs or eat them in order to save feeding their pets or to provide a food source if needed.
While the number of dogs killed and eaten during the festival has significantly reduced over the years, this type of activity no longer belongs in our world.
Which is why I was hoping that the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China might be cancelled this year. Unfortunately, the festival is set to go ahead later this month, despite the Chinese Authorities no longer classifying dogs as livestock in some regions as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
While this is a big step forward in the fight against Chinese animal cruelty, even the coronavirus can’t stop the exploitation and abuse of dogs at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. We can only hope that the new laws that have been passed by the government will eventually filter down to the outer regions and the consumption of dog meat will no longer continue.
If you want to help save dogs from a terrible death at the festival, there are many groups, both online and in cities around the world, that protest the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. Indeed, there are many online petitions that you can sign to help the plight of the poor dogs of China.
Always remember, if you are disgusted by the killing of our furry friends yet still eat meat, consider going vegan. All animals deserve to live free of abuse, torture and death.
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We are all quick to judge China, but we are no different in the West. We hide our appalling abuse of animals, paying people in the slaughterhouses to do our killing instead.
Go vegan. For the planet. For the animals. For your health. You know it makes sense.
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(c) Samantha Wilson 2020. All Rights Reserved.