Another year, another dog meat festival in Yulin, China, in conjunction with the summer solstice. Around 10-15 thousand dogs and cats are tortured and killed during the festival alone, with an estimated 10-20 million dogs slaughtered for meat in China every year. And while China have banned the sale of dog meat, which will come into force a week before the festival, there is no official ban of the actual event which began last Friday, 21st June.
Since the festival began in 2010, by dog meat sellers to boost trade, activists and animal lovers all around the word have called for the festival to be banned. Whilst the scope of the festival has been partially reduced, the actual banning has failed time and time again to pass Congress.
The festival itself is largely illegal due to the immense cruelty induced on thousands of dogs, many of which are stolen pets. Whilst eating dog meat has always been a custom for China, Yulin is also a public health risk too, due to many strays, who may be carrying disease, also being used for meat.
The cruelty involved in the festival is heartbreaking, the animals are very much conscious throughout the whole process. They are transported in small cages and watch others die before their own ordeal even begins. This is due to it being widely believed that the more adrenaline rich the meat is, the better the taste. So the more pain and fear inflicted to these defenceless sentient beings, the tastier the meat. There is nothing, and there never will be anything, humane about this.
Everything about this event disgusts me, personally I am against eating meat, but that is besides the point. The sadism involved in the festival blows my mind, I cant believe something so barbaric can take place, no matter the culture or belief. Suggesting the event is tradition can’t be true either, as a lot of Chinese citizens also oppose the event.
So how can we end this horrific festival? In order to put pressure on Chinese officials to ban this event, supporting organisations making a stand against the event, as well as spreading the message and signing petitions can all help.
We have the power to make a stand and be a voice for the voiceless. Change will come the more we work together and take action. It’s easy to turn a blind eye and pretend this isn’t happening, particularly due to the fact that it is not happening locally to us. But the fact is, it is happening and we have the power to do something about it.