On June 21 of every year, the Yulin dog meat festival is held in China. It is a very controversial festival as it features the brutal slaughter of thousands upon thousands of dogs. Cats are not safe, as hundreds of felines are also killed. For animal lovers and activists, the existence of a dog meat festival in the 21st century is unforgivable.
Celebrity Ricky Gervais spoke out about the Yulin dog meat festival recently, blasting the event organizers as “subhuman”.
“They steal people’s pets to torture and eat. What would you do to someone who you caught torturing your dog? I hope you’d stop them somehow.”
Although Ricky is one of a few celebrities that have spoken up recently in condemnation of the festival, action on an international level has been lacking. That is because many activists are waiting for Chinese legislators to ban outright the sale of dog meat, something that government officials seem reluctant to do.
One Chinese woman was determined to do what she could to save as many dogs as possible from a gruesome fate. A dog lover by the name of Yang Xiaoyun decided that rather than wait for changing laws, she would instead take matters into her own hands. Yang went to the festival in Yulin to do what she could to spare as many animals from being slaughtered as possible. According to ABS CBN (quoting AFP), the 65-year-old woman’s rescue mission involved a 1,500 mile journey.
Once there, Yang reportedly spent about $7,000 yuan and purchased approximately 100 dogs. The amount spent when converted to U.S. dollars varies. Some sources put the amount the woman spent at a little over $1,000; other reports claim the total is closer to $1,500.
— The Straits Times (@STcom) June 21, 2015
One thing is certain; these dogs made up a fortunate minority of animals spared from dying horribly during this Chinese festival. It’s estimated that this year alone saw at least 10,000 dogs and hundreds of cats killed during the Yulin dog meat festival.
For the animals that lived thanks to Yang Xiaoyun’s generosity, their future is meant to be much longer and certainly much brighter. Yang said that she will take the dogs to her animal shelter in Tianjin. There they will join thousands of other loved and well cared for dogs and cats.
She hopes that she can find loving homes for the rescued animals.
— CNN (@CNN) June 20, 2015
Although the Yulin Dog Meat Festival went on as planned, the changing social tide within China suggests that while a tradition, the festival has become increasingly unpopular with Chinese citizens in recent years.
Such a shift in thinking means that the Yulin Dog Meat Festival just might become a thing of the past after all. In the meantime, animal lovers can only hope that more persons with a love of dogs and deep pockets steps forward to perform similar rescues in the future.
[Image Credit: VICE YouTube]