Lisa Vanderpump and husband Ken Todd have drawn the line on the heinous Chinese practice of dog slaughter.
Vanderpump, having owned 26 restaurants, bars, and clubs in Los Angeles and London, is best known for her appearances on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Vanderpump Rules, and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
Vanderpump and Todd were deeply upset by images and videos of dogs being tortured and beaten in preparation for the annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival, a practice that has stirred international uproar for years.
The images captured at the festival in Guangxi, southern China shows dogs jammed into overcrowded cages, beaten, and their legs hacked off, boiled and skinned while still alive. Some 10,000 dogs are tortured, slaughtered, and eaten each year in a practice that would seem unreal in 21st century Western society.
The owner of eight dogs, Lisa Vanderpump told Daily Mail Online that someone had sent her pictures of the festival on social media.
“I just couldn’t believe it. They were just so barbaric, it was so upsetting. I thought if we turned away we’re almost condoning it.”
The celebrity restaurateurs set up Vanderpump Dog Foundation at the end of March. The foundation intends to “provide for a more humane world for companion animals through both domestic and international campaigns.”
— VanderpumpDogs (@VanderpumpDogs) April 1, 2016
On Monday, a coalition of animal rights groups told ABC News that they will push for legislation to ban the festival and elicit help from the media to help outlaw the slaughter of dogs and cats and the consumption of their meat.
Director of the VShine Animal Protection Association, Yu Hongmei, told ABC that China needs to follow the example of developed nations that have banned eating dogs and cats.
“China needs to progress with the times. Preventing cruelty to animals is the sign of a mature, civilized society.”
Some of the dogs are trucked hundreds of miles in overcrowded cages without food or water. Some of them are still wearing collars, proving that they were stolen. Dogs are beaten to death in front of the ones still living to elicit fear and pain in the belief that the adrenaline created will make the meat tastier. Peter J. Li, Humane Society International’s China policy specialist, said that the torture went beyond physical.
“Psychologically and mentally, they have already died many times.”
— Humane Society Int’l (@HSIGlobal) April 3, 2016
Lisa Vanderpump said that the Chinese believe eating the meat of dogs that have been tortured will lead to sexual virility.
“They believe it increases the virility of a man if he eats the dog that’s been tortured. They believe that the torture stimulates the adrenaline which then tenderizes the meat – it’s the most barbaric thing. It’s so upsetting we shed so many tears over it.”
Lisa organized a successful march against the festival through Los Angeles to the Chinese Consulate last October.
Her friend, Sharon Osbourne, agreed to film a public service announcement to raise awareness of the festival.
“…We’re also trying to set up a rescue center in Yulin, China so we can rescue dogs from the festival and then feed them, nurture them and place them in homes. That’s our aim.”
Vanderpump and Osbourne join a growing movement to put a stop to the slaughter of dogs in Asia. There have been rescue efforts to lift dogs out of situations. The Inquisitr last month shared the story of Chi Chi, a golden retriever who was found in a garbage bag with her paws cut off. Her legs were rotting so the meat was declared unfit for human consumption, and the dog was disposed of while still alive. She was rescued, given prosthetic feet, and is living with a family in Phoenix.
Lisa said the primary goal is to prevent this year’s festival, which is scheduled for June 21.
“I want to do something about it. I want it on my epitaph that I was instrumental in stopping this heinous annual event.”
Vanderpump has set up a petition site for people to sign to protest the festival.
“We need people to sign up and this is a country of real dog lovers – the same as England – and I think if people just give us two minutes of their time to support that maybe we can make a difference.”
[Image via Helga Esteb/Shutterstock]