Yulin Dog Meat Festival: Will The Horror Of This Annual Festival Of Savagery Ever End?
The annual carnage of China’s Yulin Dog Meat Festival awaits thousands of petrified animals in two weeks time, and despite the worldwide outcry at this spectacle of savagery, will this yearly horror ever be outlawed and finally put to a timely end?
Picture the scene. You’re exhausted with no fight left in either spirit or limb. You’re imprisoned in the most claustrophobic conditions, where your own hopelessness and paralyzing dread is reflected in the hollow eyes of the companions who share that same terrible fate as your own.
You’re surrounded on all sides by knife and club wielding monsters who lack all compassion and who see you as nothing more than meat.
Devoid of all empathy, these foul creatures are driven by only one desire. To torture you, to beat you, to burn you, to skin you alive, to make you suffer and know the sort of extreme fear which will scar you soul and shatter your mind. And why? So your flesh tastes better as they gorge greedily upon what mother nature gave you and they stole from you in such a barbaric fashion.
It may sound like an episode of The Walking Dead, but this is the grim reality which awaits thousands off dogs at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival which begins on June 21.
With each passing year, images of dogs being boiled alive, beaten and gutted in Yulin marketplaces have ignited the outrage of millions of people, who find the very idea of eating man’s best friend unsavory enough, let alone the poor conditions and terrible treatment the dogs suffer prior to their deaths.
Many of the dogs are pets who have been ripped from the loving homes of their families, and last year Ricky Gervais put his celebrity weight to work and called on his eight million plus Twitter followers to add their voices to the protest.
“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.
“They believe torturing the dog makes the meat tastier. They beat them, burn them, skin and boil them alive!”
After the Humane Society International (HSI) showed Gervais’ harrowing footage of what exactly happens to the poor dogs and cats stolen to be slaughtered at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, Gervais released a statement expressing how broken-hearted and haunted he was by the look of abject terror in the animal’s eyes.
“I will never forget the look of bewilderment and fear on the faces of these poor animals-the dogs and cats await a horrible fate. No animal deserves to be treated like this.”
No animal deserves it, but plenty of the poor creatures get it nevertheless, as the organizers of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival appear both deaf and imperious to the collective anger and upset of dog lovers worldwide.
The New York Times reported that a petition with more than 11 million signatures was presented to the Chinese Embassy in London last Tuesday, asking them to close down the festival which is a terrible stain on their country in the eyes of a watching world.Carrie Fisher, who attended the Chinese Embassy with her dog Garry, said that shutting the Yulin dog meat festival down should be easy.
“There is so much animal suffering in the world, and much of it you feel helpless to end. But stopping the Yulin dog meat festival and ending all that suffering is easy. All the Chinese authorities need to do is declare it shut down, and the killing stops. These poor dogs need us to fight for them. Every single one of them is as precious as my dear Gary, every one of them is someone’s best friend.”
Supporters of the Yulin Dog meat Festival defend their acts of cruelty as an expression of cultural heritage and argue that eating dogs is no different from eating cows or turkeys.
Yet, the festival is not an ancient tradition and it only began in 2010 as a way for dog meat traders to boost their profits. Tellingly, before the festival started, Yulin had no history of mass dog slaughter or consumption. And to this day, dog meat is only eaten by at most, 20 percent of the Chinese population.
Whatever your views on eating meat, it cannot be denied that dogs are carnivores. Cows and turkeys are not. Eating carnivores is not something mother nature ever put on the menu, mainly because it upsets the natural balance of things in a big way, as does the torturing and terrorizing of any animal just because it fits your primitive beliefs of what makes for a golden culinary experience.
Over thousands of years, humans have developed a relationship of deep trust, affection, and mutual respect with dogs. Their fierce loyalty and devoted companionship is a thing of great beauty and inspiration to millions, but the participants of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival are willing to break that bond and betray that trust just to fill their bellies and satisfy their murderous appetites.
Activists from China Animal Protection Power, set up with the help of Humane Society International, have saved some 500 dogs from trucks headed for slaughter in the last few weeks alone.
It’s reported that many of the dogs were pedigrees such as golden retrievers and huskies who still had their pet collars on.
The petition on the website of the Humane Society International calls for President Xi Jinping to end the festival and not let China’s global reputation be tarnished by such activities.
“You will clearly show your leadership in protecting the well-being of both people and animals, and demonstrate that China’s global reputation as a progressive nation will not be besmirched by such activities.”
The good news, if any can be had in regard to such matters, is that last month Representative Alcee L. Hastings, Democrat of Florida, introduced a resolution condemning the festival.
Hastings also urged China to enact laws banning animal cruelty.Additionally, the Yulin government is keen to distance itself from the festival, by not giving it official backing and pointing out that it is staged by private business people.
Fortunately, all the protests appear to be having some sort of effect. During the last three years, the dog meat industry in Yulin and in China as a whole is shrinking.
San Francisco-based Duo Duo Project is leading the call to end the dog and cat meat trade, and on June 15 they will gather at California’s capitol building in Sacramento and urge Governor Jerry Brown to address animal cruelty with California’s “sister state” Guangdong, which also happens to be the world’s dog-eating capital, has the largest dog meat wholesale market and is the main dog meat supplier to Yulin’s festival.
The June event will present Duo Duo’s petition along with a signed letter of support from members of California’s state assembly. The Duo Duo Project and its supporters will urge the governor to speak out publicly about the dog and cat meat trade.
Andrea Gung, founder of the Duo Duo Project, explained, “Californians love their pets. I think they’d be surprised and disappointed to know their state is a ‘sister state’ with the known dog-eating capital of the world.”
“In fact, the majority of dogs trapped in the dog meat trade are stolen pets.
“Having Governor Brown join the thousands of Californians who’ve signed the petition would send a message to Guangdong and Beijing.”
Gung’s second petition to stop the ill-fated Yulin Dog Meat Festival on Change.org recently passed the two million signature mark, making it one of the highest signed petitions in the website’s history.
Now, before you go and give the dog or dogs in your life a big hug, remember the thousands like them, who are facing a terror like no other, and take a moment to help stop the Yulin Dog Meat Festival by clicking here.
[Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]