The Dog Meat Festival in China has drawn protests worldwide. The annual celebration includes the killing of close to 10,000 dogs for their meat. Numerous animal rights organizations have filed complaints.
The China Small Animal Protection Association has led the protest, asking that the festival be cancelled. In many traditional Chinese families, dog meat is no different than beef, pork, or chicken.
As reported by MSN News, In many developed communities, dogs are now kept as pets. While the tradition continues for many, others consider the consumption of dog meat as barbaric.
In 2011, the Dog Meat Festival was cancelled due to similar protest. Protesters became aggressive, physically stopping a truck hauling hundreds of dogs.
Chinese government officials have agreed to oversee this year’s festivities, but they are not likely to shut the festival down. Their main concern is that the dogs are killed humanely. Some of the cooks have been accused of beating dogs to death at past festivals. Reports of dogs being tortured and skinned alive have circulated for years.
As reported by Fox News, The Dog Meat Festival is presented by the local community, preventing the government from cancelling the event. As dogs are not an endangered species, using them for meat is not against government regulations.
The festival takes place annually during the summer solstice. During the celebration, the dogs are killed, skinned, and cooked in large pots. Festival goers eat the dog meat directly from the steaming pots.The meat is served with lychee fruit and grain liquor.
Photos from the event have been shared on social networks, including Facebook, in an attempt to gain support in the protest.
As reported by the Huffington Post, local residents are upset with the negative publicity. One of the residents, identified only as Annie, explains how the impact on the community:
“It’s unfair to call Yulin people brutal only because we have this tradition to eat dog meat. People who call us uncivilized and cruel should stop eating meat first.”
The Dog Meat Festival is set to go on as planned, despite the protests. Those who participate are simply following a tradition that has been part of their culture for decades. It may be difficult for them to understand why others want to prevent them from practicing the tradition.
[Image via Flickr]