For one single week- thousands of dogs will be held in horrific conditions, scared, sick and in pain. Afraid and covered in filth, these dogs will be drug out of their cage, beat, tortured, burnt or boiled alive- all for human consumption during the Yulin dog eating festival in China.
The actual Yulan Dog eating Festival started around the 1990’s, but the practice of dog meat eating has been around for centuries. According to Chinese Lore, dog meat stimulates internal heat, making it a food that wards off winters’ cold but it’s superstition that fuels and pushes for the continuance of this barbaric tradition- according to Chinese lore, eating dog meat bring good luck and health. The Yulin Festival is not the first dog eating festival in China. In 2011, officials in China banned the Jinhua Hutou Dog Meat Festival. That festival is a 600 year old tradition that takes place in September, commemorated a fourteenth-century battle victory when a rebel leader ordered dogs in Jinhua to be slaughtered because their barking warned the city of his army’s approach.
As many as 10 million dogs are killed for food annually in China, with up to 10,000 killed for the Yulin festival alone, according to the Humane Society
At least 10,000 of those dogs will be consumed this week- many strays and stolen pets will be shoved into the small crates- unaware of the pain and torture ahead of them. The idea of eating dogs disgusts me- but I also realize that I and many other Americans have a different view on dogs, the relationship we have with dogs is a luxury that we many times take for granted. I’m also realistic- I know that many animals slaughtered for food right here in the United States are sitting in inhumane conditions and slaughtered daily and I, like millions of others try not to think about that as we are picking out the right steak for dinner.
Many of the animals die on the long truck journeys from across China with others suffering such horrendous injuries that they cannot stand in the filthy pens they are transferred to.
Those who do survive are clubbed over the head and have their throats cut open before they are thrown into boiling water. The butcher then plucks all the hair, removes all the organs and puts the dog on the grill
I think, one of the reasons why the Yulin Dog Eating Festival stirs such disgust and emotion in us, or at least for myself is that the slaughter is glorified. It’s thrown in our face as they torture and kill these dogs with no shame. They gorge on dog meat as carcasses of dead dogs with their faces contorted in the pain and terror they felt as they died hanging on carts while washing it down with wine. The reality is- the residents who partake in this abomination don’t care about our outrage and nothing will stop it until China and the residents against this festival stand up and stop it but that doesn’t mean we have to be silent.
During this week of barbarism, give your dog an extra treat, hug them a little tighter, be better for your dog- because many in in China won’t have that chance since many of their dogs are being stolen, tortured, killed and eaten. We can’t protect and save those dogs- but we can over here. We can demand harsher punishment for those convicted of animal abuse, we can demand honest unbiased non breed specific legislation that protects our dogs and the future dogs. We can do better, we have to do better-