I’m boycotting China over the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, and you should too

Yulin dog

Any of you who have ever owned a dog know just how special they are. They provide comfort and joy first and foremost, but that’s just the beginning of it.

We use them as police dogs, and some have even sacrificed their life when the situation called for it. We use them in the military to scour compounds, detect explosives- some are even trained parachutists. Did you know that a dog named Cairo was one of the first on the ground in the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden?

So the utter torture that China inflicts on these amazing creatures during their Yulin Dog Meat Festival should make your blood boil.

Yulin Dog Meat Festival

The tradition of eating dog meat in China dates back nearly 500 years. But over the years, the trade has only become crueler.

The Yulin Festival is held every year, and during the 10-day ordeal an estimated 10,000 dogs and cats are slaughtered and eaten. This of course doesn’t account for dogs slaughtered the other 355 days a year. That total exceeds 20 million.

It has become such a big money-making business that many of the dogs (an estimated 80%) sold into the trade are pet dogs stolen from their rightful owners. The remainder are strays rounded up from the streets.

Image result for yulin dog festival

The conditions in which they are kept is horrifying. They are shoved into crates on top of each other. The lucky ones die before the real torture starts.

The cruelty taking place in China is second to none

The terrified animals are then taken to slaughterhouses. What follows is extremely difficult to look at.

An estimated 80% of the dog meat trade for the festival are people's stolen pets.

The picture above was taken by Marc Ching, the founder of Animal Hope and Wellness. He himself traveled to China to prove there was no ban on dog meat as had been falsely reported earlier this year.

Sadly enough, the trade is alive and well.

Once these dogs are unloaded from the trucks they are penned up only to wait for the inevitable. They must be terrified, watching the other dogs tortured to death.

The Chinese believe that the more adrenaline released by the dog before their death, the more tender, and healthier the meat will be. Sick Fucks.

They torture and slaughter in front of all of the other animals to create even more fear and stress. During the Yulin festival the dogs are hung, beaten, skinned alive, electrocuted, and dismembered- all while still alive.

According to one witness, “A man would go in the cage with a club and just start clubbing the dogs, just beating them and beating them, not killing them at that point the dogs are screaming and trying to get away and it’s really heartbreaking.”

We can’t stop it if we refuse to face what is going on.

The metro has even more heartbreaking pictures straight out of Yulin.

Not to mention, what do you think it does to China’s children to see this kind of behavior in plain sight? It breeds even more hate. It is so commonplace, it’s just be another day in the neighborhood. Torture has become the “norm.”

Why all hope is not lost

The last few days, amazing rescue stories have been coming out of Yulin.

Two days ago, a brave man in an SUV pulled out right in front of a large truck containing 800 dogs destined for Yulin.

Yulin dog festival rescue
Courtesy of Peter Li

The man demanded to see certificates for the dogs. Of course the driver was unable to do that, because as is frequently the case, many were pets that had been stolen.
The police were called, and within a few hours, 300 citizens stopped to help take part in the rescue.

Courtesy of Peter Li

The dogs were given medical attention, food, and will be placed up for adoption once they recover. Even more hopeful? Many of the young volunteers were from Guangzhou, the “dog meat capital” of China.

Also hopeful? Pet ownership is at an all time high. 62 million canine companions are registered in China and that number is on the rise. These animal lovers are no supporters of the trade of course, and as pet ownership grows, the opposition force will only become greater.

Even Ricky Gervais being the animal lover that he is, has been raising awareness about the horrors of Yulin.

Ricky Gervais stands up to Yulin

What can we do to stop these horrific practices in China?

The culture may be changing, but not fast enough. Despite staunch opposition from those within the country and many other countries, the dog meat trade is alive and well.

Sadly enough, though small, there are still participants of the dog meat trade in the US. Before we can take on the other countries, we must draw a hard red line here. New legislation has been introduced tackling the issue. H. Res 30 has been introduced in the House of Representatives and puts forth the following:

  1. Condemns the Dog Meat Festival in Yulin
  2. Urges the Government of China and the Yulin authorities to enforce the 2011 Agriculture Ministry of China Regulation on the Quarantine of Dogs at the Place of Origin that requires “one certificate for one dog” who is on board a trans- provincial transport truck
  3. Encourages the Government of China and the Yulin authorities to enforce China’s food safety laws regulating the processing and sale of animal products
  4. Urges the Government of China and the Yulin authorities to impose a ban on the killing and eating of dogs as part of Yulin’s festival
  5. Urges the National People’s Congress of China to enact an animal anticruelty law with provisions banning the dog meat trade
  6. Affirms the commitment of the United States to the protection of animals and to the progress of animal protection around the world.

If we held their feet to the fire and the Chinese government enforced these rules, we could actually make a big difference. Since an estimated 80% of dogs in the trade are actually stolen pets, if the certificate requirement was enforced, the majority of dogs would have to be released.

So please call your local representatives and urge them to vote to pass this legislation!

In the mean time, as long as the dog meat trade is alive and well, I will not be buying any products from China. I do NOT care if they may be cheaper, more convenient, more whatever. I will not sell my soul. Saving pennies and convenience shouldn’t mean that much to you that you are willing to condone this kind of activity.

What if that was your dog being rounded up, being sold to a torture farm? The only leverage we have is economic. Money talks. Write to your local businesses, even large corporations, and tell them you will not be buying their products shipped in from China and tell them why.

You can also donate to any of the various organizations that help rescue these dogs from a certain painful death: Humane Society International, Free Korean Dogs and Soi Dog Foundation.

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But for now, all I can do is say a silent prayer that a tsunami wipes out all of those barbarians so not one more dog has to suffer at their hands.

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