The Yulin Dog Meat festival has been causing widespread outrage for years now. The inhumane and brutal ‘celebration’ sees tens of thousands of defenseless dogs brutally murdered to create revenue for local business owners in Yulin, China.
Over the course of the past few years particularly, the event has been subject to enormous amounts of pressure from protesters, campaigners and animal rights activists. The Chinese government have been inundated with calls to ban the festival altogether – although eating dog meat is still legal throughout the country.
Despite the high profile ongoing efforts to squash it, it’s surprising how little people know about some of the shocking and hideous facts surrounding the festival. From the sheer numbers of dogs killed each year to be ingested by customers, to the brutality the animals had to endure before they landed up on somebody’s plate.
Despite there being a brief glimmer of hope earlier this year that the festival wouldn’t go ahead, no official ban was imposed on the sale of dog meat at this year’s event held in June. One thing is for sure, the battle still goes on to put an end to this travesty – but with celebrities like Ricky Gervais and Simon Cowell using their voices to add to the cause, there’s hope yet.
Warning – this article isn’t for the fainthearted.
15. THEY EAT HOUSEHOLD PETS
You may have thought that it’s just poor stray dogs that get it in the neck (in the literal sense) for this brutal festival. In fact, no dog is safe, and household pets are put on the hit list too. Thieves break in to private residencies and steal beloved family pets. If that thought doesn’t make you sick to your stomach, I don’t know what will. Can you imagine someone breaking into your home, stealing little Fido and if that wasn’t bad enough, roasting him on a spit for people to eat? There is no end to the disparity of this festival.
14. THE WAY THEY KILL THEM IS SICKENING
This isn’t something that I want to write, and I’m struggling to do so. But, in the interests of raising awareness – I’ll push ahead. These poor animals don’t get humanely killed, they die in worse ways than you can imagine. Even slaughtered cows get better treatment. The ways are too vast to mention them all, but for example – they skin dogs while they’re still alive. The tear them apart and smash them with hammers. They cut them open with chainsaws, boil them alive in hot water and if that weren’t enough, set them on fire. How can that be justified by ‘culture?’
13. THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT WARNED THE PEOPLE OF YULIN – BUT VENDORS DON’T KNOW
The festival takes place every June and is heavily opposed by activists everywhere – and rightly so. This year, it looked as if a victory had been won when the Chinese government sent a warning to the people of Yulin, telling them that they were no longer allowed to sell dog meat, despite dog meat still being legal in China as a whole. Lobbyists rejoiced, thinking the festival had finally been quashed, but according to BBC news many vendors had not been told that they weren’t allowed to sell dog. A big shadow is still cast over the future of the festival, but no one really knows the current status.
12. PEOPLE CONSUME 230,000 KILOGRAMS OF DOG MEAT A YEAR
Yulin can go on for a very long 10 days. During that time, dogs are publicly killed and eaten as though it were a normal meal. People can be seen sat around tables in the street, eating dog as casually as if it were sweet and sour chicken. The dogs are no longer beloved, loyal animals – but just flesh to fill someone’s bowl. 10 days is a long time to eat anything, so it’s not surprising that 230,000 kilograms of dog meat is consumed in a year thanks to the festival. In 2011, the estimated number of animals slaughtered was 15,000.
11. YULIN HAS MORE THAN 100 DOG SLAUGHTER HOUSES
Slaughtering dogs is the backbone of livelihood for some families in Yulin, who rely on the festival financially. Would you be in that line of work for a pay check? I know I wouldn’t. It’s a sad reflection on the problem with China’s dog meat laws. At the height of the festival season, the houses can slaughter up to 2,000 dogs a day – and as previously discussed, it’s not a pretty way to go. Dog meat in Yulin isn’t just a ‘tradition’ but a money-making event, meaning that the lives of these animals are worthless unless they’re lining someone’s pocket. If you didn’t understand the big deal about this event before, I bet you do now.
10. DOG EATING IN CHINA GOES BACK TO ANCIENT TIMES
Eating dogs is something that can be traced back to ancient China. It’s always been a thing over there, and while we find it abhorrent and inhumane, it’s obviously still around – despite rising opposition to the festival across the country. In ancient times, dogs were kept around for approximately 3 reasons – to guard the house against intruders, to go out hunting to find food, or to slaughter them and eat them. Why couldn’t they keep chickens and pigs like everyone else? Who knows. It’s a sorry state of affairs that unfortunately didn’t change with the evolution of modern society.
9. THERE’S AN OLD CHINESE JOKE ABOUT IT
‘Chúle nǐ fùmǔ yǐwài, rènhé yītiáo tuǐ dōu kěyǐ chī, chúle chuáng zhī wài, hái yǒu sìtiáo tuǐ’ which roughly translates as ‘Anything with two legs is edible except your parents. So is anything with four legs, except the bed.’ The issue is that in some parts of China like Yulin, eating dog meat is so normalized in their culture that they can’t see past it, as this joke demonstrates. To the disgust of campaigners and generally anyone with a conscience, this joke pops up frequently when discussing the issue of dog meat. It’s clearly no laughing matter, and shouldn’t be treated as such.
8. 50,000 DOGS WERE BEATEN TO DEATH IN 2006
On a 5-day crackdown in Yunnan, 50,000 dogs were brutally killed. Anyone who was seen walking a dog was immediately stopped by officials…and the dog was viciously beaten to death in front of them, without explanation or warning. The massacre was supposedly to help control the rise in rabies in southwestern China. It was a terrible ordeal, with police going so far as to enter villages at night and make lots of noise – when the dogs started barking, they were pulled from residences and killed on the spot. The whole episode exposed some serious flaws in the healthcare system in China and failures in the way the government chose to deal with it.
7. THERE IS A POPULAR BELIEF IN CHINA THAT DOG EATING BRINGS ON GOOD LUCK
While it’s undoubtedly terrible ‘luck’ for the animals, Chinese people supposedly put a lot of faith in special powers held by the dog meat. Not only do they think it’s a good luck charm, but they also believe that it can aid a man’s virility too. No one is really sure why, but then no one is really sure why there’s an annually held 10-day festival that celebrates the slaughter of puppies either – so it’s all part of the same turd sandwich really, isn’t it? Do you know any other stupid things that people do for luck? Let us know in the comments.
6. DOGS ARE TRANSPORTED TO YULIN IN CRAMMED CAGES
Dogs are rounded up from all over the province before being shoved into tiny metal cages to be transported to the city of Yulin. The conditions are less than desirable, with dozens often crammed into one cage and not given any water. The journey is hot and stressful, causing thousands of dogs to die during the journey alone, thanks to dehydration and starvation. Sadly, these pups are the lucky ones compared to the disgusting slaughter they’d face when they got to Yulin, as I’ve mentioned previously. As well as this, the cages are often overly used and in such a state of rust and disrepair that you wouldn’t put anything in them at all – let alone live animals.
5. THEY ALSO EAT CATS TOO
If you thought that the festival was exclusively for dog meat, think again. Cats aren’t safe either – although they are not killed in such vast quantities. The unlucky felines are gathered up in much the same way as the dogs, from around the province and transported to Yulin to meet their doom. The slaughter is also similar, with tales of boiling alive, skinning alive and generally being put through more torture than any living thing should ever endure. Because of the publicity surrounding the dog meat, it’s often easy to forget that they’re not the only animal that is targeted. Lock up your pets – no one is safe.
4. THE YULIN GOVERNMENT SAID THEY HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT
Back in 2014, the Yulin government tried to get itself out of some of the backlash it was facing by saying that it had nothing to do with the event. Instead, it stressed that the festival was staged by private business people and did not have official backing. While this may be the case, can you imagine the same thing happening in New York and the government brushing it off in this way, hands up – ‘it’s not us, we swear!’ It just wouldn’t fly, and in this case it didn’t either, with more pressure than ever being piled on Yulin officials to bring an end to the barbarity.
3. YULIN FESTIVAL STARTED IN 2009
While it’s true that eating dog meat has been going on in China for hundreds of years, Yulin festival didn’t start occurring until 2009. Many people commonly think it’s an ancient festival – it isn’t. It was created in a time where humanity has advanced enough to know better. Even worse, it started as a marketing ploy for dog meat vendors to kick start sales at the start of the summer months. Hopping back to the supposed ‘health benefits’ of dog-meat, it’s mostly eaten in the winter months because they think it’s internally warming…yep. I don’t know who comes up with this stuff either. Now we’ve had a look at the awful facts, let’s see what positive steps are being taken toward ending this thing forever.
2. HUNDREDS OF DOGS HAVE BEEN RESCUED SUCCESSFULLY
Thanks to animal activists, global and local campaigning groups including HIS, Animals Asia, Animal Hope and Wellness and Direct Action Everywhere work tirelessly to intervene on the transportation of dogs to the festival. Of course, they aren’t successful all the time, but without the selfless efforts of these groups a lot more dogs would end up on someone’s plate. Over the years, hundreds of dogs have been rescued and have gone on to lead happy and healthy lives with lots of belly rubbing, ear scratching and endless games of fetch. That’s what we like to hear – it even makes my tail wag.
1. LISA VANDERPUMP IS AN AVID CAMPAIGNER AGAINST THE FESTIVAL
Reality TV star and restaurant owner Lisa Vanderpump is most commonly known as being a cast mate on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but Lisa is also a serious animal lover. Along with her husband Ken, Lisa has been one of the driving forces in the opposition of the Yulin festival, using her position in the public eye to raise awareness, organize marches and go the extra mile to ensure that no more animals get subjected to the hideous cruelty. Lisa even set up her own charity, Stop Yulin Forever, where you can make a monetary donation or buy some merchandise to help raise funds to fight the good fight. Bravo Lisa.
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