China’s Dog Eating Festivals

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Every June; during the Summer Solstice, there is a city in the southern area of China called, Yulin that celebrates the season by torturing, killing, selling, and eating dog meat. The practice of eating dogs in China, Korea, Thailand, and other countries is probably 400 or 500 years old. But, the festival in Yulin is only about six years old.

The people of these countries say that eating dog meat wards off the heat of the summer months. It would seem that this is more of a superstitious belief, rather than a physiological one, or maybe it is just an excuse to eat dogs. Over the last few years, there has been much media attention given to this event. Last year, protesters battled with vendors to try and stop the barbaric practice. One local, retired teacher gained fame while trying to buy and rescue many dogs. The only problem is, that although she loves them, and is trying to make a difference, she doesn’t have the means to properly house, and care for so many animals.

But, after reading so many statistics, I believe that these so-called festivals will be a thing of the past. Because of a bombardment of social media outcries, and actual participation by many animal rights groups, the number of dogs that have been killed went from about  10,000 in 2013, to 1,000 last year. And, although Yulin officials have not yet cancelled the event, they have pulled away from the idea of the festival bringing in tourist revenue by promising to crack down on hygiene, sanitation, and killing the dogs in public view. Also, it is believed that officials are banned from consuming dog meat. I think that what was once thought to be a way to boost their economy turned into an embarrassment for their country.

When it comes to animals, I am very passionate. It doesn’t take much to get into a hating frenzy against groups of people. But, just to clarify; not all Chinese condone eating dogs and cats. Many are repulsed and feel that China needs to come into the modern age of thinking. In fact, it is believed that the first protests were originally organized by local people. Every culture has some ancient, barbaric custom that should be put to rest because we should have grown intellectually, and spiritually over the centuries. I don’t know if we, as a collective species on this planet will ever get to that point. But, I believe that our time here should be spent trying to better things. We need to celebrate this beautiful world, rather than destroy it.

 

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