When was the last time you read a news article that began with the words, “Warning distressing content”? Unfortunately, that’s what one might find if they research articles regarding the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. For those of you unfamiliar with what the Yulin Dog Meat Festival is, hold on to your hat, and be prepared for some unsettling information particularly if you’re a dog or animal lover!
The Yulin Dog Meat Festival, also referred to as the Lynchee and Dog Meat Festival, is an annual event held in Yulin, Guangxi, China. Festival enthusiasts attending this ten-day festival eat dog meat and lynches. It’s reported that the individuals in charge of organizing the dog meat festival actually hang, skin, boil and remove the limbs while the dog is still alive. I bet the “graphic images” warnings surrounding many of the articles covering the Yulin Dog Meat Festival are starting to make a whole lot more sense!
While all of this may sound not only unappealing but even disgusting to many of us, the Chinese have turned it into almost a holiday. Although the consumption of dog meat began in China more than 400 years ago, the actual meat festival didn’t begin until 2009 or 2010. The festival organizers claimed that the Yulin Dog Meat Festival is just a regular annual event. However, many others state it’s just a way for the dog meat traders to enhance and boost their sales.
While many of the dogs are strays, many others are stolen. The number of dogs killed has decreased to 2,000 to 3,000 in the past couple years. When the festival was at its peak, 10,000 to 15,000 dogs were slaughtered just in Yulin alone. Millions have been killed for the sole purpose of being sold for the festival and to local markets.
If you’re a dog lover like myself, and much of the world’s population, you’re probably wondering why anyone would even want to eat a dog. Well, despite the fact that there was no real evidence to support their theories and beliefs, the Chinese practitioners of folk medicine actually believed that eating dog meat would help ward off the summer heat and keep the body cooler.
This is actually why they started the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. The dog and cat meat trade is active in not only China but also in Thailand, Cambodia and South Korea to name just a few.
All the media coverage of this festival has animal rights activists up in arms doing whatever they can to stop the senseless and butchering and slaughtering of these innocent animals. According to recent reports, China’s government is talking about banning dog meat from being sold at this year’s festival. It’s very likely, though, that they’ll still serve cats.
Grassroots campaigns and animal rights activists would like to ban the entire festival because they claim that the festival has taken place in previous years despite bans being put on dog meat. With all the media coverage on the event this year, animal rights supporters are putting more pressure on the government, and it may actually be finally doing some good.
If there is any truth to the latest news, dog meat will be banned from the festival this year. The government has also mandated that market traders, street vendors and restaurants will also be prohibited from selling dog meat at the festival.
The ban, according to the Chinese government, will go into effect June 15, which is one week before the festival starts. Any individuals disregarding the ban can face not only fines up to 100,000 yuan ($14,500 USD) but also jail time. The sad part is that many of the animals will be killed prior to the ban. Many are questioning if the Chinese government will actually keep their word and go through with the ban.
(We did not want to insert any photos of dogs being hurt into this blog post).