As the annual Yulin dog meat festival approaches, so does the annual backlash from China’s dog-lovers. It’s estimated that 10,000 dogs will be slaughtered this year, and activists are doing everything they can to inspire a ban on ‘chowing on Chow Chow’ – some for the narrow-minded reason of “I like them therefore it’s immoral to eat them” (but it’s okay to eat other more endangered species), and smarter activists because the festival is suspected of sourcing kidnapped pets and diseased strays.
IB Times reports:
Ahead of this year’s event, due to take place on 21 June, activists across the globe are calling for a halt to the event, with over $20,000 (£11,900) raised by one campaign to help rescue dogs and track those illegally capturing and killing the animals.
However, activists including celebrities, lawyers and food safety experts are calling for an end to the practice. Chinese pop stars Chen Kuna and Yang Mi have supported campaigns against the festival on China’s sina Weibo.
An animal rights lawyer in Beijing said that official claims that all dogs are bred by local dog farmers is false. An Xiang said according to research there are no such farms and that all dogs are abducted from the streets.
Authorities state that if this is the case, butchers risk contracting rabies while consumers risk consuming tainted, even highly poisonous meat. This past year officials have busted several clandestine rings involved in poisoning and abducting both pets and strays for food.
Even still, it’s unlikely that the Yulin government will implement a ban anytime soon as many locals have rallied to defend the ancient summer solstice tradition. Said the Yulin deputy mayor last year, “changing the dietary habits of millions of citizens takes time.” So in the meantime it looks like they’ll be turning wiener dogs into Wienerschnitzel, especially if only 20 activists turn out for this year’s event, like they did last year.
Anti-dog meat demonstrators in Dalian protest the Yulin Festival
According to archaeological findings, dogs have been raised by Chinese for food since 10,000 B.C (it might’ve even been their first purpose!), and continue to be in several Asian countries. Unfortunately, it seems more and more are turning from using designated food dogs to abducting Lassie to satisfy their canine cravings.
[Pics via Xinhuanet.com]