In the past few days, international celebrities have released videos to campaign against Yulin’s annual dog meat festival, calling for an end to the festival and the torture forever. Yet that festival begins again today.
The non-profit Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation recently released a video featuring celebs like Matt Damon, Joaquin Phoenix, Pamela Anderson, Kate Mara and Sia speaking out against the festival, being a “voice for those who cannot speak.”
“We’re here asking you to stop the cruelty, stop the beatings, stop the burning, stop the hangings, stop skinning them alive,” they say.
Watch the video below:
Meanwhile, British singer Leona Lewis has also lent her voice to the cause. The Vanderpump Dog Foundation released the song “(We Are All) Looking for a Home,” written by Diane Warren and performed by Leona Lewis. The accompanying video includes images of dogs awaiting slaughter and information about the festival.
Watch it below:
This is not the first time that celebrities have spoken out against the infamous festival’s animal cruelty. Last year, UK singer Duffy urged the British ambassador of China to stop the festival, and recently around 30 Chinese celebrities appeared in a video advocating for compassion for animals.
And yet, the festival begins again today, though without canine slaughter on the streets and with some vendors choosing to cover up the character for “dog” on their signboards, to “avoid trouble.”
Though widespread domestic and international pressure has been credited with shrinking the festival in recent years, all the media attention has also served to publicize the event. In fact, AFP reports that Yulin locals claim that dog-meat sales have increased since last year and a Yulin dog shelter operator believes that international protests are driving people to “ferociously defend their custom” of eating dog meat.
Peter Li from Humane Society International, an animal activist group that recently organized a petition against the festival with more than 11 million signatures, recognizes that there may be a backlash to outside efforts in the short term. “But in the long term, I don’t worry,” he says.
Here’s the video featuring Leona Lewis on Youku for those without VPN:
By Amy Yang
[Video via Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation / The Vanderpump Dog Foundation]