In the United States, dogs are considered to be cherished members of the family. There are special gourmet dog foods at your supermarket, puppy spas, and even aromatherapy sprays for anxious pups. With all the love and regard given to our household pets, it is a huge culture shock, to say the least, to learn that dog meat is eaten in South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, and China.
Recently, throughout social media and television, the dog meat industry, in particular the Yulin Dog Meat Eating Festival, has caused public outrage on a global level. A simple Google search produces thousands of pictures, videos, and first-hand accounts that shed light on the cruelty taking place, including dogs that are brutally beaten, gruesomely slaughtered, and burned, boiled, and dismembered while conscious. These horrific acts of violence are performed by people that seemingly enjoy it, in front of large audiences as a form of entertainment. The tens of thousands of dogs eaten during this festival and traded as part of the dog meat industry may be strays, bought through retailers, or taken from people’s homes.
Not surprisingly, petitions against Yulin have collected millions of signatures in an attempt to put an end to this horrific “celebration.” While it is important to be socially aware and tolerant of other cultures—and to remember that we have similarly horrific practices here in the U.S. (factory farms)—the horrific mistreatment of animals at the Yulin dog meat festival must not be overlooked. Like all other innocent animals that were born to be killed and consumed, they need the public’s support and protection.
Yulin 2016 will commence on June 21. Please consider signing petitions, raising awareness through social media, and donating to one of the many organizations that help rescue dogs in Asia, such as: Soi Dog and the Duo Duo Project. Together, we can stand up and help to put an end to the dog meat industry. We must be the voice for the voiceless. We are their only hope.
Photo by PETA / Manfred Karremann