Yulin Summer Solstice Dog Meat Festival is an annual festival that is held in Yulin, Guangxi, China. Dog meat is considered a nutritious food in winter, and in Yulin, it has been instilled as a tradition to have dog meat in this annual event to celebrate. Dog meat is said to be able to improve certain illnesses – some doctors in China even prescribe dog meats to improve circulation of blood.
Animal rights activists are furiously fighting against this inhumane practice and tradition in China. Many are questioning the government’s position in this ordeal – to have tighter and more stringent practices and regulations to the dog meats and their sources. In 2013, 10,000 dogs were slaughtered for this annual festival; the number for 2014 is speculated to be the same. With questions as to where the dog meats come from, animal activists are demanding for legitimate sources of dogs supply.
Dogs are tortured before they are prepared. In the culture, it is believed that meats of dogs that suffered more will taste better as they release more adrenaline when they squirm or scream. Dogs were electrocuted, hung on hooks, beaten, scalded and soaked in hot water.
It pains to see what most deem as great companions and household pets would be tortured, less eaten as part of a custom in a country. Many are raising awareness through social media campaign, through the hashtags #YulinGetDogsOffTheMenu, #CancelYulinDogMeatFestival. It would be hard to change this tradition overnight, but it is and will be a worthwhile fight.
Writer: Leong Chee Sheng