They are tortured, beaten up with sticks and metal gears, set on fire and boiled ALIVE
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A dog is a man’s best friend. This might be a common saying, but not as much in China where dogs are barbarically butchered and eaten for the sake of a festival celebration.
This annual celebration is held in the city of Yulin, Guangxi, where the festivalgoers eat lychees and dog meat for over 10 days starting from June 21st till June 30th. The festival is commonly known as the Yulin dog meat festival.
On the estimate, it is noted that meat of more than 15,000 dogs is consumed per year during this savage act disguised as a festivity. Here, dogs are not only slaughtered but are burnt, skinned and boiled ALIVE! This is just a glimpse of the barbarism. Not only are stray dogs attacked, but even pets are stolen and brought into cages where per cage multiple dogs are crammed.
Many of these poor souls die during this traumatic journey due to lack of food and dehydration. The journey is gruelling and the more heart wrenching part begins when these lovable creatures reach their destination, Yulin for an agonising death ahead. They are not only tortured and beaten up with sticks and metal gears but are run over by cars, ripped by chainsaws, smashed with hammers and set on fire just to satisfy the need of the Chinese cultural tradition. These poor animals squeal in pain and yet no one helps.
Throngs of people gather every year and continue this cruel act, turning crueller by the year. Yulin has more than 100 dog slaughter houses and on each day of this so-called fiesta – 2,000 dogs are consumed.
Many locals involved in this festival claim that it is part of their culture and belief. They consider dogs a source of food which brings them good luck. While many in China practice Buddhism and the religion prohibits them to kill any living creature, and particularly rejects dogs to be slaughtered for meat as they are loyal to their owners, they further believe that killing a dog would bring ‘bad karma’.
In the 17th century, when the Manchu came to rule China, they stated that the consumption of dog flesh was taboo. The Southern part of China were against them and, in order to spite the Manchu, started cooking dog meat just to torment them.
It is a 400 year old tradition to consume dog meat. The festival is observed in the summers because it is believed that dog meat overcomes the heat and, hence, can help cool humans.
I am sorry but were the ice-cream trucks stolen or has this technologically-advanced country forgotten to maintain its record of air conditioners? Despite having other conscientious ways to beat the heat, why resort to such cruelty?
Inhumane customs are likely to be banned, then why do these poor creatures suffer on the basis of superstitions and hatred?
Many animal welfare organisations (local and international) have taken a stand against this cruelty and have requested, forced, signed petitions to eradicate this savagery once and for all, but sadly there are no animal protection laws in China.
After unprecedented global outrage over the festival, the Chinese’s authorities told the people of Yulin to stop using the words ‘dog meat’ and continue with the festival. The local government has denied the celebration of the festival over the past few years after gaining negative publicity. Now, however, they have resumed it claiming that the local government has nothing to do with the act. The local enthusiasts celebrating this festival have accused this uproar to be propaganda set by the West where no one bats an eye over the bullfighting issue.
Yes, because that is exactly the mature stance the world is expecting of you, China. The local authorities have nothing to do with and the enthusiasts are continuing the festival regardless – because that is how simple it is in China to flout the law, yes? Or is this a case of ignorance is bliss?
But I kid you not; ignorance is not always bliss. What these people aren’t aware of is that this festival also led to an upsurge in the number of rabies cases in the city of Yulin due to the unhygienic and unsanitary conditions in which the dogs are brought to them. Ninety five per cent of the dogs slaughtered are not vaccinated and studies have shown that the occurrence of human rabies incidents are the highest in China, with Yulin being amongst one of the top ten in Chinese cities. In Yunnan, China, 50,000 dogs were beaten to death as three people died due to rabies. In fact, even pet owners who were walking their dogs were stopped and their dogs were beaten to death by police officials.
These people lack empathy and have forgotten the pain of another living organism. We are beings of this earth and so are they. They have every right to survive and stay happy just like any other living creature on this planet. Dogs are considered to be the most loveable and loyal animals, and somehow their affections have caused them to pay a higher price which they do not deserve!
At the very beginning of this post, I had opened my post with the line, a dog is a man’s best friend. And I agree with it completely. A dog IS a man’s best friend, but man is definitely not a dog’s best friend. Please stop this barbarity. Let’s stop animal cruelty. Let’s remember to be more human.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.