As the days’ tasks consume you, your consciousness begins to drift... but quickly snaps back to the present as you realize your beloved pet hasn’t made the usual barking (indicating she wants to come back inside). Odd, you think; she’s been out there for an unusually long time.
You casually recall puppyhood- how adorable she was! Raising your precious fur-kid has been an experience you wouldn’t trade for all the wealth in the world. Something that has shaped your personality, helped you grow into the prosperous young adult you are today.
You love her more than words can describe, as much as any human child. Because, to you- she is no different than any human child. Deep down in the depths of your heart, you know she feels the same. You know she would gladly give her life defending you if the necessity arose, and honestly- you’d do no less.
A great swell of emotion rises inside you, causing your cheeks to flush a deep crimson. You just can’t wait for that warm ‘doggy’ smile she never fails to greet you with every single time, those adorable jumps of excitement!
You open the door, bracing yourself for the inevitable kisses to come… and there is nothing. Your little girl is nowhere to be found, not the slightest whine or whimper to indicate she ever existed.
A dull throbbing begins to overwhelm your reality as you recall the local Yulin Dog Meat festival is almost here; how common it is for pets to be stolen from unsuspecting owners, to be sold for profit. Soon to be bludgeoned to death with metal rods before being disemboweled and
dismembered in front of other dogs, no more than the casual suppertime meal for nameless masses.
They tell you it’s a tradition as old as time itself, one of the foundations for which China grew upon. It must be an integral piece of Chinese culture; an event great-grandparents would tell their grandsons about, and they their own children.
The unfortunate reality is nowhere near as ‘romantic’. In actuality, this barbaric festival was established around 1995- in a mere attempt to boost the Yulin economy.
The Chinese symbol for ‘dog meat’ was stricken from restaurant menus and awnings as local government officials attempted to cover their greedy, abhorrent money making schemes. Promoters pleaded with business owners to carry out such slaughters in the dead of night, as the cover-up was solidified.
This, in reality, has very little to do with tradition of any kind (at least not for the developers of this ‘celebration’). Unless if you want to consider the traditional ‘spin-off’ they created to rationalize their acts. What drove such inhumanity, such horror, is nothing more than greed; promoters care nothing for such intelligent, emotional creatures. Their obvious fear, as countless dogs are crammed into rusty cages too small to truly hold them, means nothing when compared to a few callous pieces of colorful paper.
In preparation for the 2014 slaughter, these dogs are crammed so tightly together they seem more one animal than three (or four?). Estimates range between 10 and fifteen thousand dogs are prepared for the hungry masses.
Slaughtering takes place in front of the animals, usually with a club to induce the pain and fear that many restaurant owners claim makes their adrenaline-rich meat tastier.
Participants defend their actions with the argument- “What about the consumption of beef when cows are considered sacred in India, or guinea pigs in Latin America, or even turkeys in the United States? Why is eating dog meat any different from eating these other animals”, they ask?
The answer is simple. You are comparing one species with a mental and emotional capacity similar to that of a human child, and another that lacks even half the faculties (in most cases far less).
No matter how you spin it, no matter how good an argument is- the simple physiology doesn’t lie.
As Opposition Grows
An international campaign to cease the slaughter continues to grow with each year. Millions in Canada, the U.K. and the United States have signed petitions calling for China to end the festival.
Citizens worldwide are appalled by Yulin's continuing celebration of the eating of dog meat and by the uncertain manner (stolen) in which the meat is often obtained.
Yulin aside, the number of dogs and cats slaughtered annually in China reaches estimates of millions.