For thousands of dogs in China it’s that time of year again. Puppies will be bought from stores, but not, as you might expect, to go to loving, warm homes; they, along with stolen pets and dogs plucked from the streets, will be boiled alive, skinned alive, burned alive, choked, strangled and mutilated; people will hear their cries and screams, but no one will help them. Because the Yulin Dog Meat Festival exists only to serve the barbarians who torture and consume them for their meat – they justify this barbaric, vile trade by claiming the dogs “taste better” after they are bludgeoned to death and disembowelled.
It is a topic close to my heart, one that makes my stomach lurch every time I think about it, let alone see pictures/videos of it. It’s impossible not to weep as you witness the dogs crammed together in cages, the fear on their faces palpable, not understanding why the humans are doing this to them; it’s futile not to cry when you watch them being thrown into a vat of boiling water, screaming in agony as it rips the fur from their bodies and they flap their paws desperately in an attempt to get out. It is a nightmare of the very worst kind and yet in China, and other countries in South-East Asia such as Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam, it is a very real, very horrific reality. In China alone, an estimated 10-20 millions dogs are murdered for human consumption every year. And each year in the beginning months of Summer, there are those who celebrate the slaughter of these dogs by partaking in a ‘festival’ where they can have a jolly old time and eat to their heart’s content, not once giving a second thought to the suffering and terror that preceded this annual occasion.
It makes me feel sick to be human. Granted, these people have nothing to do with me. I do not know them, I’ve never seen them – I hope to never see them, and God help me if I do. But they are the same species as I; they’re humans. They’re the ones inflicting insurmountable amounts of pain and suffering on these innocent creatures, the same animals that are widely considered to be Man’s Best Friend for the unconditional loyalty and love they give us. In return, our kin torture and murder them. It is the very height of evil and a prime example of how we truly are the most spiritually sick and cruellest of all living creatures on this planet.
But there are good humans among us, too. That’s you, me and every single person on this planet who abhors the unfathomable horror of the dog meat trade. It’s those of us who feel the pain of these animals as though that pain is our own; those of us who understand that the dog has a place in millions of households around the world specifically because he is one of the closest to Man and a part of the family; those of us who firmly believe that the torture and slaughter of millions of dogs is an unforgivable sin and must be stopped at all costs. Yet despite nearly 5 million signatures last year petitioning the Chinese government to put an end to such cruelty, the “festival” continues. The dog meat trade flourishes. Yulin is once again set for June 2016.
We can only do what we can with the tools we were given. And though it may not seem apparently obvious at first, each of us possesses a phenomenal amount of power. We can be the voice that gets louder and louder until we’ve cumulated in one massive roar that will bring the dog meat trade to its knees; while they’re busy torturing our dogs and turning a blind eye to their screams, we’ll be screaming ourselves, letting them know that we will not tolerate this barbaric cruelty any longer. How will we do this? By spreading the word. By making sure our voices are heard; by screaming and bellowing so loudly that they have to stop and listen to us. Some of the louder voices among us, such as celebrities Ricky Gervais and Judi Dench, play an active role in doing what they can to oppose the dog meat trade. Charities such as Soi Dog work tirelessly to save as many dogs as they can from slaughter for human consumption; the courageous leader of The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, Marc Ching, has saved the lives of hundreds of canines, often at great risk to his own life. But they need our help. Humane Society International has now launched a petition appealing to the President of China to end the Yulin Dog Meat tradition this year. It is the first step we must take to save the lives of millions of dogs, to give them a shot at happiness which many of their more fortunate counterparts are lucky to have. Not to leave them condemned to a life of cruelty and slaughter at the hands of those who lack any form of conscience. So for the love of our furry friends, for the sake of our own humanity, please sign the HSI petition below. Let’s be the voice for man’s closest ally; it is a voice so many of them lost when our fellow humans chose to commit the ultimate betrayal – by sentencing them to pain, suffering and death when their only crime was to bestow us with love, kindness and affection.
*Please spread this article and petition far and wide. Together, we can put an end to the brutal dog meat trade. Thank you for signing.*