The Yulin Summer Solstice Dog Meat Festival - An Opinion
People who haven't dedicated themselves to studying the Chinese culture, history or traditions don't know much about China. But what everyone does know is that the Chinese eat dogs. This is a piece of information that is burnt into our skull and irritates many. Dogs... our friends, our companions...
"This is barbaric!"
"How can you eat those cute little puppies?"
"We have to stop those heartless monsters from killing more dogs"
These are some of the endless comments I usually read on social networks.
Whenever I read anything about the Yulin Dog Meat Festival or see the horrific pictures of slaughtered, gutted dogs with their teeth still bared, my heart always breaks. But heart also breaks when I see other pictures. Pictures that don't come from China but from very close to where we all live and thrive. Pictures of pigs being boiled alive. Pictures of cows being gutted alive because the bolt shot didn't kill the cow. Pictures of male chicks being shredded because they are a waste product and not needed for egg production. Pictures of calves being taken away from their mommy right after birth, not even giving the mommy the chance to lick the calf clean. Pictures of minks being skinned alive so that celebrities like Kim Kardashian and her millions of low IQ fans can run around feeling beautiful in their animal carcasses. Pictures of hundreds of chickens crammed in huge barns with no daylight coming in where they will never see even a blade of grass. Pictures of cows standing in their stalls with machines pumping their milk into which they go voluntarily of course (because they need to relieve the pain caused by those gallons of milk putting pressure on the udder). Pictures of geese being force-fed in horrific conditions only to produce the French delicacy Foie gras.
The dog festival is highly criticized for the brutal way the dogs are killed. They are skinned alive, burnt, boiled and tortured. The last days of their lives, they have to endure barbaric acts. They are transported to the festival in iron cages into which they were shoved with up to 10 other dogs. Some of them die of thirst on the way. Most of the images you find on the internet are too cruel and heart-breaking to show here.
Few people know that it is not the entire Chinese population that eats dogs. Dog meat is considered a delicacy in some parts of China like the South and the North-east. However, dogs have become popular pets among the rising middle class as well. With rising wealth in China, especially the younger generations have begun to adapt to the Western lifestyle.
Dogs are our friends, that is right. I myself have two furry bundles of joy who I love very much. They have the best life and they are pretty much always happy.
But to be honest, I am really sick of people going all crazy about the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. We don't have the right to judge the Chinese for what they do with their dogs when we do the same to our farm animals. We don't have the right to judge them for it when we continue to serve our children porc, beef, chicken and fish without them really knowing what they are eating, where it comes from etc. If children knew what the farm animals endured before ending up on their plate, I am sure 99% of the kids would reject meat immediately. I would invite anyone with doubts about how our farm animals are killed to spend one hour in a modern slaughterhouse. Those animals don't enjoy it either when someone cuts them open and takes out their organs when they are still conscious.
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I would obviously never eat dog meat but I would never eat any other animal either. If you criticize the Chinese you have to criticize all the nations who slaughter animals. Which is basically every nation.
We have to stop being hypocritical by judging the type of meat other cultures eat only to make ourselves feel better. I don't see any Chinese activists holding up signs in Europe for what we do to our animals. If you want to make yourself feel better, change to a vegan diet, which is by far the healthiest diet there is, with zero cholesterol. You'll lose weight too without even thinking about it and reduce the risk of developing cancer.
For those who don't want to change to a vegan diet, try informing yourself about where the meat comes from that you buy. There is certainly a local farm in your area where you can buy organic meat and where you can be sure the animals had a good life and plenty of time to be outside on the grass.
I don't judge anyone who decides to live on a meat diet. I just judge those people who are oblivious to anything around them. And I judge those who don't take a moment to self-reflect before criticizing others. Yes, the dog meat festival is barbaric and it should be stopped. But maybe it is time to criticize other "festivals" around the world as well.