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The Yulin Summer Solstice Dog Meat Festival - An Opinion

Updated on March 7, 2015
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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.

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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.

People walking their dogs in Chongqing
People walking their dogs in Chongqing | Source

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.

One very spoiled princess
One very spoiled princess

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.

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    • Jasmeetk profile image

      Jasmeet Kaur 2 years ago from India

      Festivals are meant to enjoy. How can someone enjoy killing others. Whether it is chicken, pig or dog; festivals can't be cruelty. Dog are our friends...really horrifying.. I never heard about such festival before

    • Lori P. profile image

      Lori Chidori Phillips 2 years ago from Southern California USA

      Thank you for bringing to our attention the hypocrisy in our culture. It's true that manufactured meat industries have inhumane production practices. Of course, because we are so much closer to dogs, we can see how heinous it would be to treat them like food products without thoughts and feelings but other animals have feelings, too. We just don't recognize them because we are so far removed from them in our daily lives.

      But it isn't true that if you stop eating meat, you'll lose weight. Excess calories often are consumed in the form of simple carbohydrates (sugars, refined grains, etc.)

      It's sad that people will chose a diet based upon their weight rather than how their choices affect another living being's existence though.

      This festival is abhorrent but so is the bull-fighting custom in Spain, the testicle castration of cattle, the chinchillas, guinea pig and gorilla food trade, and others you mentioned.

      I love those television food and travel shows but it does pain me to see how humans exploit animals for food. The mark of a more evolved society is one that cares for all life.

    • Melissa Orourke profile image

      Melissa Orourke 2 years ago from Roatán, Islas De La Bahia, Honduras

      It's been a long time since I have eaten meat! Vegan is my first choice. The thought of people eating dogs thought really gets to me!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      OMG....I'm nearly speechless.....not to mention heart broken and sick to my stomach. Seeing all of this in black & white is ghastly. What very little meat I do eat now & then ...has just come off my menu permanently!

      UP+++ Peace, Paula

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 2 years ago from Japan

      Very good point there, I have lived in Asia for nearly 15 years. People really need to see themselves how life is before making brainwashed judgments or comments. People even think that dog meat can end up on your plate, instead of the steak you paid for!!!

      I mean as if, dog is delicacy in most part, it would NEVER end up on your plate in a restaurant as a substitute to beef just to save money.

    • Jennifer Madison profile image
      Author

      Jennifer Madison 2 years ago from Lohmar

      I am glad my article was able to motivate you to do the right thing Paula :)

    • cbunch11 profile image

      Chad Bunch 2 years ago from Florissant, MO

      Jennifer, I really enjoyed this article. I consider myself about 90% vegan, and when I do purchase meat for home-cooking or in restaurants, I make every attempt to ensure it is from animals raised on small, local farms under the assumption that the animal was raised more humanely than those on "conventional" farms. I would like to conduct/read more research on the reality of this.

      Although I have yet to check out your profile and the rest of your articles, I would also like to see/read more on the vegan lifestyle and how it affects individuals and the community in general.

      Thanks for the article and I look forward to reading more.

    • profile image

      jacjac18 2 years ago

      Great article. It breaks my heart. I find your way of writing very informative. You try to stay objective although it is difficult regarding this subject.

      I especially liked this part:

      "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."

      Totally true!

    • Jennifer Madison profile image
      Author

      Jennifer Madison 2 years ago from Lohmar

      I am glad you enjoyed my article Jacjac18. I think that the solution to everything is reducing the damaging activities and finding alternatives. We don't have to be radical but we can improve ourselves and find better methods. We have to understand that quality is what gives us a happy, prosperous and long life not quantity.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Interesting perspective. I am still not going to eat dogs. One day I will be eating bugs--just as the United Nations tells me I must. But I won't hasten that day either!

    • Jennifer Madison profile image
      Author

      Jennifer Madison 2 years ago from Lohmar

      I think I can live with those average 6 spiders I will eat in a lifetime in my sleep, I think that was the number :D

    • profile image

      My 11 months ago

      I think this is a narrow view. I don't believe that this is all or nothing. Just because someone cares about the torture in Yulin doesn't mean that they don't care about other animals. Also the way you put it, it sounds like you're saying if you care about Yulin then you must care about all animals or don't even care about it at all. It's okay to be passionate about dogs. And yes, westerners feel more intimacy with dogs. They have been bred for hundreds of years to be our companions and work alongside us. We literally bred them for loyalty and Yulin is dishonoring that trust. I recommend that if you love animals, you should support all activists who are fighting to keep them safe regardless of the cause as long as it's for animals...not put them down.

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