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Start of the Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in China

Yulin dog meat festival
© rachelhowkins - Instagram

The annual 10-day event starts today, June 21st. Having existed for a whole decade, the terrible festival has been criticized by many Western world countries, but continues nonetheless to be very popular in China.

By Justine Seraphin, 21 Jun 2019

It’s the festival that animal-lovers around the world dread. It is held every year to mark the summer solstice, though it was mainly created by merchants who wanted to increase their sales.

Culture clash

In China, cats and dogs are eaten just like we in the Western world eat pork and beef. But the most terrifying part about this festival is the way that animals are treated. Indeed, people in the country believe meat tastes better if the animal was tortured before being killed.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Vegan🌿For the animals🕊️ (@angela.ethica) on

The horrors of the festival, made public by photos and videos shared on social media and news platforms, are difficult to comprehend for pet lovers in the UK.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by HSI Africa (@hsiafrica) on

In 2016, a petition was signed by 11 million people, calling for an outright ban on the festival. Despite this, the Chinese government didn’t want to show weakness in front of the rest of the world, and decided to maintain it.

A fight for animal rights

But cat and dog lovers worldwide continue to fight for the animals’ survival anyway. Ricky Gervais is probably one of the most famous people to oppose the festival.

He, along with other activists, denounce the fact that dogs are taken from the streets – or downright stolen from their owners – to be placed in cramped and filthy cages, awaiting their death. Given no food or water for days, the dogs are then beaten, burned, skinned, and boiled alive before they are consumed.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by FOUR PAWS UK (@fourpawsuk) on

This horrendous torture needs to stop. Let’s continue spreading the word and hope that this cruel festival will some day end.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rachael Howkins (@rachaelhowkins) on