Dogs are a lot of things - they’re our friends, guardians, assistants, athletes, jesters, and even the occasional foot warmer.
However, in some parts of the world, they take on another role - dinner
Who Eats Dogs?
Though not as prevalent as it once was, there are still places where you can find roasted dog carcasses hanging in store windows - a gruesome sight to someone raised in a society where dogs are raised for their companionship. And then there is the Yulin Dog Meat Festival
A long standing tradition in Guangxi, China, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival is supposed to celebrate the arrival of the summer solstice. Sadly, however, the celebration results in the death of some 10,000 dogs
. To someone that lived among dogs their entire lives, this celebration seems to border on the lines of a massacre.But ask a local, and you will get a far different answer. “It’s tradition.” “It’s tasty!” “Don’t you eat beef? What’s the difference?” - all of these are common responses given by participants to the throngs of detractors in attendance.
A Cultural Difference or an Atrocity?
And while there is something to be said for understanding and being accepting of different cultures and social mores, the idea of consuming the very creature that we have evolved alongside for nigh on 15,000 years
registers to most as something dangerously close to cannibalism
It is not just outside cultures that disagree with this tradition of cooking and consuming man’s best friend. There are large groups of activists living in China that attend the festival to picket and boycott. They even manage to save some of the dogs from ending up on a plate. This year alone these groups rescued some 400 dogs
.However, the number of dogs saved is minuscule in comparison to the thousands of dogs killed, cleaned, cooked, and consumed by the festival goers. “I have no hope that these people will change and our ability to make change is not significant enough,” said local activist Zhao Yangsu to a CNN reporter
- a sad truth that these canine freedom fighters have to contend with every day.
The #EndDogMeat Movement
That said, with the overwhelming support that these protesters received from all across the globe thanks to the trending Twitter hashtag #EndDogMeat
, support and awareness for the cause has never been stronger.
from @bsculier on Twitter
Dogs and humans have lived side by side for as long as any historian can accurately recount. They have kept us company, offered us protection, and showered us with love for tens of thousands of years. They are a part of us. As such, they should occupy a special place in our hearts - not our stomachs