The year of 2015 had a lot of headlines. But none were as upsetting and raised a hue and cry around the world than China’s Yulin Festival. For those who are not aware of it or need some clarity, this is a festival that takes place on 21st June annually to mark the summer solstice. Pretty normal, right? Then why did it cause people from all over the globe to riot and numerous petitions to be signed by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, around the world? Because this festival is also known as the DOG EATING FESTIVAL. An estimated 15-20,000 dogs are beaten, mutilated, treated like bags of senseless meat and consumed in this province. Unbelievably gross.
Even though one would assume that this is a disgusting ancient practice of the east, you would be surprised to learn that this “festival” was created quite recently. People from and around that province feign innocence, saying they never heard of it in their childhood. The truth is, the practice of consuming dog meat dates back to ancient times as part of a regular diet. In the same way that others eat beef, chicken, pork and other delectable meats (let’s not forget Thanksgiving and the gobbling turkey), so does China resort to eating dogs for survival. How the festival came to be so UN-popular is not known, but people are mostly appalled because of the way dogs are treated before they die as well as the unimaginable way they are made to die.
The Chinese population that supports this festival argue that the west and other protestors should not raise voices and fingers against them because they are merely celebrating a natural phenomenon (summer solstice) with food and wine. The only reason why other people would be upset is because dogs are usually part of a domesticated culture where they are reared as pets, unlike cows, pigs and chickens that are so widely consumed in other countries.
The Chinese do have a point, but the real question is: do two wrongs make a right? True, we meat-eaters greedily hog our beloved meats and just because dogs are not our choice of grub, we can’t point fingers at someone else. What disgusts the world are images that have come from the Yulin festival that show barbaric treatment of innocent dogs. Also, stories about how canines are slaughtered will get anyone sick to their stomach to say the least.
The funny (ok, it’s not funny) thing about protests around the world against the Chinese festival is that most of them have taken place online through Facebook and Twitter, both of which are banned in China! So the Chinese are really not aware about the hue and cry being created, except through what is “fed” to them through the local media. Only those activists and journalists who have managed to set foot in the province have been able to try and enlighten the Chinese against this annual horrific occurrence.
As one person commented on social media: “They won’t protest us for eating pork. We should mutually respect each other. If you don’t want to eat something, then don’t.” And this person has a point. But take a look at the images, and tell us if at this point in time anyone should use logic to protest for or against the Yulin festival in China. Is it humane to treat and kill ANY creature the way these poor dogs have been culled? There is just no justification for it!
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