On a weekend with both the Dragon Boat Festival and Fathers’ Day, a lesser known event has been generating buzz, with many voices criticizing the practices that it involves.
From the city of Yulin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, comes a celebration of the summer solstice, an event which may seem harmless enough. However, it is how the celebration is carried out that causes outrage among people with an inkling of humanity.
The “lychee and dog meat” festival is exactly that. Residents gather round and feast on lychee and dog meat to usher in the summer solstice.
With over 10,000 dogs being slaughtered and made into food every year, people online have been vocal in their disgust at such an event and hope that it will be banned in the future. It is also widely publicized that many of the dogs sold in the markets have been kidnapped and snatch from their homes and families.
Animal lovers in the area have tried to buy up dogs in order to save them from being eaten. One retired school teacher spent 7,000 RMB in order to save 100 dogs.
The local government has distanced itself from the festival, saying that it is unofficial and simply a product of a tradition that residents introduced. The government as a whole has yet to make restrictions on the participation on this canine massacre.
Unsurprisingly, local businesses have dismissed claims of inhumane treatment and animal cruelty. They see canine flesh as simply another form of meat, like lamb or pork.
Netizens both in China and abroad in outrage over this festival, though it remains to be seen if next year will be any different. There were calls for the event to be banned both in 2013 and 2014, and yet here it still is. Users on Twitter have been using the hashtag #StopYuLin2015 in an attempt to raise awareness and stop the torture.
David Brent sums it up perfectly.