This article wasn't easy to write. It will be even harder to read. Here's your warning: If you decide to read this article, you will never see the world as you did before.
Humans have shared our lives with animals in one form or another. Dogs, called "Man's best friend" have lived with us, side-by-side for thousands of years. Some cultures, such as the one that I am a part of, value dogs more than just a "companion animal". They share my bed, spend the best and the worst times of my life with me and, as heartbreaking as it is, die in my arms when they are no longer able to live their life to the fullest.
Other cultures also place great importance on dogs, but not in the same way that I do. Some Asian consider the consumption of dog meat as an age-old tradition, to ward off diseases and heighten men's sexual performance. While historians have documented dog meat is a staple of traditional Asian dishes since 500 BC, and the Yulin dog meat festival is important as part of this, it is simply untrue.
The Yulin Dog Meat Festival first began in 2010 as an attempt to bring financial incentives into a poor region of China. As one of the biggest annual celebrations during the summer solstice, it has drawn worldwide attention As people began to attend this weeklong event, the demand for more dog meat grew.
Currently, there are dog farms in China, but hey are few are far between. Most of the dogs that are used in food dishes are companion animals kidnapped from their owners or found on the street. It sounds impossible, I know. I have spent countless hours researching and collecting information data and sadly, pets are one of the biggest contributors to the meat festivals.
Dogs collected from front yards while their owners have their backed turned, vans slowing down and opening a door to grab the leash of a dog being walked, and dog being dragged behind vehicles is a common site in some places.
Dogs, whether they are "raised" on dog meat farms or abducted from families suffer a fate much worse than death. They will spend days and weeks being transported across the country by the thousands in cramped, stifling conditions with no food and water. Many will die before they even reach their destination of Yulin alleys and slaughterhouses.
Celebrities React To The Yulin Dog Meat Festival - Compassion Project PSA www.youtube.com
One of the most disturbing parts of the Yulin festival is how and why the dogs are brutally tortured before being killed and eaten. It is believed for a meal of dog meat to be a delicacy the dog must suffer brutal pain to make the meat, rich in hormones produced only in times of extreme fear and pain while still alive. I will not go into details, but in order to understand how sick and depraved these actions are, I will give what I hope is a watered-down version.
Dogs are starved and refused water to the point they are weak and easy to control. They are then beaten with 2x4 wood beams, hung from trees and used as pinatas, have their legs chopped off while screaming in pain (so they will not try to run away), skinned and boiled alive, and finally, murdered in plain view of customers waiting for a delicious plate of you guessed it – dog. Many of the dogs that have been killed and hung for sale still have their collars on their necks.
I debated for several years now about sharing this information with others that do not "run" in the animal activist world.I am not sure I will ever feel confident in my decision to discuss something (in my opinion) so heinous and horrific with those of us that have no clue what is happening halfway across the world. The Yulin Dog Meat Festival happens every year at the beginning of the Summer Solstice.
In less than two weeks up to 15,000 dogs will be tortured and brutally butchered so people with beliefs that eating dog meat will make them more "virile" and stronger begins.
My sadness, anxiety, and frustration do not begin the first day of the Yulin Festival. In fact, these are now woven into the person that I have become. When the weather changes here, across the world from thousands of dogs who have little to no hope of rescue, I once again begin to feel a sense of desperation that only increases as we get closer to the week of June 21st. There is no feeling in the world that can compare to the one that comes from seeing thousands of innocent souls crying for help in terror and knowing there is nothing I can do to make it stop.
Much of the videos and photos from the Yulin Dog Meat Festival are enough to make anyone puke. There is no amount of "cultural differences" or "no laws in place" that can make the images leave your mind. My turning point happened a few years ago and was such a silent whisper that touched my soul I was not aware of it.
A short 30-second video of a nicely dressed man with a beautiful golden retriever on a leash caught my eye. The dog could have been our beloved retriever, Yogi. The beautiful smile and wagging tail as he patiently sat beside his owner while watching every move he made was so familiar. After all, I had seen Yogi do this practically every day of his life. I can't even begin to explain how I felt when the last part of the video was the owner taking a handful of cash, giving the man the leash and watching him pull the dog away down the street to the slaughterhouse.
Now I know why Golden Retrievers are so popular in the dog meat industry. Because they are so sweet and trusting. TOO sweet in fact that they have earned the nickname, "Goldies".
I still cry when I think of this. I cry, wipe away my snot bubbles and remind myself that THIS HAS TO STOP. The older I get the more I realize how few people in the world care enough to step up and force change that is desperately needed.
This article is written for one of the best friends I have ever had. Yogi, you are missed each day and I will continue my vow of fighting for each and every one of you Goldies and all the other dogs that need us to step up more than ever before.