When I think of the word "festival," many different celebratory occasions come to mind.

What I am about to talk about is the last thing from a reason to celebrate.

The Yulin Dog Meat Eating Festival

In Yulin the Chinese have an annual festival where dogs and cats are killed for meat. They are "bludgeoned to death with metal rods," according to Dr. Peter Li, Humane Society International China policy specialist, Dr. Li went to China to see for himself the horrific events that were taking place. He said, "It was one of the most harrowing visits I've ever made to Yulin. There were traumatized dogs waiting to be killed in holding pens awash with blood. It's hard to imagine their mental suffering, watching other dogs being killed disemboweled dismembered in front of them."

Thousands of dogs and cats are stolen and sold to the butchers just for this festival. The Humane Society International is joining hands with Chinese animal group partners to go to the Chinese government to put a stop to this.

According to a video the UK made to raise awareness for the festival, many of these animals that are snatched are taken are from homes as pets. One speaker in the video said there was a pile of collars in the back corner that represents all that is left of these beloved pets.

Chinese officials have released statements claiming anything from they don't think it's happening to they are trying to stop it and don't have control. To put all of that in perspective though, writer Dominick Mezzapesa put it perfectly when she said, "The communist country that seems to be able to dictate to it's 1.4 billion people how many children they may have, weaken religion by forcing Muslims to sell alcohol and cigarettes in their shops or they will be closed, demand that on the 3 major holidays that EVERY business close, a country that has the ability to spy on the US by hacking into the most sophisticated computer system on the planet"and they claim they can't stop this meat festival? They play like they are clueless to this cruelty. They are indifferent to this downright heinousness festival that happens every June. Absolutely disgusting.

One official said it was a tradition, like he was using that as an excuse. I respect the culture rooted in traditions but you have to be out of your mind to think this is acceptable. This is one tradition that is disturbing and inhumane and needs to be stopped.

Along with 22 other activists, Adam Parascandola, director of animal protection and crisis response for Humane Society International, went to Yulin and says regardless of what the Chinese officials are saying the animal brutality has absolutely not stopped. Over his career in the HSUS and now HSI he has seen many cases of animal brutality but he says "I will be haunted for the rest of my life by the sight of dogs so crowded into the slaughterhouse pen they were standing three deep on top of each other. I will never forget their cries as they were beaten."

Through the International Humane Society getting involved it forces the Chinese to take responsibility for and recognize the terrible acts that are happening. "HSI staff has many brave protesters who have organized protests in front of the Yulin city government building, sponsored a 50-city protest campaign calling for an end to the festival, and sponsored four city candlelight vigils against the dog meat industry." They have also risked their safety to take pictures and videos to prove it is still going on. One of the ways the HSI has tried to confront this problem head on is through a leader addressed to the leaders in Yulin calling for a stop to the event. They have also been diligent about making sure to keep international media's attention focused on the events in Yulin, making sure the the world learns of these atrocities."

Through the global pressure progress has been made for the banning of other meat festivals. Some of this progress can be seen in the events of the Jinhua Dog Meat Festival. Through protests in 2011 the Jinhua Dog Meat Festival was banned. According to the Humane Societies blogger, Wayne Pacelle, the people of China are seeing dogs as pets and as a society starting to recognize the terrible nature of this festival and therefore expose dog meat traders. In 2014, 18 trucks bound for the slaughterhouses were stopped by activists and more than 8,000 dogs were rescued from their journeys to sure death. This is exactly what the goal is for Yulin. It is possible if everyone comes together to fight it.

It is so important we be there to expose this horrendous cruelty, Adam argues. One of the problems they have run into is the meat traders will do all their work at night making them harder to catch. Adam says, We must send a message that hiding the killing in the dead of night will not bring an end to the protests against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. Only an end to the festival can do that. One way or another this will end because of brave activists like Adam. The more support that is raised the sooner that time will come.

In Yulin, our investigators entered two of the four slaughter operations, two dog meat restaurants, and three dog meat markets. Adam says this is only the beginning as the festival draws near the killing and torture will only increase.

This monstrosity needs to end now. Only through global pressure can this be stopped. We need to help these animals and by signing this petition you can play a role in helping stop this injustice.

#StopYulin has created an online petition to stop these cruel and devastating acts that go on every June in this so called "festival."

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