What is the Chinese Dog Eating Festival and Why does it exist?

A dog in a cage-Dog Eating Festival
5 min read

The world is full of weird and bizarre traditions, Tomato throwing festival in Spain, cheese-rolling in England or throwing cinnamon on single people in Denmark. These are the ‘acceptable’ kind of global traditions, as it doesn’t hurt anyone and it is mainly held for their fun atmosphere and the pleasure of the reviving a part of the country’s history.

Our concerns are for the dark rituals and traditions that still held in 2019. Ever heard of the Chinese dog eating festival?

dogs in a cage- stop dog eating festival

Yes, what you just read is true, the lychee and dog eating festival or Yulin festival is an annual 10-day “celebration” held every year in Yulin, a city in Guangxi district in China. There is a fixed date for the event, every year on 21 June this horrific so-called-festival is held. Dog meat, lychees, and even cat meat are consumed with liquor and other refreshments.

Is Dog Eating Occurs in China Only?

Unfortunately, No. Dog eating is not a habit in China only, a lot of countries in the world had a history of dog meat eating like in Ghana, Nigeria, Thailand, Indonesia, ancient Mexico, and many other countries.

And still, in some of the Asian countries, dog meat trade is ongoing. But China is known for being the largest of them all when it comes to dog meat consuming.

Other nations are thought to only use dogs at the past in famine times or wars( as an emergency source of food) as found in some historical records.

Consuming dog meat in China dates back to 500 BC or even earlier. Back then, it was thought that dog meat possesses medical properties that help with the regulation of body temperature.

Mengzi, a famous Chinese philosopher, believed that dog meat is savory and contains plenty of beneficial nutrients. Nowadays, dog meat is still being served on more than a Chinese district; Guangdong, Yunnan, Guangxi, as well as the northern districts of Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning.

It is normal to find restaurants in the south of China serving dog meat. The problem lies when the source of this meat is known.

What is the Problem With The Dog Eating Festival In China

There is this controversy on the fact that eating dog meat should be considered normal as eating mutton, lamb or any other type of meat that is considered ‘okay’ to be eaten.

yulin the Chinese dog eating festival

Even if the idea of eating dog meat is controversial for a party, with no doubt, the circumstances of getting these dogs to be slaughtered are brutal. About 10,000 dogs are consumed annually in the vicious festival.

Restaurant owners claim that the dogs they actually tend to eat are bred specifically to such kind of consumption, but the ugly reality opposes that.

About fifty dogs or less are typically found in a farm, with all the farms’ numbers found in this industry combined, the availability of dogs meat at the markets exceeds the number of the ‘so-called-farm-dogs’ so could someone explain the surplus or excess amount of dogs found in that festival?

The awful truth is that the excess dog meat comes from slaughtering kidnapped and strayed dogs. The Chinese police once prisoned more than one man for poisoning over 1,000 dogs to be served at this horrific festival.

So even if there is a dilemma on the authenticity of consuming dog meat and comparing it to other kinds of animal meat, stealing, poisoning, or killing stray dogs will never be accepted and is considered to be inhumane.

Dog Eating Festival And More Inhumane Acts

Stealing and poisoning dogs are not the only inhumane act found at this festival, in fact, there are more inhumane acts done to dogs which is torture. Dogs are being tortured for the sake of weird beliefs.

It is thought that increasing adrenaline in the dog’s blood circulation will add more flavor to its meat, so in order to get an adrenaline rush, dogs are being tortured by beaten to death, boiled alive or clubbed!

Why The Chinese Government Is not Banning This Festival?

Yulin festival is not an old traditional feast, in fact, its lifespan did not exceed a decade of time, it only started in 2009. It is more of a commercial festival than a traditional one.

The governmental support for this festival is officially over. In 2014, it was removed from the official events backing thanks to the campaigns made by many organizations that stand for animal rights.

But unfortunately, eating dog meat is not an illegal thing in China. Yes, the official dog eating festival is canceled but the local residents of Yulin city are still “celebrating” the summer solstice.

As long as eating dog meat is not banned, they will continue killing innocent dogs for such an absurd belief.

The issue is not about banning the consumption of dog meat at the Yulin festival only, but to be able to demolish the phenomenon entirely. More and more people join the party that opposes using dogs as a food source day after another.

What Can We Do To Stop Dog Meat Trade

There are a lot of organizations that are focusing on eliminating dog meat consumption and trade. One of the most prominent organizations in this field is AnimalsAsia.

They are working to demolish the dog meat trade and rescuing dogs from the unfortunate fate waiting for them in China. The Hashtag #ENDTHEDOGMEATTRADE to promote the case.

As dog lovers, we should also work along with every organization that is willing to stop this horrific act.

By donating to help the cause, spreading awareness and signing up letters and petitions to ban dog eating. Together we can make our word influential. Don’t lose hope and as the campaigns succeed in making the Chinese government stop supporting such a festival maybe one-day legislation will be issued banning the dog meat consumption and dog meat trade entirely.

If you still wondering more about this festival, check What is The Chinese​ Dog Festival and Other FAQ


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