Horse meat, dog meat, it’s getting tricky dealing with cultural preconceptions as they collide head on in global village and its 24-hour on-demand, new media cycle.
… Meanwhile, Yulin residents ask for more understanding of their local tradition. “We eat chicken, pork and beef, why not dog meat?” asked a local resident named Ma. “I hope outsiders show some respect for our traditional festival.”
Also – see No legal basis to cancel dog meat festival in Guangxi: local authorities (Want China Times, June 22, 2013):
The event, which is held once every year, highlights the city’s dog-meat culture and involves the mass consumption of dog-meat hotpot served with lychees and a strong grain liquor. The local residents consider the festival an ancient summer solstice tradition and believe that eating the dish on the specific day can help prevent illness.
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By Lin Meilian
Source – Global Times, published June 24, 2013
Despite widespread outrage, an annual dog meat festival kicked off on June 21 in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to mark the summer solstice.
Thousands of people crowded food streets in the city of Yulin to enjoy a feast of dog-meat hotpot with lychee wine, a local tradition that is said to keep diseases at bay. It is estimated that over 10,000 dogs were killed on the one-day festival.
In an open letter to the Yulin government on June 18, 20 animal right organizations called for the festival to be cancelled.
Please click here to read the full article at the Global Times.
“Dog meat consumption is the reason why dog theft is so rampant. We call for the cancellation of the festival as well as the reduction and limitation of the consumption of dog meat,” their statement said.
Yulin authorities earlier responded that they were powerless to act as the festival was organized by local people, not the government.
Animal lovers say the dogs that are eaten are often strays or have been stolen from their owners in the countryside. They might carry diseases that can be passed on to human beings, they claim.
However, local officials say all the dogs used are bred on farms.
Pictures published online of dogs kept in cramped conditions before being skinned and cooked have angered many. Animal rights activists from all over the country have descended on Yulin to protest at dog-eaters.
Together with other volunteers, Du Yufeng, founder of Chinese animal rights group Boai Small Animal Protection Center, protested outside the most famous dog-meat restaurant in the city with a banner saying “Stop cruelty, do not eat dogs and cats.”
The protest seems to have bothered the restaurant owner who came out and tried to wrench the banner away.
Meanwhile, Yulin residents ask for more understanding of their local tradition.
“We eat chicken, pork and beef, why not dog meat?” asked a local resident named Ma. “I hope outsiders show some respect for our traditional festival.”
Some argue that dog-eating has not been outlawed but others retort that animal welfare laws lag far behind the times in China.