Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Yulin Festival: An embarrassment to humanity

It is usually around this time of the year, that probably one of the cruellest festival known to mankind takes place in China. The Lychee and the Dog Meat festival, also known as the Yulin festival, takes place annually during the last 10 days of June in Yulin, China.

A 400-year old tradition, it is celebrated with the belief that the dog meat may help increase the internal heat to beat the winter cold which increases in June. It is also believed that eating dog meat will bring good luck and fortune in their lives. In the 10 days that the festival is celebrated, around 10000-15000 dogs are killed for human consumption. The dogs are paraded along the streets while they are kept in steel cages for the public to select the most desirable dogs and buy them. The consumers have to select the live dogs which they want to consume and base on their selection the dogs are skinned and cooked for consumption.

There are no animal protection laws as such in China. The officials and many of the people say that the dogs are killed in a ‘humane’ manner. A huge problem here is that many of the dogs which are sold for skinning are stolen from houses where they were kept and nurtured as pets. But the issues don’t end just here. While transportation and at the time of the sale, the dogs have a great chance of getting sick and consuming them can also cause an epidemic. They can be infected with diseases like rabies which can be transmitted to the consumer.

The hate against the cruelty has gained impetus in the past few years with people from all over the world, including Chinese celebrities and celebrities from other countries of the world, speaking giving their views and hate against the Yulin festival. Numerous petitions have been signed to stop this inhumane behaviour but to no avail. The Chinese Government is in a fix because of this situation. On one hand, they have to respect the tradition of the people who follow and celebrate this festival and on the other hand they have to maintain their status and heritage which has been damaged because of this festival. The Jinhua Hutou Dog Meat Festival is usually celebrated in a similar fashion but in September. A few years back it had been banned after petitions were signed and a massive outrage was caused. But the government officials denied it by saying that such activities were never conducted.

While traditions have to be honoured, it is pretty disrespectful to still continue carrying out such activities in this day and age. Dogs are loyal and harmless animals who do not deserve to be treated in this manner. Such activities are an insult to humanity and embarrassing too. It is about time that this festival is stopped and that we honour animals and let them live in peace and that we do not use their lives for our satisfaction in the name of festivals as there are many other peaceful and better ways to celebrate festivals while maintaining our culture and traditions.

Written by Anand JC
Reader. Writer. Teacher. Preacher. Occasional Exerciser. Master Procrastinator ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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