The barbarism of the dog-eating festival

May 17, 2016

“There’s no need to stress that dogs happen to be a species that we think of as pets. An earlier version of the petition said that the torturing before killing is deliberate because the adrenalin makes the meat taste better. This is also mentioned in the Wikipedia article ( which adds that beating before death is favoured because it brings more blood to the meat. This is intolerable barbarism. Please sign the petition and help to pass it around, including by Twitter etc.”

–Richard Dawkins

For the Yulin dog meat festival, some dogs are stolen from their owners and beaten or bled to death. Then they’re hung upside down from hooks, a slit cut from their anus and skin ripped off their bodies, and sold to be eaten.

The suffering must be unbearable — new research shows that in terms of emotion, dogs’ brains are much like ours, something dog owners and lovers understand well. When we see dogs for what they are — living beings with thoughts and feelings — the torture they endure at this ‘festival’ becomes inexcusable.

Already thousands of Chinese citizens have spoken out against the festival, but authorities won’t act until they see how badly it’s hurting China’s global image, which they’ve been working hard to improve. That’s where we come in. Let’s show the Chinese government that the world cares about this puppy slaughter and wants them to stop it immediately!

When our numbers are great enough, Avaaz will take out ads, work with influential celebrities, run the first independent national poll on dog-eating in China, and put this issue on front pages everywhere until Chinese authorities act. Add your name to the petition below with one-click and tell everyone:

To Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping, the Governor of Guangxi Province Mr. Chen Wu, and members of the Chinese Central Government:
As citizens across the globe deeply disturbed by the abuse and consumption of dogs at the Yulin festival, we strongly urge you to ban it immediately. Millions of Chinese citizens support legislation to stop the dog meat industry, and we join their call to end this cruel trade.

Thanks to brave Chinese activists, the festival gets smaller each year, and Yulin authorities eventually withdrew their sponsorship of the festival and even banned their employees from attending. Momentum is building. If millions of us raise our voices now, we can save thousands of pups from unimaginable torture.

The Yulin festival isn’t a centuries old tradition — it was started in 2010! And many argue that it was created mainly to boost meat industry sales.

Time is running out — the festival is in weeks. Sign the petition above with one-click on the link, then forward this to friends and family — let’s make this huge!

Our community has campaigned against the most cruel bull festival in Spain, against the discarding and killing of male baby chicks in Germany, and against terrible conditions on farms in Spain and France. Now it’s time to speak out for man’s best friend, and get this puppy slaughter stopped for good.

With hope,

Rewan, Danny, Luis, Patricia, Jooyea, Mike, Ricken and the entire Avaaz team

More information:

Yulin Dog Meat Festival 2016: New pictures emerge of ‘nightmare’ conditions for animals involved in Chinese event (The Independent)

Chinese public urges government to crack down on dog meat industry (Channel NewsAsia)

This Year, China Needs to End Its Horrific Dog Meat Festival (Observer)

Animal Rights Activists Target China Dog Meat Festival (VOA) 

Why the Brains of Dogs and Humans are More Similar Than You Think (Gizmodo) 

14 comments on “The barbarism of the dog-eating festival

  • And the French eat horses.

    Animal cruelty is the moral issue, not this cultural relativist repugnance and speciesism.

    A horrible muddle of a piece about muddled political actions, that might have achieved more if they had attempted less.

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  • @phil rimmer

    For the Yulin dog meat festival, some dogs are stolen from their owners and beaten or bled to death.

    If the horses are not stolen and beaten then you have made the fallacy of the false comparison.

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  • I note the petition though changed is still coopting the cultural relativism of eating companion animals

    As citizens across the globe deeply disturbed by the abuse and consumption of dogs…

    Unfortunately the evidence for sustained or systemic abuse is not offered in wiki. The petition organisers must find this.

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  • It is to Europe’s shame – that we allow animals slaughtered in a religious ritual (Halal, Kosher) by the billions – Kill the animals as swiftly and painless as possible. I would advocate this also for species that we consider as non-food (Dogs, Cats etc) – if people wish to consume a different type of meat.
    I have no qualms about killing animals for food – I love meat!!!

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  • But (ignoring our fondness for dogs as a species), how is this any more cruel than what goes on in slaughterhouses, or factory farms across the country? Out of sight, out of mind.

    The theft angle is interesting… it’s one thing to own livestock (of whatever species) and slaughter it, and quite another to STEAL the property (whether a pet or just an object) of another person.
    Sounds like organised crime to me, property theft on a mass scale for commercial purposes.

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  • I can’t objectively defend this point of view, but it does seem to me that humans have a special relationship with dogs (and to a slightly lesser extent, horses) that goes beyond that which we have with other animals, be they pets (cats, guinea pigs etc), livestock, working animals, or wild animals.

    These two species have such a long history of a kind of parnetship with humans, and show levels of devotion, duty and loyalty that aren’t displayed either so deeply or so widely in any other species. We use dogs in incredibly personal and intimate roles such as guiding the blind, guarding, bomb disposal, hunting or retrieving food, detecting contraband, search and rescuing, etc.

    One could argue that that relationship doesn’t imply we should treat them differently from any other species, but personally, I think we have a duty of loyalty in return, and that killing dogs for sport or as a culinary delicacy, or for other frivolous reasons is a breach of a rather special trust that applies more than it does with any other species.

    Just my 2p worth.

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  • phil rimmer #10
    May 21, 2016 at 5:02 am

    classical literature usually qualified dogs as hui treacherous, jiao crafty and si restless

    It was probably a wild dog – life-style thing.

    Think – modern day Coyote, fox or Dingo!

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  • Emotional nonsense. Humans eat anything that is edible. Animal cruelty it the issue.
    There is no moral difference between slaughtering millions of cattle, sheep, horses or dolphins, whales, tuna, fish, dogs, cats, chickens, turkeys, snakes, crocodiles, seals etc etc.
    I am a vegetarian and find killing of anything to be repugnant however I do realise that humanity is a very long way away from ending the killing of other creatures. The biblical imperative that humans should go forth an multiply and have dominion over the birds of the air, fish of the sea etc has certainly contributed to the uninhibited plundering of nature. All one can hope for is that the incredible pain and suffering that humans perpetrate is limited somewhat by anti cruelty campaigns.

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  • Broccoli has significantly less fat than the leading candy bar!

    I think Michael G is the only one here who could tell me why this ( and by extension ) and many of these posts are just fallacies of false comparison.

    I wonder if anyone here has ever had a companion dog let alone a horse. Having had both I can safely say that eating them would not occur to me except in dire need.

    Emotional nonsense?!? Emotion and rationality are intrinsically joined in the brain, so severing the connection between the limbic system and the frontal cortex is ( generally ) not possible let alone desirable.

    Having raised cattle, pigs, chickens and such for consumption I would not even know where to begin comparing the above to the dogs and horses I have had. Unless some ideological reasons overtook my mind!

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  • China is infamous for its cruelty to animals, not just the dogs, they rip out rabbits fur all over while it screams and a few months later do it to the same rabbits all over again, also they are tearing out the down from ducks and geese until the birds are so terrified they go stiff and are covered in blood, and again, they go through it all again and again.

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