Yulin Litchi Dog Meat Festival is an “unique” festival in Yulin City, South China’s Guangxi Province. On this day, both men and women, young and old, are accustomed to eating dog meat together with fresh lychee wine. Allegedly on this day tens of thousands of the city’s dogs will be killed and eaten. People believe that eating the dog on the summer solstice will help keep away the disease invasion. But in recent years, this folk festival is being boycotted by some people as well as local and international NGOs.
Calling for cancellation of Yulin Litchi Dog Meat Festival
Volunteers knelt and bowed to the dogs and offered “apology”
Last year during the Yulin Litchi Dog Meat Festival, performance artist Pian Kongshan “片山空” knelt and bowed to the dogs claiming “sincere apology” on behalf of human beings. He called for “Respect yourself and respect for life” which caused a sensation. “I’m not an extremist, I am a vegetarian, but hold no objection to people’s eating meat, I just think we should offer humane treatment to animals.”
On June 18, Northwest University of Politics and Law Research Center Animal Protection, China Small Animal Protection Association and other organizations 20 agencies jointly called for a cancellation of the Yulin Litchi Dog Meat Festival on the summer solstice festival and stop the corresponding black trade chain of dogs.
Vice mayor of Guangxi Yulin: A complete ban of “dog meat” is baseless
Although the Yulin city government never hosted any Yulin Litchi Dog Meat Festival, and has never advocated before, the public pressure from all sides did cause some government level discussion and reflection. A deputy mayor of Yulin city government revealed that there is no basis for the government to completely ban or outlaw this long existing social custom involving at least millions of people, and he hinted that it takes some time to slowly guide the public.
ChinaAbout.net editorial comment
Dog meat dispute has been a long existing ethical issue which is obvious with the increasing urban development and people’s great love of dogs as pets. From the legal perspective, in many Asian countries dog meats are not banned as a normal meat source. From the ethical views, many people such as the people in Yulin City of Guangxi Province, their habit may exist for many years. The current dispute comes from the changes of people’s views. There is no such right or wrong issue, but which side will win the social dispute and forces the government to take relevant actions as desired. While one may think killing lovely and friendly puppy may hurt his or her fragile heart, try to think why people are indifferent to the death of tens of thousands of chicken every day which makes happy meals in the McDonald’s and KFC possible.
Reference: Xinhua Net