The practice of eating dog meat in China began about 400 years ago as a means of warding off heat in the blazing summer months. Yet it wasn’t until recently that the festival in Yulin began, where for 10 days at the beginning of the Summer Solstice, roughly 10,000- 15,000 dogs are caged, skinned, and cooked for consumption for festival attendants and local residents. Cats are fair game during this time as well.
People all over the world have expressed their outrage that such loving, intelligent companions would be confined, slaughtered, and eaten, and this backlash has only snowballed as media coverage of the event grows. Groups such as the Humane Society and PETA in particular have protested the event, but you don’t have to be a part of an organization to make a difference.
Marc Ching is an American activist who reminds us that if you are passionate enough about making a change, change will happen! Marc visits slaughterhouses that contain dogs and works to shut them down. He has in the past been successful in persuading slaughterhouse owners to stop their cruel practices by paying a fee and helping them to create a more peaceful business.
Before this year’s Yulin Dog Meat Festival began, Marc and his partner, Valarie Ianniello, managed to save 1,000 dogs from six slaughterhouses. He documents his rescues and investigations on his Facebook page, The Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation. He has even been physically assaulted and detained by Chinese authorities on the way to Yulin.
And the Yulin Dog Meat Festival isn’t the only place where Marc’s passion takes him, as he has visited countries such as Cambodia and Indonesia to rescue dogs from slaughterhouses.
Seoul Korea, The Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation
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Marc also joins protestors who visit the festival to disrupt dog sales. Many people even purchase dogs to save them from being killed to eat.
Activist carries dog he bought from festival.
Many residents recognize the cruelty of the practices that take place during the festival, as they are animal lovers themselves and even have dogs and cats as pets.
“We came to Yulin to tell people here dogs are our friends. They should not kill dogs in such a cruel way and many of the dogs they killed are pet dogs,” said Yang Yuhua, a volunteer.
Marc continues to join thousands around the world in the pledge to recognize all life as sacred and to help others honour the souls that live within the animals that grace our planet.
I will leave you with this quote that Marc posted alongside one of the images on The Animal Hope & Wellness Facebook page:
I still remember the day. The way blood fell from the sky like rain. I had never been into a slaughterhouse. Never watched living things die from torture. If I knew then what I know now. If I knew the way the journey would bury me into the ground. I never would have came. I never would have started down this way.
But once you see it. Once they pull your eyes and you breathe it. This is who you become. And your life, it is left somewhere and sacrificed.
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