Incredible Animal Cruelty in China: Residents have begun killing and eating dogs early in celebration of the summer solstice in a bid to avoid protests by animal rights campaigners.
SCANDALOUS AND REVOLTING NEWS FROM CHINA – WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGE
Some residents of the southern Chinese city of Yulin started gathering last weekend and eating dog meat and lychees to celebrate the longest day of the year, ahead of Saturday’s actual solstice, state media reported.
The locals wanted to avoid protests which have in recent years seen the festival, slaughterhouses and markets selling dogs targeted as part of a social media campaign and ongoing online petition against the practice.
The public uproar reflects the increasing affluence of ordinary Chinese, who keep pets, travel overseas and are changing attitudes toward traditions they may not have questioned before.
Photos on state media showed groups of Yulin city residents tucking into plates of meat and vegetables around dining tables strewn with lychees. Other photos, which circulated widely on Chinese microblogs, were of skinned, cooked dogs hanging from hooks at street stalls or piled on tables.
Under the Yulin tradition, eating dog and lychee and drinking liquor on the solstice is supposed to make people stay healthy during winter. It is unclear if the supposed health benefits diminish if the feast occurs before the actual solstice.
The Yulin government has sought to distance itself from the feasting, saying it is not officially endorsed. State media reports say the government told restaurants to remove references to dog meat from their menus and signboards — though it did not ban the sale and consumption of the meat, which is not illegal in China.
The government has denied the formal existence of such a festival, saying it is a culinary habit practiced only by some businesses and people.
Public pressure stopped another dog meat festival, in eastern Zhejiang province, which was cancelled in 2011 despite dating back hundreds of years.