Controversy Surrounding Yulin Festival: Calls for End to Dog Meat Tradition in China

Dog meat at Yulin Festival in China - The controversial tradition of consuming dog meat in Yulin City, China, known as the Yulin Festival, has sparked widespread outcry in recent years.

The annual festival, held every June 21st, has drawn criticism for its cruel treatment of animals. Dogs are crammed into tiny cages in deplorable conditions, only to be slaughtered by beating, slashing, or even boiling them alive.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (2016), opposition to the consumption of pet meat is growing among Chinese citizens. Out of 30,000 netizens surveyed on, 64%, or three out of five people, expressed support for legislation prohibiting the consumption of companion animals.

In response to this phenomenon, local authorities have banned the festival. However, activists view this move as mere lip service, as the festival continues to be held unofficially.

The practice of consuming dog meat has been a tradition for centuries in China, South Korea, and other countries. Initially believed to ward off heat during the summer months, this custom has faced increasing condemnation in China, coinciding with the emergence of new lifestyles among the middle and upper classes. Many Chinese now consider dogs as pets rather than food.

The strong bond between humans and dogs has contributed to a shift in tradition, fueling outrage on Chinese social media platforms. Polling data from the independent Chinese research firm Horizon also found that 64% of surveyed individuals desire an end to the annual dog meat festival in Yulin, in line with existing government regulations.(*)

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