Thousands of dogs both small and large could be seen in packed in cages in the streets of the Chinese city of Yulin in recent days. The animals were for sale — but not as pets. Locals and tourists in Yulin celebrate the summer solstice by eating copious amounts of dog meat.
As many as 10,000 dogs will be killed and eaten during this year's festival on June 22, according to the Washington Post, part of a tradition that stretches back generations. Some Chinese people believe that consuming dog meat brings good health and luck.
Eating dog meat is not totally taboo in China, but festivals celebrating canine consumption have come under harsh criticism in recent years. Some activists have labeled the Yulin event a " festival of cruelty," and cited concerns about public health and animal welfare.
Activists have alleged that some slaughtered dogs are actually stolen pets that were not raised for consumption as required by law. Will Kaku, from Duo Duo Animal Welfare Project, an animal rights organization based in the US, told VICE News that eating dog meat is a Chinese "sub-culture" that is relatively uncommon, and that the Yulin festival shouldn't be allowed to continue just because it's a tradition.
"Culture is very malleable. It changes over time," Kaku said in an earlier interview. "Just like foot-binding was a tradition in China that was stopped, in [the US] with the civil rights movement or our attitudes around LGBT equality… It's proven over time that that's not true."
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW
Related: Dog Days of Yulin - Full Length
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