Table of Contents:
- Vile dog meat markets still thriving in China
- Dog meat festivals
- The dog meat markets in China are a wretched industry. The dog meat trade is thriving — even celebrated in some areas like the Yulin festival.
Where do the dog markets get their fare? Some are strays or simply stolen, but many are bred in a mill process solely for consumption. The number of dogs consumed in China each year is in the millions, possibly as high as 10 million according to some estimates. From the NYT: “The meat, culled from farmed animals that are mixtures of Chinese dogs and St. Bernards or other big breeds, are served stewed, roasted, or sliced in a hot pot.”
Yulin, a city in Guangxi province, famed for its dog-meat culture, features a yearly festival “which involves the mass consumption of dog-meat hotpot serves with lychees and strong grain liquor,” according to The Guardian. Approximately 10,000 dogs are killed for the one-day festival and animal activists claim many of the dogs are stolen. City officials offered assurances that all the Yulin festival dogs are raised by local farmers.”
There is certainly an element of class warfare at play. China’s burgeoning middle class may be viewing dogs in a new light, but those left behind — the peasant class — haven’t take the same shine. In 2011, the Washington Post reported that a Chinese man posted online threats to kill a dog every day until animal rights groups gave money to the poor as well. “I felt I had to do something to represent the grass-roots people. I grew up in a poor village. We raised one dog to watch the door and one to be killed in the Lunar New Year because we were too poor to buy pork. I don’t understand what’s wrong with that,” said Zhu Guangbing.
Dog consumption is tangled up in history, cultural shifts, class warfare, and the free market. Complex issues notwithstanding, the “fragrant meat” trade is simply vile.
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