Despite opposition and protests, the yearly Dog Meat festival opened on Tuesday this week. The residents of Yulin, however, kept the festival “low-key” in response to increased government restrictions.
The yearly festival features the consumption of dog meat and each year, thousands of animals are killed. A petition with 11 million signatures was presented to the people of Yulin prior to the event, in hopes to see the end of what they believe is a cruel and inhumane practice.
The event has drawn attention from celebrities who have taken to Twitter to raise awareness. Simon Cowell tweeted “Yulin dog meat festival is sickeningly cruel.” Others, like Matt Damon, Joaquin Phoenix, Sia, and Pamela Anderson joined forces to promote a PSA from World Animal News .
Some activists have even purchased dogs from the streets of Yulin before they could be sold to people who would serve them as food.
Vendors for the festival do not see dog meat any differently than any other piece of meat, and are hoping for good business during the 10 day period. However, residents won’t see dog meat on any restaurant menu. “Why won’t they (let us openly celebrate the festival)? The city government came out and told (the vendors) not to let restaurant owners sell (dog meat). The city government is always (handling this issue) this way,” said Ms. Min, a Yulin resident.
The Yulin government began distancing itself from the festival two years ago, claiming the event does not have official backing, but that they wouldn’t interfere with the staging of the festival.
Source: NBC News