Yulin dog-meat festival

Recently, my Facebook feed has been lit up with posts urging me to sign petition after petition against the Yulin dog meat festival.

I refuse to do any such thing.

Many of the people ranting about this horrid “festival” are non-vegans who are obviously very confused about the issue. It makes no sense whatsoever to speak out against people eating dogs when you yourself eat or otherwise exploit any number of other animals.

People keep defending their outrage against this festival, saying that it’s somehow worse than anything we do to animals here in North America. They keep mentioning that many of the dogs being killed are “pets” who are stolen from their families.

So, the lives of animals we in the West consider “pets” are more valuable than those we consider “food”? How ridiculously arbitrary!

The truth is that what happens during this festival is no different than what everyone else in the world does to animals for no other reason than that they like how they taste. Cows, pigs, chickens, goats, ducks, sheep, fish—these animals are brutally tortured by the millions each day and killed so people can eat their corpses. What they suffer in their short lives is every bit as horrendous as what the dogs in Yulin suffer. There is no difference, and I’m not keen on the idea of comparing suffering anyway. Use is abuse, and it’s ALL wrong regardless of “how much suffering” we perceive. Treatment is not the real issue here.

Why on earth should the people of Yulin stop their dog-eating festival when all the people complaining and starting petitions over it won’t stop exploiting animals in their own countries?

And how much sense does it make to pressure the people of Yulin to stop eating dogs if we don’t promote a vegan message? Won’t they just replace the dogs with some other kind of animal? That doesn’t “help” animals in any way, and the people of Yulin are understandably confused as to what all the ruckus is about. Not promoting a strong and consistent vegan message confuses people.

Much like Ricky Gervais confuses people, which I spoke about in a previous post that seemed to irritate a lot of welfarists who love Ricky Gervais. Sorry, but I stand by my initial assertion that Ricky Gervais is a hypocrite. And it seems he’s not alone.

If we don’t indicate to others why any and all animal use is immoral and should be rejected, then how the hell are they supposed to understand our ire? The people of Yulin probably see us as a bunch of lunatics who fetishize dogs while eating other animals. They would not be wrong.

Just as the people who kill dolphins in Taiji resent white westerners screaming at them not to kill dolphins……why the hell shouldn’t they, given what we do to other animals in our own countries? They see non-vegan westerners as hypocrites, and they are one hundred percent correct.

Just as people in my own home country get annoyed at all the foreigners telling us not to club baby seals to death every year. Why the hell shouldn’t we, when every other country on the face of this earth exploits animals in some gruesome way? Stop telling us what to do when you do the same damn thing, only to different species! Canadians are getting pretty damn sick of Americans coming to our country to film the seal slaughter and tell us we are awful people for killing seals, when Americans do things to all kinds of animals, things that are every single bit as awful.

If we want to get through to people, we need to talk clearly and consistently about veganism. We need to talk about sentience, not species. ALL species matter, not just the cute and cuddly ones, or the “smart” ones, or whatever other irrelevant criteria we use to differentiate between those species we value and those we don’t.

We need to stop the xenophobia and outright racism. People in Asia are NOT worse than people in North America. They use rhino horns for “medicinal” purposes; we test on all kinds of animals for “scientific” purposes. “We” are not better than “they” are, and we need to stop talking like we are. We are all human beings, and we all exploit animals, and it all has to stop.

So please, stop circulating useless single-issue petitions and speaking out against something that is no worse than what your friends and family (and maybe even you) do at least three times a day at each meal. Start thinking about the ways in which you and those you care about exploit animals, and start reading literature by people like Gary Francione (www.abolitionistapproach.com or check out his Facebook page; books: Rain Without Thunder, Eat Like You Care, Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog, etc).

If you are not already vegan, then become vegan and start educating others.

Education is the strongest form of activism, so get educated and start advocating for veganism as a moral baseline. It is the best thing you can do to help animals.

The only real “victory” for non-human animals will be when we get others to go vegan. So get out there and educate.

5 comments on “Yulin dog-meat festival

  1. I agree to some of your sentiments in this post, and you make valid points.

    But the difference that this ‘festival’ is making, is awareness. People are seeing this all over, and it is causing great upset across the world. And this is a great thing.
    Yes, some people are getting upset and just scrolling further down their news feeds only to forget about it a day later, but there are many, many people who can make a real difference. We don’t all have the means to do that, though. I would be saving every dog at that festival if I could. And every baby seal, and every dolphin, and every rhino, and every cow or pig or chicken… But I can’t.
    Imagine if the chicken-, cow-, and pig farms are exposed in this way? I can imagine thousands of people will become vegans.

    I will sign each and every petition there is to stop this, and any other atrocious act of animal abuse.

    • See, but that’s the point. We need to be raising awareness about ALL animal use. Yeah, doing those things to dogs is terrible, but the reason so many people are getting outraged is that it’s dogs. They don’t care when it’s pigs, cows or any other animal they see as “food”.

      And you are very, very wrong in saying we can’t save every animal. We CAN. By going vegan and educating others and encouraging them to be vegan too. In fact, the ONLY way to save animals is to become vegan and encourage others to be vegan too.

      The farms have been exposed. For years and years and years, we’ve been seeing undercover footage of the “treatment” of animals on farms. And that is a major problem–the issue isn’t treatment; it’s use. It doesn’t matter how appalling conditions are or how badly animals are “abused”; the fact that we are exploiting them at all is the problem. The idea that other sentient beings are commodities, mere things here for us humans to use however we please, is the root of every single animal use problem on earth.

      No petition or single-issue campaign–like “Stop the Yulin Dog-Meat Festival” campaign–will ever do anything to help animals, because all they do is focus on a particular kind of treatment. They don’t offer a solution–the only solution is veganism, and none of these organizations or petitions or people involved in single-issue campaigns ever talk about veganism and explain why it’s what we have to do to help animals. Veganism is the VERY LEAST we can do to help animals.

      People will become vegan when vegans start explaining veganism to non-vegans clearly and consistently. It’s already happening. We just need to stop confusing the issue with petitions and single-issue campaigns that focus on one type of use of one species of animal.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. If you aren’t vegan, please go vegan and educate others to do the same.

      • I agree with you 100% . I don’t mean that we can’t save every animal. I mean that I,as an individual, can’t. I don’t have the financial means to go and rescue every animal that needs it. But I will do everything I can to do so from where I’m standing. I’m from South Africa, and things here are really difficult to try and change. But like I said, I’ll keep doing all that I can.

  2. It can be very frustrating, can’t it, to see all these things happening and to know that you can’t save every individual animal because you are just one person 😦 It gets to me sometimes. And you are right in that things are difficult to try and change–people can be so resistant, which boggles my mind. Most people ALREADY think animals matter morally and agree that we should not subject them to unnecessary pain and suffering, and that pleasure, convenience and entertainment do not constitute necessity–so why is it so hard to get them to see that all our use of animals is for purposes of pleasure, convenience or entertainment and is therefore unnecessary and not morally justifiable? It seems so simple. I guess all any of us can do is keep doing what we can 🙂

  3. Exactly. Thank you for saying it like it is.

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