In certain areas of the world, human consumption of dog meat is considered socially acceptable. In most Western countries, consuming dog meat is considered taboo, as the animals are generally regarded as pets. The same is true of all animals that are slaughtered and cooked for consumption, as opinions regarding the ethical treatment of certain species greatly vary throughout the world.
Dog meat has a particularly extensive history in China, where the animals have been part of the region’s cuisine for centuries. Although dog meat is no longer as widely consumed in that nation (and there have been attempts at legislation to prohibit the consumption of the animal as their status as pets has become more common), it is still considered much less morally reprehensible than in Western states.
One of the largest dog meat events in China is the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, which draws a large crowd to consume dog meat cooked and prepared in a variety of manners. According to The Inquistr, an estimated 10,000 dogs will be cooked during this year’s rendition of the event, which takes place on Saturday.
Animal rights activists from around the globe have called attention to the festival, claiming that many of the dogs used for meat during the festival have been stolen or unjustly abducted from the street. Critics also accuse vendors of beating dogs to death in order to release blood in the meat, as well as other forms of animal abuse.
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According to Yahoo News, one of the primary problems with dog meat is that there is no standard for the dog meat trade. Animal rights attorney An Ziang explains that large-scale slaughterhouses or dog farms do not exist, so trade occurs primarily on the black market or in a legally-ambiguous area.
“We can clearly see rules on raising animals like pigs and producing their meat in the laws, but we haven’t seen any on dogs,” said Ziang, who also claimed that the Ministry of Agriculture’s attempts to regulate the quarantine of dogs and cats sold for meat has largely been ignored in the country.
Although a growing pressure from critics both internationally and within China is likely to decrease the practice of cooking and serving dog meat in the coming years, this Saturday’s Yulin Dog Meat Festival is scheduled to continue as expected.