It might have been a year or two when I first came across the concept and existence of a horrifying festival in China. This particular festival started appearing all over my social media and every one of my friends were sharing videos and think-pieces on China’s Yulin Festival (Dog Eating Festival). There were graphic images being splashed all across my screens, where dogs were being killed and prepared for human’s dinner, lunch and snacks.

Trust me when I say this, those videos were more infuriating than what I’m possibly even capable of explaining. However, what followed it was greater than what I can ever even think of. People from all over the world, especially we Indians, were digitally protesting against the festival. Everyone was doing their best to make their voices heard on the atrocious killing and eating of dogs, a man’s best friend. So much so that the news of Yulin Festival getting banned started circulating.

People realised that they had done something great and the ban of Yulin Festival in China is one of the greatest steps that they could have ever have taken for their favourite animal and pets.

source: AFP
source: AFP

However, on Wednesday, the Chinese Dog Eating Festival started again and while there are some restrictions being imposed on the running of the Yulin Festival, it hasn’t entirely stopped. Despite the rumours of the festival getting banned this year, there are various images of slabs of dead canines for the consumers, being circulated on the Internet.

Animal rights groups in Yulin came forward and said that even though the festival has not been banned, there’s definitely some limit on the number of dogs on display. They also said that the sales of dog meat have dropped a lot this year.

As per the Humane Society International (HSL), some 10 to 20 million dogs are killed annually in China for the festival.

source: AFP
source: AFP

However, there’s something more that I wanted to put out there. During the particular sharing and commenting against this horrific dog eating festival, many of my friends and even I forgot something very important.

There’s this quote from George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

You see, coming from a Punjabi and Kashmiri background, non-vegetarianism was very common in our society and households. Weekends were planned around some really delicious chicken and mutton recipes and so was the case with my other Punjabi friend, or with my other Bengali friend who just can’t resist both fish and pork.

By this standard, are we actually even allowed to talk about and be against this atrocious dog eating festival? Because let’s face it, dogs and cats are not just the only pet that people in this world have. Some have fishes, some have goats and some even have pet chicken and pigs on their farms, and can they think about eating them? (not their own pet but rather the same kind of animal). And even if they still eat chicken or fish, do they have any right to tell others to not do the same.

We can be sad, angry and what not, about it, but until and unless we don’t stop eating animals ourselves, there’s no way we can fight for those dogs in China. Eating Dog meat is legal in China and that gives Chinese the freedom to consume it, plus, there’s a whole lot of culture that is involved in it.

For example, we Hindus consider cow to be sacred and so we don’t consume it, however, there are many who are actually against the banning of beef in the country. Because at the end of the day it all comes down to personal choices. Some want to consume it and some don’t.

Now, either we all become vegetarians and don’t consume any animal, or we respect a person’s choice of food and don’t get involved in it. 

23rd June 2017
Jyotsna Amla

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