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Why does China have the Yulin Dog Festival?

So you have heard the rumors about Chinese people eating dogs…

Not all Chinese fully support the festival though the locals were very enthusiastic about it. As I have done my research and get to read forums regarding this festivity I have observed that most of the Chinese who were against it are either studying abroad or half Americans and other nationality. But that said, there are also some numbers of Chinese-Americans who were cool about this festival. Here are some of the rather common ideas or opinions of Chinese about the Yulin dog eating festival.

Different Culture, Different Values, Different Food Preferences

First and foremost, it has been their long-standing tradition and like any tradition around the world, mutual cultural respect is important. Some would even argue that as the Chinese have supported or enthusiastic about festivities around the world, they felt that they have to be respected as well for their traditions. The Yulin festival, common to a cattle eating festival, has no difference at all. And have we seen them protesting about Mexico fighting bulls and eating them after, no? Because it was part of their tradition and customaries, Chinese people believe that the same value and respect should be given to them. They even go beyond as to mentioning unequal animal rights for every animal around the world.

Second of all, of course, for the Chinese people, it is just really a matter of perspective, how you look at an animal and what kind of relationship you have with the animals around you. When I have read a comment coming from someone who is a native of Yulin, she said, of course, she sees dogs not as pets but as livestock to be butchered, sold and served for a meal. It is typical for them to eat dogs as they have never had the time to build a friendly relationship with them compared to dog-lovers, and specifically the Westerners. They are very busy with their livelihoods that they do not have the time to take care of dogs just for pets. They see them like a chicken, cattle, and a swine to be raised, killed and eaten.

Dogs as Goods

And even if they would be raising a dog to make the pet out of it, killing other dogs with no emotional attachment to them would be perfectly fine. They just do not care so much about dogs and of course, peasant villages would rather see them as livestock to be sold to the market for 200 to 300 Yuan. They see dogs as animals where they can profit through selling them. It is also stressed by some of the commentators in the forums that most poor villages would take no second thoughts of killing dogs and selling the dog meat.

Because a lot of Chinese restaurants serve chicken, beef, pork, snake, fish, turkey and lobster does not mean they cannot serve dogs as well. There are a lot of dog breeders in China, and they raise them in cages like chicken and then sell them in the market. Chinese sees animal cruelty activists plain stupid for shouting out loud their abhorrence against anything, but then if we look back to how we were years ago, humans are meat and vegetable eating creatures, and we need it to survive. It is worth mentioning that there are even same places around the global that practice cannibalism.

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The Legality of Dog Meat

Third, for Chinese, killing dogs for festivities like the Yulin dog meat festival is a civil right. As for China, eating dog is legal. Well if other countries are against, at least it is not a violation of their territory. Of course, if they would conduct the dog eating festival in other places that are against dog eating, then that would just be downright illegal and disrespectful. But, hey, they are in China anyway so what the big deal is about? It is what they call civil liberty, and even Chinese dog lovers who were raised in a Western culture and upbringing are okay with it, and would dismiss the act as a civil liberty. They even go beyond to pointing that only the Westerners who look down at Chinese that was out and loud against their customs.

Westerners Seen as Hypocrites

According to the Chinese, the westerners are hypocrites and do not support animal rights and are not against animal cruelties. Because if they are then why cannot they do it to every living animal on this planet? That being said, then lamb or the cute turkeys being roasted for Thanksgiving is not equal brutal? Though a lot of Chinese students now are studying abroad and have been influenced by the progressive mindsets of the West, they do not wholly support Americans’ bashing over China because of their traditions and festivities.

The Chinese are firm and decisive in their stand for eating dog meats. According to them, it does not mean that as civility gradually encroaches in a progressive society that festivals and other forms of traditions should be looked down. It is important to remember that traditions bind a certain ethnical group, and the rituals and festivals are symbols of the high cultural uniqueness and prevalence of society.

Cultural Relativity

Dog festivity has been there for eons even before other civilizations had established theirs, and a complete eradication of these festivals, especially the Yulin dog eating festival, is an insult to the Chinese people and their culture. For the Chinese people, the festival was founded on long history and rich background that are way back their ancestors. As a form of respect to their ancestors and their traditions, the Yulin dog eating festivals should be participated every year. However, of course, the Chinese believes that anyone has the rights to becomes outspoken and freely express abhorrence and disgust, but anyone also has the rights under civil liberty. The Chinese believe that they are practicing traditions and their liberty to eat dog. It is important to note that there are many differing views. Many Chinese do in fact have dogs as pets and are against consuming dog.

Why does China have the Yulin Dog Festival?
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