Editor’s note: The idea of eating dogs and cats is disturbing to those of us who see them as companion animals. This story and its photos, though the images are not graphic, may upset you, but we believe that putting an end to the cruel dog and cat meat trade is an important cause to write about and support.
Want to make sure your animal welfare message is heard far and wide and loud and clear? Then harness the power of numbers by rallying animal lovers throughout the world. SayNoToDogMeat.Net will be doing just that when it holds its first Global March for Dogs and Cats in the Pet Meat Trade on Saturday, April 4, in more than 25 countries.
The objective of this peaceful international demonstration? To bring increased attention to the cruel dog and cat meat trade that thrives across Asia and Africa and to pressure governments to end it.
“Many dog and cat lovers have no idea that this gruesome business exists or that it often victimizes stolen house pets,” says Michele Brown, co-founder and director of SNTDM.Net. “That’s why we are standing together on April 4 across the globe, to alert complicit governments that more and more people around the world are opening their eyes to what is happening to companion animals in their countries and [that] they want it stopped, once and for all!”
So far, more than 60 groups will be holding marches and private rallies in major international cities, including Washington D.C., London, Sydney, Belfast, New York City, Hong Kong, Goa, Stockholm, and Ho Chi Minh City. Some of these events will be led by prominent animal welfare organizations, including U.S.-based Alley Cat Rescue, Animal Defenders Indonesia, Bali Dog Adoption and Rehabilitation Centre (BARC), and Action Animals Serbia.
On the morning of the event, groups in each location will meet at an assigned gathering place at 10 a.m. in their time zone and begin walking together in a peaceful and orderly way to a pre-determined destination. Participants are encouraged to carry posters, banners, and leaflets, as well as to bring friends, family, and leashed pets. People are also welcome to represent any animal welfare and rescue organizations they are affiliated with by wearing T-shirts and printing logos on demonstration materials. Free graphics for SayNoToDogMeat.Net Global March leaflets, posters, and banners are available for download.
This inaugural event comes after a very successful first year for the fledgling organization, which assisted in the closure of an Indonesian dog farm and the rescue of a mother dog and her unborn pups who were destined for slaughter.
“Shutting down the dog and cat meat trade is not about interfering with anyone’s cultural tradition; it is about stopping cruelty in countries that have abundant food supplies and food choices, yet choose to inflict deliberate cruelty on companion animals because people falsely believe that dog and cat meat provides sexual and medical benefits,” says Brown. “This is simply not true, yet greedy butchers, vendors, and restaurant owners continue to spread these lies, and as a result, dogs and cats continue to suffer.”
It is estimated that more than five million dogs are slaughtered each year in the pet meat trade throughout Asia and Africa. A common belief in some Asian countries, including China and South Korea, is that eating tough dog meat makes men stronger and more sexually potent.
According to Dr. Jose Depre, SNTDM.Net co-founder, besides stopping animal cruelty, there are other urgent reasons for stopping this dark, violent trade.
“The purpose of our global demonstration is not just to highlight the abuse of pets and bushmeat animals within the meat trades, but to also educate the public on the dangers of diseases and viruses that are found within pet and bushmeat animals,” says Depre. “Nearly 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases in humans comes from animals, mostly wildlife, yet the majority of the public within the modern and developing worlds are unaware of this. Traders that continue such unregulated and pathogenic trades place human and animal security at risk. They must stop sooner rather than later before new mutations of deadly viruses emerge.”
Whether to create a safer, more compassionate world for companion animals or to prevent human health disasters, stopping the grisly dog and cat meat trade is an important cause worthy of worldwide attention and effort, says Brown.
“We sincerely hope more dog and cat lovers will accept our invitation to march with us, to bear witness, to raise awareness, and to help end the violent worldwide pet meat trade,” says Brown. “It will be an important day that will be supported by many people around the globe, all of us united in the hope of a better, kinder future for companion animals.”
For more information and details about participating in this important event, please visit SayNoToDogMeat.Net and the organization’s Facebook events page. You also can reach out by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about the dog meat trade:
About the author: Lisa Plummer Savas is a freelance writer, journalist, devoted dog mom, and animal activist. In an effort to help make the world a more compassionate place for non-human species, she is especially focused on using her writing to spread awareness about controversial animal welfare issues, including the dog and cat meat trade in Asia and Africa. She lives in Atlanta with two spoiled German Shepherds, one very entitled Pug, and a very patient, understanding husband. Read more of her work.