The dog meat trade. Just typing those words brings tears to my eyes. I don’t want to write or even read stories about this cruel industry. Nor do I want to watch videos of its many horrors. But I do. Not just because it’s my job, but because I am a human being with compassion and a deep love for dogs.
The Yulin Dog Meat Festival starts today in China. If you aren’t familiar with what that entails, I encourage you to:
Marc Ching, founder of the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation and a longtime rescuer of meat dogs, enlisted the likes of Joaquin Phoenix, Matt Damon, Kate Mara, Rooney Mara, Pamela Anderson, Minnie Driver, Alicia Silverstone, Bill Maher, Andy Cohen, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Tricia Helfer, Sia, and others for this moving #TheCompassionProject video.
In it, Marc—who is currently in China saving dogs from butchers who supply meat to the festival—explains:
“This trade is built upon this belief that if you torture or abuse the animal, it makes the meat taste better or it gives health benefits to anyone who eats it. Whether or not you think it’s something to be eaten or on a menu, the cruelty and torture and violence, it’s wrong.”
The actors and musicians who stand with him then call for an end to the stabbing, beating, hanging, skinning, and boiling alive of these innocent and defenseless creatures. They encourage viewers to help put an end to the festival and the industry itself by sharing the PSA. Warning: This video does contain upsetting images.
Our own Lisa Plummer Savas covers this horrific industry for us. Here are a few of her more recent stories:
There are many ways you can get involved, including to:
Lisa has also written about dogs who were rescued from horror-filled lives and adopted into loving forever homes. Find hope in their stories: