Animal Activists Unite to Stop the Massacre in Yulin - Evolution Not Revolution

 

The annual dog meat festival in Yulin China was discussed at a special Q & A on May 7th in Beverly Hills Ca. The event was intended to unify the various foundations that are working to Stop Yulin, answer questions and get people involved in ending this atrocious event once and for all. Firstly, it’s difficult for me to attach the word festival to this horrific event. By definition, the word festival means a special time or event when people gather to celebrate something. In this case, the Chinese in Yulin are celebrating the summer solstice on June 21st. No doubt most of us enjoy a good festival, but why is there so much violence involved in this annual event? Is it an ancient tradition? Do they believe dog meat is good for them and why do they have to inflict so much pain on these dogs before killing them for their meat? I had so many questions. So, I listened intently for answers from the panel, which consisted of several animal activists including Shannen Doherty, who didn’t let her battle with cancer stop her from helping these animals in need.

 

Shannen Doherty discussing bill H.R. 1406 photo by Thierry Brouard

 

The panel was hosted by Aleksandra Schiffer CEO of  I Stand With My Pack and led by Marc Ching CEO of  The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation and several of their allies. “Happy to have everyone together here and working as one team” said John Sessa from Stop Yulin Forever and The VanderPump Foundation. The room was packed to the brim. Each panelist introduced themselves and their foundation and shared the scope of their work. It was nice to see so many compassionate souls in the room, connecting with the pain in Marc’s voice as he shared stories of his undercover work as a dog meat buyer. They all just wanted to help, including myself as I held back tears from behind the camera. Marc went on to say “I’ve been to hundreds of slaughterhouses. It’s some of the worst things you will ever see, ever on Earth. Without the help of the public, these dogs are going to be tortured, burned alive and hung. Their feet will be cut off and they’ll die out there. Bearing witness is something that’s so important…seeing what they’re doing. It’s not the shouting at somebody or the hate that changes the heart of a person. It’s seeing that act of violence for themselves. I believe when you see that, inside of you something breaks and it makes you more human”. I couldn’t agree more as I too was broken from witnessing videos of dogs being struck with steel pipes. The sound these poor dogs made is something I will never forget and it pains me deeply to know that as evolved as we are, that this atrocious behavior exists. Killing an animal for it’s meat is one thing and yes a controversial topic as vegans will tell you there is no humane way to kill an animal, but purposefully torturing an animal and inflicting pain before it’s death is just plain evil and needs to stop.

 

Marc Ching sharing stories as an undercover dog meat buyer photo by Rochelle Brodin

 

What is The Yulin Dog Meat Festival

According to the panel and Wikipedia the Yulin festival began in 2009 and spans about ten days during which it is estimated that 10,000 – 15,000 dogs are beaten, killed and eaten due to a widely-held belief that high adrenaline levels will produce tender meat and increase the supposed health benefits. Dogs are sadistically made to experience extreme fear and suffering prior to death. The festival participants also believe that eating dog meat on this day will bring good luck and reduce the effects of the summer heat, although there is no medical or physiological evidence to support that theory. In fact, quite the contrary as studies show negative effects from the consumption of dog meat. According to the report that Sirius Global Animal Charitable Trust submitted to the World Health Organization consuming dog meat puts individuals at risk of infection from such deadly parasites as E. Coli 107 and salmonella (commonly found in contaminated meats), as well as at risk of contracting other serious and potentially deadly bacterial diseases such as anthrax, brucellosis, hepatitis and leptospirosis. Dog meat is additionally linked to the spread of rabies, a disease that kills approximately 30,000 people each year in Asia. “So, this isn’t just an animal rights issue. It’s a human health concern” as John Sessa made mention. So how do we stop it? Marc Ching brought up an important point. He said, “The Chinese government has limited power to stop it because it’s the peoples wish. It’s not a government-sanctioned event so we must change the sentiment of the people… Education is key”.

 

Aleksandra Schiffer speaks about uniting the non profits photo by Rochelle Brodin

 

How Do We Stop Yulin? Legislation and Education

During the Q & A Shannen Doherty on theboard of directors for The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation brought up a very important fact, she said, “It is legal to consume dog and cat in 44 states right here in the U.S.” So in order to stop Yulin it seems we need to make it illegal here in the states. That is exactly what her and her brother Sean Doherty intend to do with bill H. R. 1406. The bills goal is “To amend the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption in the United States”. Another very important bill H RES 30 has also been introduced by U.S. Rep. Alcee L. Hastings which condemns the Dog Meat Festival in Yulin China because it (1) is a spectacle of extreme animal cruelty, (2) is a commercial activity not grounded in Chinese history, (3) is opposed by a majority of the Chinese people, and (4) threatens global public health.

 

Marc Ching speaks to a compassionate room of activists photo by Thierry Brouard

 

Aleksandra Schiffer of I Stand With My Pack also said something very important “To really solve this problem there has to be a unity between people and organizations”. She went on to say that “many of the organizations that exist are hoarding information and not willing to share”. I can only guess that they are operating out of fear and ego and that they want the credit for themselves. What they fail to realize is unity is the superlative human state and that by working together they will increase effectiveness. It is the very definition of synergy. Another panelist, Shaun Monson documentary filmmaker known for EARTHLINGS and UNITY expressed the importance of why a documentary about Yulin is essential andhad this to say. “The Chinese look at dogs like people here in the U.S. look at cows, chickens and pigs, mainly food items”. He said, “We need to stop seeing the separation and sort of behold that life is multitudinous in the way it expresses itself. Then we’ll really truly have some unity”.  After about an hour of sharing the panel began taking questions. All had encouraging words of hope and ideas and shared their strategy to Stop Yulin. John Sessa mentioned “We have a real platform with The Real Housewives and VanderPump Rules to expose this issue and get in a lot of peoples homes”.

 

Marc Ching of Animal Hope & Wellness is set to go on his 13th trip to Asia on May 22nd and for the first time in history we may be watching live, as Marc goes undercover as a dog meat buyer. He’ll also be meeting with the Yulin government on May 26th to discuss replacing these animal slaughterhouses with vegetarian restaurants and noodle shops. With the help and support of the Yulin government The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation is introducing the Canine Microchip Programin an effort to protect family pets from being kidnapped, tortured and slaughtered for meat consumption in mainland China. Marc will be the boots on the ground stopping trucks and scanning them to ensure they aren’t stolen. It has been speculated that roughly 80% of the dogs transported into Yulin for the Yulin Dog Meat Festival are in fact stolen pets. The aim of the Microchip Program is to provide the Chinese Government with indisputable evidence that this is in fact true, with the expectation that the government would then make a more concerted effort to protect its citizens and their pets.

 

 

The Q & A panel photo by Rochelle Brodin

 

Facilitating change

 

Tami Cho Zussman from Dogs of Violence Exposed is working to end the South Korean Dog meat trade and had this to say “Change has to come from within”

 

Kiana Kang - In Defense of Animals “Change will come, but we have to work together, we can’t do it alone. Everyone has to be involved. The citizens of China, Korea, other countries and the government. We need to make a stand and support the citizens of those countries”.

 

Otep Shamaya board of advisors for I Stand With My Pack is a singer, writer and cultural arsonist and had this to say…“I will continue to fight for animal rights and do whatever I can to stop this terrible thing from happening”

 

Julie Wardrop from Dogs and Cats Off The Menu “I’m helping promote the hopeful passage of House Resolution 30 and I encourage everyone to reach out to their representatives to ask for support of this resolution”.

 

Tal Finney council to I Stand With My Pack "We have more lawyers and insurance compaines than the rest of the world combined. Let's use it to help this cause".

 

Good news

 

In 2016, the Philippines Department of Agriculture released a plan aimed at eliminating the dog meat trade by 2020, citing animal welfare and rabies concerns.

In 2017, Taiwan amended its animal cruelty laws to make it illegal to eat dog and cat meat, a first in Asia

Your actions in social media are making a difference!! Together, we can stop the cruelty inflicted on dogs and protect the health of humans. Let us triumph over our incapacities and move beyond our limitations. Together we will end the dog and cat meat trade in China.

 

What you can do to help

1. I Stand With My Pack is asking animal lovers to: Take a picture with their pack mate and post it on INSTAGRAM with hashtags #CompassionProject and #FriendsNotFood

2. CLICK HERE to sign the petition urging officials to end the brutal Yulin Dog Meat Festival.

3. Make a donation today to The Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation and help keep undercover investigators like Marc Ching in the field so he can continue to expose Asia's cruel dog meat trade.

Donate to I Stand With My Pack here

Donate to Stop Yulin Forever here

Donate to In Defense of Animals here

Help get Dogs and Cats Off The Menu here

4. Send a letter to Ambassador Cui Tiankai at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. urging him to support a ban on dog and cat meat. Mail your letter to the following address:

Ambassador Cui Tiankai
Chinese Embassy Chancery
3505 International Pl N.W
Washington, D.C. 20008

5. Probably the easiest of them all as Otep Shamaya mentioned is to text RESIST to 504-09 and follow the prompts. Resistbot will send a message directly to your Senators. Ask them to sponsor the two bills.

6. Tell speaker of the house: Vote on H. Res 30 formerly 752 (End Yulin Dog Meat Festival) here

 

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