Activists at the Yulin dog-eating festival in China are reporting horrific scenes of cruelty to animals as dogs are killed, dismembered, cooked, and eaten. This annual event is condemned by the international community—and by many Chinese people—but shouldn’t the thought of eating any other animal elicit the same kind of reaction?
Photos from a PETA supporter at this year’s “festival” look remarkably similar to scenes that may be familiar to people all over the world—and yet, they provoke far less protest.
According to Dr. Donald Broom, a Cambridge University professor and former scientific adviser to the Council of Europe, pigs are smarter than dogs and understand how to use mirrors. Cows form lifelong friendships, experience a wide range of emotions, and understand cause-and-effect relationships. Chickens have complex social structures, adept communication skills, and distinct personalities.
During the 10 days of Yulin, up to 15,000 dogs will be slaughtered. Yet over 6 million animals are slaughtered for food every hour worldwide.
Pointing a finger at other cultures is easy—what’s harder is facing up to the cruelty that’s occurring closer to home. Yes, let’s be outraged by the cruel Yulin dog-eating festival, but let’s not be hypocrites about it. We should extend our compassion to all animals, because after all: If you wouldn’t eat a dog, why eat any animal?