The grim reality of Yulin: a call to end the Festival

Animals slaughtered en masse for the festival of horrors in China: Yulin returned again this year, but these dogs survived. This is their before and after. Their transformation needs no further words

The summer solstice is a date animal rights activists dread. There are no celebrations to distract from the grim reality. On June 21st, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China commences, marking a day of horror that repeats every year.

A barbaric event

This festival is notorious for its unimaginable cruelty. Thousands of dogs, and even cats, are captured from the streets, beaten, skinned alive, dismembered, and boiled for their meat. These animals are crammed into tiny, rusted cages, forced to witness the torture and hear the agonizing cries of their companions, enduring immense stress and fear.

The images emerging from Yulin are gut-wrenching, difficult to look at, and impossible to accept. We have chosen to show you the before and after pictures of dogs who narrowly escaped death, thanks to animal rights activists.

Miraculous survivors

Meet Pacino, Snow, Autumn, and Maria—four dogs now under the care of the Paws of China association, dedicated to rescuing dogs and cats from Chinese meat markets. These images show their transformation.

Pacino was found in a cage with a fellow sufferer, unaware of what fortune lay ahead. Snow managed to smile despite his dire fate, never losing faith in humanity. He was right, at least about those who saved him. Autumn was resigned, crouched and counting the seconds to his execution, which never came. Maria’s tight collar tells of her near suffocation before being rescued. Her smile is the most heartfelt thank you to her rescuers.

These dogs’ stories continue, but they have not yet found the happy endings they deserve. Pacino, Snow, Autumn, and Maria are still waiting for a forever home at the shelter. Meanwhile, they spread awareness, hoping to touch the hearts of potential adopters.

Yulin: A horror we still document

In 2024, the Yulin Festival has yet to be banned. Since its inception in 2010, an estimated 15,000 dogs or more have been slaughtered each year. International appeals, protests, interviews, and surveys have pressured China, reducing the number of animals killed each year and highlighting the issue, but there has been little action from authorities.

A survey conducted by Vshine, a Chinese partner of Humane Society International, revealed that only 20% of Chinese respondents opposed a ban on dog and cat meat. This low percentage indicates a slow societal shift in viewing these animals as sentient beings rather than food.

This change has borne fruit in the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai, where the dog and cat meat trade is now banned. It is imperative to extend this prohibition across all of China. We do not want to document these atrocities any longer.

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