Numbness to the Plight of Dogs

So each year when the Yulin Dog Meat Festival takes place, lots of dog-loving people around the world throw a hissy fit. They post horrible things about the Chinese on social media sites. They sign petitions calling for an end to this barbaric practice. They send money to groups who purport to save dogs from slaughter. Some do help dogs and some just rip you off. Oh, and the news media riles up the masses too. Gotta love sensationalist journalism.

I don’t ever say anything because while I hate the idea of dogs being slaughtered to be eaten, I think that at least they’re being killed for the nourishment of the bodies of others.

They do WHAT to dogs? 

That and I think before you start telling other people to clean up their yard, you should clean your own yard up first.

Before you start hating on me, consider the following:

Thousands of dogs were slaughtered during the dog meat festival this year.

Meanwhile, here in the US we euthanize over a million dogs a year for no other reason then they lack a home (source:

We experiment on over 61,000 dogs in research facilities (source:

Over 11,000 dogs are used in the US dog racing industry each year (source:

And that’s just what we do to dogs.

Each year in the United Stated alone we kill over 56 BILLION animals for food. And the National Resources Defense Council tells us that 40% of food here in the US goes to waste. So I guess it’s reasonable to say that at least 1 billion of those animals lived tortured lives and died for nothing.

Che Green, in a recent Faunalytics post, discussed how psychophysical numbing (the concept that the more lives at risk, the more numb we become to the problem)  allows us to focus on the plight of a few while simultaneously turning a blind eye to the masses. This explains how we can send thousands of dollars to someone we don’t know to pay for one rescued dog’s medical expenses while at the same time ignoring the plight of the thousands of dogs euthanized or used in research.

I dunno. Maybe I’m just resigned to the reality that most humans don’t look at the big picture. At any rate, I’m not gonna harp on one festival in China. Instead I’ll focus on what I can do here at home to help dogs now.



14 thoughts on “Numbness to the Plight of Dogs

  1. It is hard to think about it because dogs are beloved pets. The aborigines in Australia hunt and eat cats. It seems horrible but the cats are not native and they have decimated their former source of food, which left them little choice. The problem I have with the Chinese is the hell the dogs go through before they are killed.

    1. Like I said, I don’t like what they do. But is experimenting on dogs any better? Before you answer, consider that much of the experimentation done on dogs truly has no bearing on the efficacy of the product being tested. They just have to test it on some animal.

      1. I think it’s all bad. I was just thinking the Chinese way was worse than the aborigines because at least they hunt the cats and quickly kill them. They don’t cram them in cages and put them on display.

  2. Valid points. I think the dislike for the festival has a lot to do with the torturing part (It is for me anyway). But I guess some parts here they do the same thing before killing them (ie pigs, cows, etc). I still don’t like it though. Lol!

  3. you have a point there about the food waste that occurs in the U.S. and in Europe too and that we kill worldwide animals cause their owners dumped and there is no room for them anymore. The problem is that they not only kill and eat dogs and cats BUT they torture them in the process. They skin them and remove their claws and boil them while they are alive and that means having a very slow and painful agonizing death. Also, some people of those who blame China, Korea e.t.c about these festivals are either vegetarians either vegans which that means that they have no part in the animal killing that occurs in the U.S and the rest of the world while they simply don’t consume meat,eggs and dairy products. And these people are those who usually make petitions about stuff like this. I don’t say that we are better but this is not the way to treat animals and I’m opposed to any kind of animal abuse. I don’t have anything personal with China or any other country but I will show my opposition in tactics like this with any opportunity given and this stands for every type of animal.

    1. Have you been in the kitchen of some restaurants? They do that to animals here as well. The reason we hate Yulin is its dogs and we see it. We do similar cruel things to animals here but we don’t see it so we don’t think about it. I don’t like Yulin. But I don’t think we’re more pious because of breeds of animals we torture.

  4. It makes me cry and I wish they wouldn’t do that… but maybe the people of india cry too when we eat cows and in France we eat snails and frogs… it’s probably not possible to have one world where all like or dislike the same things… even when it nearly breaks my heart to think about this festival :o(

  5. WELL SAID, Jen! Myself I signed many Yulin petitions just as I sign countless petitions against animal testing or any type of cruelty to animals. The point is that everyone should start from their own homes, that’s where respect begins. If everyone everywhere did that simple thing we wouldn’t be having such talks. Kisses to the company! 🙂

  6. Thank you for posting that. I’m sure that a few of your readers had not even heard of this Festival up to now. (Dogs-1; Yulin-0). And I’ve got to say that writers who wear their heart on their sleeve and still put out succinct, accurate and venom-less pieces are rare.
    So, yes, I concur: the abuses inflicted on multiple animal species in this country have, for far too long, been facts given less credence than fiction. But I’m not as ignorant today as I was yesterday and I can’t be the only one who is still un-numb.
    I think that Yulin is a special case. It is a perverse synthesis of animal abuse for human entertainment, on the one hand, and a region that is food sourcing for an out-of-control population, on the other. If specific methods of torture are “necessary” in order to give the finished product its full nutritional value, then I think that we’re way beyond ‘nourishment.’ (I know that our own kill floors might harbor the odd sadist but I’ve yet to see ritual torture ‘necessitated’ and celebrated in the processing venue).
    Yulin really bothers me and since the Jinhua Festival was shut down five years ago–the local government couldn’t take the pressure any longer–I really think that Yulin can be brought to a close as well.
    Has Yulin distracted me and others from similar issues and horrors closer to home? Not in the least. I’m discouraged, yes, but not cynical. My rage over the dog meat trade in China neither lessens nor increases my rage over the horse-racing industry in the U.S.
    So I guess I don’t get it. Will an awareness of the atrocities at Yulin really deter concerned parties from informing even one U.S. consumer where their chicken dinner came from? why the favorite in the third race scratched?

  7. You are so right. Think global act local. I can’t fix China but I can rescue in Maryland. It all makes me sick though. The numbers are ridiculous.

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