The Dog Meat Trade – Here’s How You Can Help

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The dog and cat meat trade is just one of the very real atrocities in the world that we wish weren’t real. But wishing it away doesn’t make it so . . . Being educated, sharing that information, and taking action is what makes a lasting difference.

As someone with crippling anxiety from as young as I can remember, dogs and animals have always been a constant source of grounding, comfort, and unconditional love for me. Years before I could understand my anxiety, my young mind deeply recognized and understood the incredible spirit of these sentient beings.

If you’ve ever spent time around animals, you know this spirit for yourself. Animals are amazingly intelligent, self-aware beings that are voiceless and therefore entrust us humans to care for and protect them.

We have a voice and thereby an obligation to use it. To speak up against injustice, to be gatekeepers of this planet, guardians of sentient beings who don’t have a voice, and champions of kindness.
 

While it is incredibly difficult to hear about these atrocities, to me it is far more difficult to know it’s happening and do nothing.

 
When I first became aware of animal cruelty in our agriculture, I made the personal decision to become a vegetarian. Once I was equipped with the knowledge of what was really going on, I could no longer support this industry.

I share this not to impose my personal views on you, but to demonstrate how we can all take action in support of what we believe in. This is activism. As consumers, we vote with our wallets. We also incorporate our ethics by choosing what to take a stand on, support, and help make positive, lasting change.

As a leader, the founder of this online platform, as a teacher and as a compassionate human being, I am a dedicated activist. I am committed to standing against injustice, and that includes animals. In fact, my work lately has revolved around animal – and specifically dog – activism. Because there are so many dogs out there that need saving.

Mindfulness Is Key to Fighting for Social Justice (Here’s Why)

While there are endless animal activist focuses and organizations to support, one (of many) that really touch my heart and make my blood boil is the dog and cat meat trade. These animals endure the most unthinkably horrendous cruelties.

Learning about it feels like a waking nightmare. And while I realize that it is incredibly difficult to hear about these atrocities, to me it is far more difficult to know it’s happening and do nothing.
 

dog meat trade

Image: change.org

 

What Is the Dog and Cat Meat Trade?

The dog and cat meat trade is an illegal industry that takes the lives of approximately 40 million dogs and cats each year. While the meat industry is not just in China, China is one of the biggest perpetrating countries. It is estimated that in China alone, 25,000 – 30,000 dogs are slaughtered each day.

These dogs are pets stolen from their homes, dogs and puppies dumped by cruel breeders that can’t sell them, and strays taken off the streets.

What’s worse is the horrible conditions these dogs are subjected to, crammed into tiny wire cages with no food and water, transported in the heat over long distances, and often intentionally tortured before death as some believe that the dog meat is more potent when the dog is killed in extreme states of fear.

As difficult as this is to write and for you to read, it is crucial for the general public to know the truth of what’s happening. Exposing the truth is the only way to create lasting change.
 

We have a voice and thereby an obligation to use it. To speak up against injustice, to be gatekeepers of this planet, guardians of sentient beings who don’t have a voice, and champions of kindness.

 
Weirdly, of China’s 1.4 billion person population, 69% of its citizens say they do not eat dog meat, and over 50% say they want dog meat banned. So why does this unacceptable torture and killing of innocent animals continue?

In 2020, China declared that dogs are now classified as companion animals and not livestock. Yet there have been no improvements or changes to the dog meat industry since dogs are still being slaughtered and dog meat is still being sold in public, and the Yulin Dog Meat Festival is still taking place each year.

Police and government corruption is stated as one reason these atrocities are allowed to continue. While all of this is very grim, there is hope. There are organizations around the world and on the ground fighting to save these dog’s lives.

One such organization is Paws of China. They are very active on social media, because they know how important it is to spread awareness, and that’s how we first found them. Their founder, Bianca Foxe, graciously agreed to do an interview with us to share a bit more about her and her team’s heroic efforts on the ground in Yulin, China.
 
 

We Sat Down With Paws of China to Learn More About Their Incredible Cause

We are honored to speak with and share about Paws of China. Bianca Foxe, the founder, is a passionate and dedicated activist who has made such an impact. Her efforts and sacrifices are immense and we thank her for all that she’s done and continues to do to save the dogs.
 

Paws of China

Photo Credit: Paws of China

 

1. YA: What is your background that led you to become an animal activist?

PoC: I’ve always been very sensitive to the plight of animal suffering. I believe that animals have souls and deserve to live their own expression of life. Sadly, many are denied this right, especially in animal agriculture.

After delving deeply into what animals are being subjected to globally for food, fashion and entertainment, I adopted a plant-based lifestyle and became involved in animal rights activism in London.
 

2. YA: When did you start Paws of China, and why?

PoC: I first traveled to China in 2017 and witnessed the brutal dog meat trade first hand. I was able to connect with a Chinese activist that I resonated with, called Liang. It all began with me and my brother starting a GoFundMe page to help her rescue more dogs, which gradually evolved into building a new shelter and becoming a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

We were originally Plush Bear Shelter, but recently updated our name to Paws of China.
 

3. YA: How did you first learn about the Yulin Dog Meat Festival?

PoC: We first heard about Yulin, China via the media and joined a protest in London outside of the Chinese embassy to condemn the festival 10 years ago.
 

4. YA: How did you first start getting involved with rescuing dogs from the Yulin Dog Meat Festival?

PoC: We first went to the festival in 2022 and again this year. Yulin is on the other side of China, so it’s a large scale mission to go, but very necessary.
 

5. YA: How many dogs and cats have you and your team saved to date?

PoC: As of writing this, we’ve saved approximately 1,500 in total. In northern China, cat meat isn’t as commonly eaten as it is in southern China. We’ve also rescued donkeys and camels from being slaughtered in the street.
 

6. YA: What would you want people to know about the dog meat industry?

PoC: While Yulin is representative of the cruelty and lack of hygiene associated with this barbaric and unregulated industry, the dog meat industry is widespread. The slaughtering of dogs and cats for food is a brutal commercial enterprise in which an estimated 10 million dogs and 4 million cats are killed every year in China alone to supply the demand for dog and cat meat.
 

7. YA: How can people get involved? What are the most impactful ways that people can help bring an end to the dog meat industry?

PoC: Firstly, it’s important that people share information to spread awareness like this interview. We have many posts showing the reality of the trade that are easily shareable.

Secondly, people can email their Chinese embassy. We have an email letter template on our website in the Get Involved section that can be easily forwarded with all of the information.

Thirdly, support activists on the ground that rescue and rehabilitate dogs from the dog meat trade. Our team in China educates Chinese citizens on not only the cruelty that these poor animals endure, but also the health risks to the consumers who eat dogs.

We share on western social media to prompt more international outrage and spread further awareness. Showing the reality is a vital step for people to understand the truth behind these issues.

Progress is slow. Laws that would significantly help combat this just aren’t being enforced, but we do believe this can change.
 

8. YA: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

PoC: This trade has been a contentious issue for many years. We need people to understand that the dog meat festival in Yulin, China only scratches the surface because it is the most globally recognized visual manifestation of a much larger, year-round problem.

There are various organizations and individuals working to end it, but it remains a complex issue with no easy solution. We believe that it will take long term commitment, multiple approaches, continued awareness and exposure, education, perseverance and a collaboration with government and law enforcement.

Our approach has always been to raise awareness and show the reality of the dog meat trade, in combination with our own efforts to rescue and rehabilitate dogs that have witnessed the worst of humanity.
 
 

Please Join Us In Ending the Dog and Cat Meat Trade

Every single person can make a huge difference in bringing an end to the dog and cat meat trade. From donating to the heroic organizations like Paws of China, to spreading the word on social media and within your community, using your platform like we do to raise awareness and motivate others to take action.

You can also foster and adopt dogs and cats rescued from the meat trade. Want to learn more about Paws of China and ways that you can get involved? Check out their website, follow them on social, or contact them directly via email: info@pawsofchina.org.
 

Exposing the truth is the only way to create lasting change.

 
If you practice yoga with us, then you may know that ahimsa, or non-violence, is a key tenet of yoga. Ahimsa is the belief and life conduct of doing no harm. When we practice ahimsa, we practice compassion for all beings.

But ahimsa is not just about peaceful non-violence. It’s about speaking up when you witness an injustice. It’s about taking a stand for what’s right and being a voice for the voiceless animals that trust us to be their caretakers. Whether you practice yoga or not, whether you have a pet or not, we all have a heart and possess compassion.

We’d like to extend a big YouAligned thank you to Bianca for this interview, and to Paws of China for their heroic work on the ground in China. Every single animal saved matters.

May this interview article inspire many to join this cause, and help us make a lasting change for innocent animals everywhere. You can take action immediately by sharing this article and helping us spread the word!



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