• Wed
  • Oct 22, 2014
  • Updated: 10:04am
NewsChina
ANIMAL RIGHTS

Dog and cat meat eaters hit back at animal rights group adverts

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 December, 2013, 4:39am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 December, 2013, 4:48pm
 

A leading animal rights group has been forced to revise a provocative advertising campaign in northeast China following a public outcry.

Since September, Animals Asia has been urging people across the mainland to stop eating cats and dogs by using a head-turning poster series that shows the animals sandwiched between a pair of chopsticks.

The images are accompanied by a simple message: "Be healthy. Say NO to cat and dog meat."

The advertisements caused a considerable stir and the campaign was hailed as a success by the advocacy group after the images went viral.

However, the campaign faced a backlash in northeastern China, where locals defended their right to eat dog and cat meat as one of their traditions.

In Shenyang - where the consumption of dog meat is widespread - posters in the city's metro system had to be revised following complaints from commuters.

"They think we should not put up the advertisements because eating dogs is a so-called 'tradition,'" said Carrot Chen, Animals Asia cat and dog welfare deputy manager. "We want to spread the message that tradition is not an excuse for cruelty."

In the case of one set of posters, locals took exception to the use of the word baoan (security guard) to describe guard dogs, saying it was offensive to actual security guards.

"They couldn't find any real reason to complain, so they just used this word as an excuse," said Chen, rejecting the criticism of the campaign.

The consumption of dog meat is still common in parts of China, where some believe it has the power to ward off ghosts and disease. It is also believed by some to boost men's sexual performance and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat male impotence.

The southern city of Yulin in Guangxi province hosts an annual "Dog Meat Festival" to coincide with the summer solstice. To the chagrin of animal rights activists, revellers traditionally tuck in to the meat as the sun reaches its highest point in the sky.

A similar festival slated to be held in Zhejiang province in 2011 was cancelled following an online outcry.

"The truth is, if you eat dog or cat then you have no idea where that meat is coming from or how safe it is," said Irene Feng, Animals Asia dog and cat welfare director.

"Stray dogs and cats, many of them far from healthy, are snatched from the streets and pets are still being stolen and taken to horrific meat markets. We believe that, faced with this knowledge, most people would find such a meal entirely unappetising."

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15

This article is now closed to comments

samuel.wolffe.1967
I agree that the real issue is the cruel treatment of animals before they are slaughtered and the merciless painful way they are slaughtered but I respect the rights of people to eat what they like. In the western world animals are also treated with cruelty. People eat all kinds of animals. Some cultures eat pigs others don't. It is my view that when an animal is to be used for food, it should be treated with respect and with compassion and it should be slaughtered with mercy especially in western countries.
mercedes2233
If it is animal rights this group is concerned with, why limit it to cats and dogs only? What about all the other animals that we eat? What about their rights?
guy.pant
Pigs are often considered more intelligent than dogs and care for their young and can be pets as some are made to be, but people still eat them.
superdx
Show me a dog or cat meat eater and I'll show you my fists. They're named "F" and "You"
VicSexton
yeah man!
hongkiejj@malaysiaboleh
how about fake dog and cat meat....well...afterall, china does excel in d art of copy and paste...
I am sure they will find a way....maintain the tradition while satisfying the animal lovers...everybody wins...
caractacus
Byebye is absolutely correct.
The real issue is the cruel treatment of the animals before and during slaughter. The image of a cat or dog hanging in agony with its legs tied behind its back waiting to be killed for the pot is disgusting and any culture or tradition upholding it should be ashamed.
The only way to stop this is through a combination of proper enforcement of laws against animal cruelty and educating the people out of this stubborn mindset.
scmp04
Completely agree.
By far too much cruelty occurs due to "tradition".
This has no place in a civilised society.
johndoe
There is no problem with eating cat or dog. They can eat whatever animal they want.
scmp04
With eating whichever animal - debatable but perhaps OK
Abusing or torturing or holding it in horrific conditions before crudely killing it?
Not acceptable.

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