In this article, part 6 of 6 of our Yulin blog series, we will look at animal activism in China.
CHINA’S YOUTH ACTIVISTS
One of the key messages from animal welfare groups and activists in China is that the dog and cat meat trade is not “cool”.
This message is aimed primarily at China’s youth population, who largely have not experienced the same type of hardship as their parents and grandparents during the Mao era.
This generation has generally had more exposure to international media and the internet, and has accepted and endorsed the concepts of animal welfare and humane farming methods.
LOBBYING TO END THE DOG AND CAT MEAT TRADE
It is quite common for animal welfare activists to stop trucks suspected of transporting cats and dogs into the dog-meat trade, and to lobby with the drivers and local police to release the cats and dogs where it is obvious that each animal does not have the required health inspection paperwork.
Often, there are little, if any, health inspection records for any of the animals, and that makes the transport of the animals across state lines illegal. Many times, when stolen pets are being transported, the records are either non-existent or forged.
In these cases, it’s easier for the animal welfare activists to broker an agreement with the drivers to relinquish the animals to the welfare groups, as otherwise, the drivers would be breaking the law governing animal transport.
To see many examples of successful dog- and cat-meat trucks being stopped, and those animals being saved, please take a look at our Instagram page here: https://www.instagram.com/duoduoproject
RECENT MEDIA COVERAGE ON DOG EATING PRACTICES IN CHINA
As a recent example to changing attitudes towards animal welfare in China, in particular the dog-meat trade, a Chinese national responded to a Fox news article about three teachers who had been suspended from a Texas-based middle school for their part in creating a quiz that featured a racially-inappropriate question about Asian people in general.
One of the multiple-choice answers stated: “It is normal in parts of China to eat cats and dogs”.
The Chinese author did not dispute that the other answers were inappropriate, but did answer the following:
“I am sure I, as well as my fellow people, are more qualified than Asian Americans for answering this question, since we are Chinese living in China, on behalf of the like-minded people who want to speak for dogs and cats ( minority in China) , we choose C as the answer, because it is the correct answer, and because it is true. “It is normal in part of China to eat cats and dogs”, this is indeed true.”
It is interesting and perhaps refreshing to see that a Chinese national responded to a US-based news agency to admit that eating cats and dogs in China does happen, and she goes on to say how angry most Chinese people are at the dog-meat trade, and how it should not be labelled as racist to inform on a practice that is actually true.
OTHER LOBBYING EFFORTS TO END THE CRUEL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS IN CHINA
Aside from the cat- and dog-meat trade, animal activists have been successful at:
lobbying to have some of the laboratory testing for the cosmetics industry scaled back or removed
lobbying for better conditions for the bears kept in captivity for the bear-bile industry
ending the live feeding practice in many Chinese zoos (yes, you could pay to have a live animal fed to a zoo animal)
Despite the headway, there is much to be done, and unfortunately, the Chinese government is unlikely to implement an overwhelming shift in policy any time soon.
However, the change that must happen to bring about the adoption of, proper implementation of, and enforcement of meaningful, effective, just, and humane welfare laws and policies will eventually happen.
It is only a matter of time, and it will happen because of the Chinese animal welfare activists, NGOs, and international groups assisting the local groups.
As such, it is vitally important that we offer our support and encouragement to these groups.
Will you stand with us in the fight against the inhumane treatment of animals? You can help by donating to Duo Duo Project so together with local Chinese activists, we can continue our critical work.