Updated: Oct 27, 2020
Our contact in Yulin just informed us that Starbucks is opening a store in Yulin, and it's a big move that has caught our attention.
Why is this such a big deal, and potentially a huge problem?
While the Yulin dog meat festival has grown smaller in size in recent years, it has yet to be banished.
We understand that having a Starbucks store in Yulin can have some important benefits; it can provide more employment opportunities for Yulin locals outside of the dog meat trade, and as a strong representation of the Western lifestyle, can encourage Western values that would oppose those so strongly tied to eating dog meat.
However, we need to maintain a watchful eye when big corporations move into Yulin and actively question their motives, as well as how their actions can contribute to the community’s regression rather than progression.
According to Starbucks' social impact report, the company claims that it has “always believed Starbucks can – and should – have a positive social impact on the communities we serve. One person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. As we have grown to more than 28,000 stores in more than 75 countries, so too has our commitment to creating a positive global social impact."
How does this align with their decision to open a store in the midst of a huge amount of dog meat restaurants? To capitalize off of, and ultimately encourage, the foot traffic in this area? It’s a decision that seems to have been made with so little thought to the message it sends to the global community. It’s disappointing, disillusioning, and above all, worrying.
Since 2014, Duo Duo Project has worked hard with local animal lovers and schools in Yulin to show our support for their disdain for this festival. We are invested not only in the lives of animals but also in the lives of community members in Yulin and across China. Did Starbucks know that as much as 70 percent or more of the population of China reports having never eaten dog meat? Millions of Chinese citizens have themselves petitioned to end the Yulin dog meat festival. Duo Duo Project’s petition to end the festival alone has collected over 4 million signatures. From China and from around the globe, widespread denouncement of the Yulin festival has caught the attention of all. What does Starbucks have to say about this?
We urge Starbucks to use this opportunity to make a positive impact. To advocate for the lives of dogs and cats, even while supporting a local economy. To fund local community initiatives seeking to rescue dogs from the trade. We hope, and expect, that Starbucks will not stay silent about the brutal dog meat festival in 2021 for the sake of their bottom line.
Do you have a connection with Starbucks you can put us in contact with?
Duo Duo Project would like to meet with Starbucks to see how we both can work together to help dogs and cats trapped in the dog meat trade - starting in Yulin. If you have a Starbucks contact you can share with us, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org