A heartbreaking photo of a little Vietnamese girl crying by a dog she recognized as her pet has gone viral on the Internet.
People’s Daily Online, a Chinese newspaper, reports the 5year-old had raised a dog named “Flower” for three years and she had become quite upset after it wandered off a few days earlier.
She looked for her pet everywhere; however, the search came to a rather tragic end after she spotted the dog at a local meat stand.
The gut-wrenching photo of the child has prompted a lot of outrage online as well as heated debate over dog-meat trade in Southeast Asia.
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Although an appalling concept to Westerners, consumption of dog meat is a centuries-old tradition in countries such as China, Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. In 2013, The Guardian reported that dog meat is more expensive than pork in Vietnam and can cost as much as $45 a dish in high-end restaurants.
The high demand has also given rise to snatching of strays and pets. Activists are also concerned about animal welfare since thousands of dogs are packed into tight metal cages to be sold in neighboring countries which is also contributing to the spread of different diseases.