Despite all the protests and uproar from animal lovers and activists from around the world, the annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival has begun in China. About 10,000 canines are to be slaughtered for their meat during the two-day festival in Guangxi province to mark the summer solstice, according to the state media.
While many activists traveled to southern city of Yulin to hold demonstrations against the inhumane festival, a kind woman did something even more meaningful – she actually rescued dozens of canines by purchasing them.
Yang Xiaoyun, a retired teacher and an animal rights advocate, traveled about 1,500 miles to reach the festival and bought 100 dogs to save them from the fate of ending up on the cooking grill. She reportedly paid 7,000 Yuan (about $1,100) to buy the dogs that will now live in a shelter at the 65-year-old’s house in Tianjin.
Xiaoyun has been rescuing animals for a very long time. As the story goes, it all began in 1995 when she pulled an abandoned kitten from a river. She later founded a dog and cat sanctuary, known as the Common Home for All, in 1999. Since then, she has taken in hundreds of animals and has sold her home, relying on rented space to house them.
The 65-year-old animal lover wants to open another sanctuary in Yulin.
Although the local government claims to have banned the inhumane festival, thousands of cats and dogs are skinned and sold each year in China. The highly controversial festival is also opposed by a majority of Chinese people, who believe the practice doesn’t reflect the Chinese culture at all. In fact, they believe that the horrific event, which started in recent years, is promoted by traders to boost their meat sales.
Furthermore, the majority of dogs who are slaughtered for their meat are actually stolen pets, according to Hong Kong-based charity Animal Asia. These animals are treated cruelly, and are kept in tiny cages where they are either poisoned or beaten to death or they die of starvation and dehydration.
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