The world had been gripped by the #STOPYULINFESTIVAL2015 campaign.
A festival where dogs and cats are pulled out of houses, physically abused, skinned and burned alive, and finally consumed by people in Southern China. Petitions after petitions had been created on online sites, and forwarded to people in the hope of bringing an end to this “festival”, and protecting our furry little friends.
Indeed, it is impossible to imagine torturing dogs and cats when we love them so much. I myself am a hardcore dog-lover and the images taken from previous Festival celebrations made me cry buckets.
Source: Google Images
But after blindly following my instincts and bad-mouthing the people who have previously organised and participated in this festival, it suddenly dawned upon me that I am being quite the hypocrite myself.
Being an unabashed non-vegetarian, I had no right to complain since I do the same to hens and goats too. Who am I to judge the Chinese for hosting such a festival, when I myself remain unmoved on being presented with a non vegetarian dish?
Is it not convenient for people like me to publicly abuse and condemn this festival, simply because we love cats and dogs, and rear them as pets? Do we not breed hens, goats and cows (in some places), and later kill them for their meat? And even if consumption of meat was considered to be “natural”, are we not free thinking individuals that we can rebel against the whole tradition of consuming meat, without giving up after a while?
It can be argued that permanently eliminating meat and embracing veganism will eventually bring forth its own set of drawbacks and complications, but why do we criticise those who consider dog meat to be a significant part of their diet? At the end of the day, meat is meat, be it whoever’s we eat.
After all, do we not keep hens and goats in abominable conditions before, while and after carting them away to slaughter houses and road-side stalls? The way we have reared, stored and killed hens and goats is the way the Chinese are rearing and killing a dog or a cat during this “festival”.
Even though we don’t skin or burn alive our livestock, the conditions we subject them to are by no means less than what the dogs are made to face.
Source: Google Images
If we can raise such hue and cry against one form of atrocity (that is, the Yulin Festival), then why not against the other, which involve hens, goats and cows?
Why do websites like change.org or world and local-level activists not hold a sustained fight against meat-consumption?
Why do we let ourselves forget that physical abuse is just that, irrespective of who we inflict it on?
Even for the sake of argument, one can simply not take the beef ban in Maharasthra, India into consideration because that is taking the issue to another, highly illogical level.
If truth be spoken, I am unable to imagine life as a pure vegetarian, even at the height of my anguish. Could this get any worse? I am not justifying or supporting the Festival, but only pointing out loopholes in the way we are condemning the Yulin Dog Meat Festival.
Indeed, it is inhuman to willingly commit such severe forms of violence but we must also ensure the same level of restriction being imposed for the protection of other animals, as well.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.