BY ERIC PFEIFFER
Marc Ching just might be a dog’s best friend. The American activist recently traveled to China where he rescued 1,000 dogs from slaughter. And it’s only the latest trip around the world he’s taken in recent years to save endangered dogs from not only becoming food, but the often inhumane treatment they receive in captivity before being slaughtered.
Each year, Yulin City hosts a 10-day-long dog meat festival in which an estimated 10,000 dogs are slaughtered for consumption. According to Distractify, there’s a local belief that dog meat helps the human body deal with heat. Over the last several years the festival has come under increased scrutiny from animal rights activists.
So, Ching traveled with an activist partner where they managed to rescue 1,000 dogs from six different slaughter houses. However, Mashable reports the rescues didn’t go off without a hitch. Although Ching bought the dogs from sellers at the market, he was often harassed once people realized he didn’t plan to have the dogs slaughtered. A number of other activists have also reportedly been harassed by police and other locals participating in the festival. Ching says he was detained and even beaten by local authorities.
But there’s also some good news. In addition to all of the dogs he personally rescued, the Human Society says the overall number of dogs being slaughtered at the festival appears to be down from recent years. They’ve also created an online petition you can sign if you want to help stop the practice. Ching also often offers dog sellers money to help invest in new business ventures so they won’t have to return to the festival next year. The city government in Yulin has also formally distanced itself from the festival, forbiding government employees from attending and putting other restrictions in place. Some critics have argued that it’s hypocritical and even racist to criticize the festival considering America’s own ongoing dark practices in the meat industry. But even if we have our own challenges in front of us, people like Ching show that protecting the lives of animals doesn’t have to be limited by geographic or cultural borders.
”We came to Yulin to tell people here dogs are our friends,” activisst Yang Yuhua told Mashable. “They should not kill dogs in such a cruel wayand many of the dogs they killed are pet dogs.”