Stop Yulin Dog Meat Festival through Education
An Animal Rights Article from


ACTAsia - Action, Compassion, Together
June 2016

We at ACTAsia want the Yulin Dog Meat Festival to stop for good – and we believe the only way is through education.

If you plan for one year, plant rice. If you plan for ten years, plant trees. If you plan for 100 years, educate mankind.
Chinese Proverb

dog meat

The Yulin Dog Meat Festival begins on 21 June, and you may have already seen news reports of animal welfare agencies rescuing dogs and cats from the trade. Between 10,000 and 15,000 dogs and cats are slaughtered each year at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival and there is no way any animal welfare agency – or all of our agencies combined - can rescue all those animals from that cruel fate.

Furthermore, at last year's festival, dog nappers told us to be "proud of the worldwide attention" for their 'tradition' and that they gained good profit from the dogs being sold to the animal rescuers; it fueled the demand and raised the price on the animal's heads!

It’s a normal response to want to rescue dogs and cats that are going to be beaten to death for their meat, but we have learnt that those rescued dogs and cats will be replaced with other animals facing the very same plight. The approach to this inhumane festival must change.

At ACTAsia, our core belief is that education is the only way to influence how people think about animals to create long term and sustainable change. That’s why all our efforts are focused on schools, teaching, and young people in China.

We know that we must change perceptions, alter thinking and inspire the next generation in China to learn empathy, to feel compassion, and to see animals as sentient beings. It is only by creating a shift in thinking that we will see change come from within China, from its own people who want to see a stop to this type of archaic festival that promotes cruelty and abuse to animals.

In China, the word for animal literally means “moving object” whilst in English it is defined as “a living being characterized by voluntary movement”. It is only through education that we can change not only the meaning of the word, but the perception that animals are sentient beings that feel physical and emotional pain.

Our work is focused on changing behaviour by influencing the way people think about animals.

ACTAsia’s education programme is taking the cause of animal welfare right back to basics. We understand you might be frustrated that we can’t stop the cruelty straight away, but we’re certain that education is the only way forward. And we see the results from our youth education programs on a daily basis:

  • we know through our research that we are creating change in perceptions,
  • we know from the teachers and trainers that are coming on board to our programs, and teaching compassionate living and humane education,
  • we know from the government officials in China who are endorsing our work in their provinces and wanting to expand our programs, and
  • most importantly, we are seeing the shift in the children who participate in these programs.

chinese dog

Changing is happening. Children in China are challenging these beliefs and practices and they’re making their own moral choices in relation to their relationship with animals.

For as little as $10, you can make a difference – you can help a teacher in China through training and tools to bring humane education into the classroom.

We know that children who grow up with compassion will become adults who want to stop the cruelty themselves, within China. And you can be part of that movement of change.

We thank you for your support of the work that we do, and we urge you to please support us again and help us create long term change to halt the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. 

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