Anyone involved in or with an interest in animal welfare or advocacy, is aware of the atrocities that take pace in China on a daily basis; companion animals, dog and cats, brutally killed and tortured for their skin and for their meat. This doesn’t even touch on what’s done to other animals and wildlife, but there is no limit to the cruelties visited on animal life in China. In the past months, China, especially Beijing and the surrounding areas, have stepped thing up a notch. These efforts are to ‘clean up’ for visitors and to hell with whether they are beyond cruel and inhumane.

I’ve been reading stories of strays rounded up, stuffed in cages, so many to the point that they can barely breathe, let alone move, taken away and killed in ways you don’t even want to hear about. The pictures remind you of torture during the middle ages or holocaust with animal victims.

Dog meat is routinely sold at markets where dogs are jammed in cages alive and miserable until a shopper picks out their ‘dinner’ and the pitiful creature is cruelly yanked out and killed. I’ve seem pictures and videos. You cannot even imagine, you don’t want to. In many restaurants, dishes containing dog meat are standard fare.

Now, to try to cover up this practice, which most of the world considers disgusting, even many Chinese, as pets are more and more embraced as family members, China officials are banning the offering of dog meat dishes on the menu of a number of restaurants that will be catering to tourists.

Now I do realize the different cultures look at things differently but never will I be able to accept or understand consuming companion animals as food. As difficult, to put it mildly, as that is for me, the cruelty surrounding this practice in the cultures that embrace it is nothing but torture.

I’ve been ‘gentle’ in my words and descriptions so far but reality is not. This is reality and if you’re sensitive, you may want to stop right here;

People who consume dog meat do so for what they call medical and spiritual reasons. The belief is that it will ‘warm’ them and increase sexual prowess. Dogs are skinned while still alive, often hung and blowtorches are used to remove the fur while the animal screams in pain and writhes in agony. They believe that the more pain, the more tender and flavorful the meat so death or drawn out and prolonged.

Dog meat is actually commercially farmed in many areas.

In recent times, the bulk of dog meat has been produced commercially by dog breeding farms. Various breeds are reared but many farmers prefer St Bernards for their rapid growth, bulk and flavour. Today, however, they appear to have fallen from favour because of their substantial feeding costs.

Farmed dogs endure short, cramped, miserable lives. Brutal death awaits them. Many are said to be tortured or bled to death slowly. This results in adrenaline-rich meat which, according to folklore, makes men who eat it more virile.

China’s clean-up of Beijing ahead of the summer Olympic Games has also resulted in the closure of many dog meat restaurants. But in cities across China, roadside restaurants specialise in dishes made from every conceivable part of the dog, including the head, legs, testicles and innards.

When preparing the dog for food, it is said that the fur may be burned off with a blowtorch, often while the animal is still alive. Many dogs are subjected to a cruel, slow death due to the superstitious belief that the more the animal suffers, the better the meat tastes. (The Star)

So although tourists may not see dog meat dishes on the menu is the restaurants they will most likely frequent, many other restaurants and stand will still be serving it.

So now, the Games, which symbolize so many positive things today, ideas such a peace and unity and freedom, perhaps only unofficially, to many people, are being held in a country which is known for the atrocities and cruelties committed upon its citizens and animals.

I, for one, will not be watching the events. My own personal little boycott. Just as I make a concerted effort not to buy Chinese imports for so many reasons. It’s a country who ideals are outdated, whose people are dominated and cruelly suppressed, who in reality care little for what the outside world think of them, except to try to put on a ‘pretty face’ for a short period of time.

It doesn’t take much to look beyond a ‘pretty face’ to see what’s really there… ugliness, cruelty, barbarism, torture, abuses…. and so much more that is just below the surface and most of the time, not so far at all….

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