BEIJING — In the whirlwind of growth that is modern China, the loss of ancient traditions often provokes dismay and outrage.

But people across the country cheered recently when officials in eastern China said they were doing away with a 600-year-old local custom: the slaughter of thousands of dogs to be eaten at an autumn festival.

YULIN Dog Meat Eating Festival is Canceled

The Jinhua Hutou Dog Meat Festival, as it is called, was abruptly canceled last week after local officials were shamed by an online campaign begun by animal rights advocates. Gruesome photographs taken at past festivals that show canine carcasses, some bloody and others cooked, circulated on Chinese microblogs, creating popular pressure against the festival, which was set for October.

YULIN Dog Meat Eating Festival is Canceled

Pet ownership has grown rapidly among the Chinese, as has a greater consciousness of animal rights. In the Mao era, the Communist Party condemned pets as a byproduct of bourgeois decadence. But these days, dogs and cats (and all manner of creatures, including rabbits and birds) have become accouterments of Chinese middle-class living. What was once slated for the pantry is now housed in a playpen.

Over 10,000 dogs — many just puppies — were killed at last year’s summer solstice festival in Yulin, China. And it’s going to happen all over again NEXT WEEK, unless people like you speak out to stop the horrific event.

YULIN Dog Meat Eating Festival is Canceled

One of the most terrifying things about the festival is that it leads to many abductions of household pets by kidnappers looking to make a quick buck as the festival begins. CNN reports that local animal lovers often try to buy the dogs before the butchers can, but the dog sellers often refuse to sell to the activists.

Source: nytimes / thepetitionsite