Another “Man Bites Dog” Story


Written by Michael K.

A lot of people probably wonder whether we Internet activists actually accomplish anything. Those people should pay close attention to this story.

More than seven centuries ago, an unnamed Ming Dynasty military hero who was preparing to capture the Chinese town of Jinhua decided to first order the killing of all the dogs in town so they wouldn’t bark and blow his cover. Ever since, our canine friends have been a regional delicacy, and in recent years the locals have honored the ancient warriorís valiant victory by celebrating an event charmingly called the Zheijiang Jinhua Dog Meat Festival, a three-festival of killing and torture which has caused the deaths of thousands of dogs.

Until now, that is. It seems that this year’s festival, which had been scheduled for mid-October, has instead been canceled by local authorities after a campaign by tens of thousands of online activists and animal lovers flooded the Internet with graphic pictures of, and graphic stories about, the festival (Iíve found some of those pictures. Go search for them yourself if you want to, but be prepared). The resulting bad publicity caused a decision that will spare many of mankind’s best friends a lot of pain and suffering.

And we have no one but ourselves to thank. “I think the government canceled the festival mainly because they are under so much pressure of the netizens,” one Chinese activist told the Los Angeles Times. And in fact, a bit more surfing uncovered the happy fact that a similar online campaign recently caused the end of a similar dog meat festival in South Korea. All of which leads us to several conclusions:

1. Yes, Internet campaigns really can improve the world, especially when it comes to fighting cruelty against animals, so keep on signing those petitions, folks!

2. Yes, China really is becoming a more open society (you think Chinese officials would have made decisions like this based on media pressure a generation ago?). But itís still acceptable to eat dogs in parts of Asia and elsewhere in the world — an apt topic for future activism.


Photo from husham samir via flickr


Michelle Sibinovic
Michelle S6 years ago

Thank you for the post. Seemingly small steps sometimes end up paying huge dividends. Chipping, chipping, chipping away at human greed, ignorance and folly until one day.....perhaps just one fine day.....mankind fully regains and re-earns the dignity of the title "Man-Kind."

Linda Jarsky
Linda Jarsky6 years ago

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.

lesley turnbull
lesley turnbull6 years ago

It is so gratifying to know finally that we are making a difference somewhere. I feel so helpless day after day reading the horror stories on the internet of what fate befalls so many of our four legged friends due to ignorance and cruelty, and because I am penniless I am unable to contribute monetarily to the funding needed in most cases to support our efforts. At last a pay off to the hours worked on petitions and the like. We will continue to endeavor to perservere.

Sarah Metcalf
Sarah M6 years ago

This is wonderful. We really can make a difference.

Karen S.
Karen S6 years ago

The current method of killing to keep the population down is a national shame. We can do better than this and the leaders in this country should take note of the fact that there is a a large group of people in this country that is tired of the business as usual attitude when it comes to how the animals in this country are treated. We don't want to hear the old "it's just a dog or just a cat" anymore. We care and we won't stop until a change happens so either get on board with us or step aside because we will step over you if we have to and get what we want!

Faith Purdy
Faith Purdy6 years ago

why are we only protesting against a dog meat festival? aren't there countless numbers of meat festivals around the world? don't other animals deserve to have lives instead of being eaten?

Esther Lance
Esther Lance6 years ago

Good to know that good has come out of all the "petition signing"!!There are some who will speak for the speechless. Let's keep up the good work!

Pat Coetzer
Pat Coetzer6 years ago

The Chinese may have stopped this one act, but what about the fur trade in China!!!! Everyone needs to go on the internet and download that video. It will tear you apart. These animals (dogs, cats, raccoons) live in the most horrific conditions. I watched the video and had to turn it off. They showed a raccoon being lifted out of a cage, held by its back legs and repeatedly slammed to the ground and then just dropped. It then layed on the ground with blood on its faced, with it's eyes staring right into the video. It was then tied up by it's back legs and then they started from it's tail to skin it. It was still alive!!!! I did'nt have the sound on and but you could see it trying to get itself free. Can you imagine the pain and suffering it went through. They throw these poor animals on a dump with other dead ones some of which are still hanging on to life. That was when I switched the video off. I was sick to the pit of my stomach, I was in tears to the cruelty of this act. This is going on with dogs and cats. They are also stealing peoples pets. They are piled into cages on top of one another, left out in the cold, heat, rain. Transported under horrendous conditions with broken limbs. The pregnant dogs go through hell and when they give birth just eat their babies. They are so stressed and in such turmoil that they turn on themselves and chew their own bodies.
Please go and read the story, this is just more than I can bear. I have written to the President of China, but I

lis Gunn
lis Gunn6 years ago

Whilever we eat meat there will be some cruelty to animals (see the recent live export trade of cattle from Australia to Indonesia). Some religions also insist on "bleeding" their animals according to ritual (Judaism and Islam). If one wants to eat meat, one should insist on stringent laws on the humane treatment both in rearing the animal and its eventual slaughter. I'm appalled at the apparent disregard, (or is it ignorance ?) of those who would feast on grain fed beef, complete with hormone laden supplements or cage bred chickens.
In many parts of the world where food is very scarce, animals are eaten becauseneeds must. Never does this excuse cruelty.
Thanks for making a difference.

Brigitte G.
Brigitte G6 years ago

Unfortunately, people everywhere need to keep their eyes open. A friend of mine has a mobile business and one of her customers was a Thai woman in Corona, CA with a chicken coop in her backyard STUFFED with cats and dogs (no food or water available). When she went inside the woman's house the smell was atrocious and she saw a pot on the stove with a tail sticking out and fur and blood on the floor, She ran out and threw up and then called the police. The next time she went by this neighborhood the animals had been removed however this homeowner is someone that should be kept a watchful eye on because she obviously thinks she can behave in this manner and no one will do a thing about it. The sad part is, she is a hospice nurse! And, her neighbor was outside watering when my girlfriend found this horror! People can't ignore bad behavior against animals, everyone has to do their part, and everyone has to keep their eyes open.