In spite of the global outrage, supporters of the controversial Yulin Dog Meat Festival have continued to celebrate the festivities as usual.
In photos (Warning: Graphic Content) taken by Reuters and as reported by the Daily Mail, restaurants and sidewalks of Yulin were filled with patrons gorging down on dishes filled with dog or cat meat.
About 10,000 cats and dogs are believed to be slaughtered and eaten in the annual festival which locals celebrate to welcome the June solstice.
Although having no official sanction from the local government, the “unofficial” celebration has been defended by its supporters who say it is a time-honored tradition that dates well back to China’s pre-written history.
However, the festival has also drawn condemnation from human rights activists all over the globe who counter that it has no cultural value and is just something that was made up by dog meat traders in 2010 to drum up business.
Among those who have expressed their outrage include Ricky Gervais, Gisele Bundchen, Richard Marx and Leona Lewis.
The celebration has also sparked dissent among the younger set of Chinese who view cats and dogs more as pets rather than delicacies.
Stop Eating Turkey too
With all the negative publicity, however, a few rabid supporters of the festival also threw similar accusations against Westerners for slaughtering and killing turkeys during Christmas and other occasions.
Commenting that both are traditions, supporters say foreigners should stay out of their business and refrain from imposing their beliefs on them.
“We should have mutual respect for others,” one said. “If you don’t like to eat something, then don’t eat it.”
Another also compared the practice of eating turkeys as similar to the Yulin Festival and suggested a boycott since he felt both are one and the same thing.
“Let’s all get together and condemn the practice of eating turkeys on Christmas!” he said.