Stunning Images Destroy The Dog Meat Industry
These pictures are incredibly powerful — and there's not one drop of blood.
There's nothing visceral about these pictures taking aim at China's dog and cat meat industry. Nothing that immediately rattles the heart. Or sends the senses running for cover. Instead, the images, made by people who responded to a call from Animals Asia, perfectly capture the cruelty of the trade without a hint of bloodshed.
Look for just a moment and the insidious nature of the dog and meat industry sinks deep down into the soul.
The pictures are part of a contest asking people from across China to come up with visuals for the organization's campaign against the trade.
"Internationally we associate campaigns to end cat and dog meat eating with very in-your-face scenes of animal cruelty," Irene Feng of Animals Asia noted in a press release. "Most of the pictures we have seen here deal instead with emotions. The emotions of the affected animals and their human companions who have lost members of their family due to dog thieves."
Feng is referring to the pets stolen from people's homes who help fuel the meat industry in China. Many pilfered pets and strays end up at the widely condemned Yulin dog meat festival, an annual event in southwestern China that was founded in 2010 for the sole purpose of lining the pockets of dog meat traders.
This picture, called "Brightness and Fear," earned the top prize.
Yang Mengyun, the design student who created it, told Animals Asia her inspiration for the work was the many stray dogs and cats she feeds on campus.
"I hope one day when people see stray animals, they won't think of eating or hurting them," she told the organization. "So that the stray cats or dogs can play under the sun, relax and enjoy free lives."
"Brightness is good for humans," she added. "We don't connect anything scary to brightness. But to stray animals it is not the same. Exposed by the sun or light means they can easily be spotted by dog or cat dealers. I guess they'd rather be living in the darkness, where they can hide and be far away from bad people."
Another design student, Nie Chonghao, took second place with the following image, called "Companion":
"Cats and dogs should be our friends," Chonghao told the organization. "To lose a friend because someone has eaten them is too sad. In my design, the paw prints beside the footprints not only represent companion animals like cats and dogs, but all the animals in the world."
Animals Asia is hoping the campaign, which will display these images in prominent places throughout the country, will fuel momentum to end the dog and cat meat trade in China.
In fact, the organization notes, earlier this year, nine million people voted online to abolish the industry. Although recent reports suggest fewer people are eating dog meat, the trade has managed to endure.
Think it's time to take this dubious "tradition" off the table for good?
Join Animals Asia in its fight against this brutal industry by signing this petition.