Commuters at a train station in Guangzhou, China received a shock when the stars of a “Say No to Cat and Dog Meat” design “jumped” out of the poster.
Three-year-old Xiao Bao and companions, husky Dou Dou and Bu Bu the Samoyed, were on hand to wave and offer a friendly bark or two at commuters – in a prime spot below the poster that included their own image.
In all a total of 279 “Be healthy. Say No to Cat and Dog Meat” advertisements produced by Animals Asia are on display across China in train stations, bus stations and elevators in 14 cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen. Millions more are seeing the images online where they have received an incredible response. On Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, the designs were shared over 3,000 times in the first 24 hours after posting. Since then they’ve gone on to gain 20,000 shares in total.
The posters aim to inform the public of the health risks of eating dog and cat meat and to prompt people to re-evaluate why they’d eat animals they might otherwise consider friends not food.
The poster starring young Xia Bao states, in Chinese:
“What you just put in your mouth could have been a child’s partner in growth”
“Cat and dog meat sold in restaurants is often sourced from stolen domestic animals and strays snatched from the street. Don’t pay for this cruel and dirty industry with your own health. Be healthy, say no to dog and cat meat.”
The set of advertisements cover three themes “Partner in Growth”, “Guardian” and “Stray”.
Animals Asia Dog and Cat Welfare Director Irene Feng said:
“The truth is, if you eat dog or cat then you have no idea where that meat is coming from or how safe it is. We are still seeing many cats and dogs in China being abandoned and left to subsist on the streets, with many dying due to illness. Stray dogs and cats, many of them far from healthy, are snatched from the streets and pets are still being stolen and taken to horrific meat markets. We believe that, faced with this knowledge, most people would find such a meal entirely unappetising.”
Animals Asia founder Jill Robinson added:
“We know that, equipped with the facts, most people will choose not to eat dog and cat meat. There are health implications, not to mention the fact that the dogs and cats being served as food are likely to have been stolen from a loving family home.
“The good news is that awareness is spreading. The reaction we have had from the public to the posters has been incredible as has been the willingness to further share the message. Make no mistake, animal welfare is now an increasingly high profile issue in China and the dog and cat meat industry is being held to account.”