Don’t eat our friends! Ads ask millions across China to protect cats and dogs

25 October 2016


Advertisements have appeared in cities across China informing people to think before they eat — their meal could be someone’s family member.

From September to December this year, the ads — created as part of an Animals Asia competition — will be seen by millions of people in nine Chinese cities where eating cats and dogs is still prevalent.

Many in China are unaware that while eating dog may be legal, the practices of the dog meat industry are usually anything but, with illegality present at every stage of the supply chain.

Released in 2015, a four-year investigation by Animals Asia found that the majority of dogs and cats sold as meat dogs are actually stolen pets and stray animals.

For the next few months, when people from Beijing to Harbin step off the tube or walk to work, they’ll be confronted by a stark reminder of the industry’s dark reality.

Animals Asia Cat and Dog Welfare Director Irene Feng said:

“Many Chinese people simply aren’t aware that their dog or cat meat meal is full of animal suffering. Animals are stolen from loving homes or rounded up off the streets and others are not vaccinated which presents obvious health risks.

“Our aim is tell people the facts, let them see the reality and make their own minds up. Between the cruelty, crime and health risk – there really is no need to eat dogs and we believe that having weighed up the facts, most would agree.”

Yang Mengyun, a design student from Wuxi, Jiangsu whose poster design “Brightness and Fear” is part of the advertising campaign said:

“I hope one day when people see stray animals, they won’t think of eating or hurting them. So that the stray cats or dogs can play under the sun, relax and enjoy free lives.”

Thanks to her poster, that reality is one step closer.

According to media, China is believed to consume 10 million dogs and 4 million cats every year. Animals Asia works year round to raise awareness about animal welfare in the country and actively advocates against the dog and cat trade.