This June, China will hold its annual Yulin Meat Festival. Despite outrage from many citizens and the international community – including about four million people from around the world who signed an online petition – the festival is slated to happen on June 21. With an estimated 300 dogs killed every day in preparation for the festival.

But people aren’t letting this slip by. Notably, actor and comedian Ricky Gervais has taken a stand with Humane Society International to stop this cruel industry.

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In a poignant Facebook post, Ricky wrote, “The dogs are tortured to ‘make the meat tastier.’ They are also skinned and boiled alive. It’s not a food festival. It’s Hell.”

These Photos of the Yulin Meat Festival Will Inspire You To Stand With Ricky Gervais

And hell it is, indeed. HSI’s China Policy Specialist, Dr. Peter Li, documented the atrocities of the trade.

These Photos of the Yulin Meat Festival Will Inspire You To Stand With Ricky Gervais

While visiting the slaughterhouses, Dr. Li witnessed dogs and cats in tiny cages, beat to death with metal rods, and blood filling the holding pens.  

These Photos of the Yulin Meat Festival Will Inspire You To Stand With Ricky Gervais
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Some of the slaughterhouses are located right near elementary schools. There’s no doubt they can hear the yelps of the dogs.

These Photos of the Yulin Meat Festival Will Inspire You To Stand With Ricky Gervais

Dr. Li wrote, “The dogs and cats I saw were visibly traumatized, their spirits broken from their terrifying ordeal. It’s hard to imagine their mental suffering, watching other dogs being killed, disemboweled and dismembered in front of them.”

These Photos of the Yulin Meat Festival Will Inspire You To Stand With Ricky Gervais

“And it is apparent from the volume of dogs, and animals wearing pet collars, that Yulin remains a hub for dog and cat theft. It is astonishing that this illegal and cruel trade is tolerated,” he said

These Photos of the Yulin Meat Festival Will Inspire You To Stand With Ricky Gervais
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“It was like a scene from a nightmare that will haunt me forever.”

These Photos of the Yulin Meat Festival Will Inspire You To Stand With Ricky Gervais

Let’s join Ricky Gervais, Dr. Li and Humane Society International to #StopYulin.

How Can You Help?

First and foremost, educating yourself and others about the dangers associated with eating dog meat is critical to bringing an end to this practice. Humane Society International has a wealth of information and resources to help and they also run large campaigns encouraging country leaders to take action to ban the trade altogether. Many people are not aware of the cruel practices and dangers or even the existence of the dog meat trade, so your best course of action is to educate yourself and others to expose the truth of this industry – share this article to get started!

Finally, it’s important to recognize that these dogs, who want to live a happy and free life, are no different than the pigs and cows that we raise for meat here in the U.S. If we could all see the animals around us as complex, emotional beings, instead of mindless commodities, the world would be a much kinder place.

If you would like to support the amazing work of Humane Society International, visit their page here.

All Image Source: Humane Society International