Chinese people are still eating dogs during this year’s Yulin Summer Solstice Dog Meat Festival. Its a festival in southern China which dates back ages. But not everybody agrees people should still eat dog.
This year’s festival saw protests inside and outside of China. At odds are changing values, as more Chinese have dogs as pets. But eating dog is as natural as eating beef or chicken in these regions of southern China.
Debates among Chinese social media users center on whether there is the larger issue of Western values encroaching on Chinese values. But some see it as a natural shift, and not totally a result of Western influence. Taiwan and Hong Kong have already banned eating dog meat and the killing of dogs.
There were periods in history where Mainland China also banned eating dog meat. During the Song Dynasty, Emporer Huizong outlawed eating dog. He was born under the sign of dog, according to the Chinese zodiac.
People of traditional nomadic backgrounds in China won’t dare eat dog. They respect dogs, and use them for hunting and herding.
Those that eat dog tend to be southern Chinese from Guangdong and Guangxi provinces. They usually consume dog meat with lychee and wine. They believe in the medicinal value of dog meat. It is said to benefit the kidneys and strengthen the body. Ancient prescriptions for dog meat are recorded in the Compendium of Materia Medica, the classic text of Chinese medicine.