Yulin, a city in southern China, celebrates the summer solstice by throwing a festival that involves the slaughter and consumption of as many as 10,000 dogs. Not everyone in China supports such practices, however; 65-year-old Yang Xiaoyun, a retired teacher who runs an animal shelter in Tianjin, traveled more than 2,400 km (1,500 miles) and spent more than 7,000 yuan ($1,100 or €990) to save 100 dogs from certain death.
Parts of China have long-standing traditions surrounding the consumption of dog meat, though this seems to be more focused in southern China. This year’s Yulin Festival, held on June 20th, has drawn extraordinary ire from the international community, using the trending #stopYulin2015 hashtag to proclaim their condemnation of the festival. Activists in China, Xiaoyun included, have also responded, accusing the festival organizers of unnecessary cruelty and torture.
Though the public conversation about this controversial tradition in China continues, it’s nice to see that there are people like Xiaoyun who are taking real action!