If you are like most people in the world, the idea of eating a dog is horrific to you. To Xingyi Danielle, from Singapore, it was unthinkable. Her father, stationed in China for work, wholeheartedly agreed.
So when he saw a group of men who were selling dogs for meat as he walked through an alley, he knew he had to do something. The dogs were tied up in mesh bags, fattened for slaughter. And Danielle’s father couldn’t abide the thought that the dogs would end up on someone’s dinner plate.
In China, eating dogs is an ancient tradition, dating back to at least 1700 B.C. Nowadays, dog meat is offered in restaurants in North Korea, South Korea, Vietnam and China (although mostly in the South). Can you imagine eating a dog who looks like this?
Danielle’s father was out shopping for his own dinner when he encountered the dog-meat sellers. Horrified, he tried to think of what he could do. How could he save these innocent dogs?
In ancient China, there were only three reasons to have a dog. It could be a watchdog, alerting the family to intruders, a hunting dog, used to bring down other animals to eat, or for slaughter to become a meal itself.
In Manchu culture, eating dog is considered taboo. In the 17th century, when the Manchu came to power in China, the “barbaric practice” of eating dogs was banned. However, southern Chinese continued to eat them anyway. Until recently, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in June served approximately 10,000 dogs during the celebration each year.
Danielle’s father decided he had to do something. It cost him $90, and for that he could save just one life. He couldn’t take the dog—which he named “Doggo”—home, because the place where he was staying didn’t allow pets. So Doggo went to live at the office.
The staff complained about the mess that Doggo created, but Danielle’s father decided to keep him there anyway until other arrangements could be made. Doggo is glad that Danielle’s father made the sacrifice to save him.
This is a sad state of affairs for millions of dogs throughout Asia. You can help stop the dog meat trade by signing this pledge. Thankfully, there are people like Danielle and her father who think that saving lives, even one at a time, is totally worth it. So does Doggo.