Two news stories on dogs today generated strong but completely different feelings in me.
The first one, published in a local paper, was about the ‘dog meat festival’ which took place yesterday in a city called Yulin in Guangxi, China. Animal rights activists who went to city to protest and to buy the dogs to rescue them were mocked by many onlookers and cursed by the vendors, the latter under the protection of the policemen.
The second news story was about the 2014 world’s ugliest dog contest which was held on Friday in California. According to the official website of the organiser, the contest aims to spread the message that no matter the dogs’ physical detractions, they are loving companions, and to raise awareness for adoption of dogs, since a good number of the contestant dogs have been rescued from shelters and puppy mills. This year’s winner, a Chihuahua-Shih Tzu mix called Peanut, is a good example. Peanut’s toothy grin and bulging eyeballs were the results of burns received as a puppy. Holly Chandler, his owner plans to donate the prize money to pay for the veterinary bills of animals in need so that others might have the same opportunities as Peanut. She also hopes to use Peanut's fame to raise awareness for abused animals.
It seems that, compared with the rest of the world, the civilisation of China still has a long way to go.