Red Alert


Despite animal activists and animal lovers best efforts, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival continues in China. And unfortunately, it seems that 2017 might be the deadliest yet, since this tortuous festival began in 2009. That is because word spread around China that dog meat was banned, therefore, making it even more desirable.

Marc Ching and one of the dogs he saved from Yulin

Marc Ching and one of the dogs he saved from Yulin

Usually, around 10,000 dogs are beaten, tortured, and slaughter before they are consumed. Those consumers believe that torturing the dogs first will make the meat more tender and taste better. And most of the dogs killed are stolen from their rightful dog owners.

Marc Ching of the Animal Hope and Wellness and his team was able to save 800 dogs from being slaughtered for the festival this year. And he was quick to point out that the news that spread about the ban of dog meat were false. “Those [animal rights] groups that said there was a ban and that the government placed restrictions, but that’s not true. I know it’s not true because we were out there,” he continued. “These groups never met with the government. I don’t know how the fabrication came about,” he explained. “People must have thought they heard it from someone on the ground and took off running [with that claim].”

Dogs for sale in Yulin in 2016

Dogs for sale in Yulin in 2016

Sadly, China currently has no animal protection laws. None. That means that animal cruelty and torture are perfectly legal. One can even do it in front of authorities without fear of arrest. This must change and the festival must stop. Click here to support an end to this barbaric torture.

And shining a spotlight and honoring how amazing and loyal dogs are, is this poem I share with you that was written by my father, Aman Khan. He grew up with a very beloved canine companion, who made an indelible impression on him, in his native Pakistan. It really captures the essence of how dogs will go to the ends of the earth for us, until their last breath. We should love and protect them just the same.


Hell emptied its belly,

dropped lava from the sky,

where once stood a compound

in a remote village.


Then there were only ruins.

Barking and sniffing rubble for familiar scents;

he emerged limping

from the dense cloud of dust.


Something in there, he sensed,

in that strange mixture of smells,

which bound him to the scene.

He would not break the shackles.


Minutes turned into hours, hours into days.

His friend and his master

wasn’t there to fill the bowl.

Small puddle, next to house also went dry.


Hunger pains slowed him down,

but he sniffed and he dug,

till his paws had no pads and his

bark waned to whimper.


Had no strength to prop his head.

Ears hung flaccid.

Curled up in the rubble,

head resting between legs.


Panting ceased, breathing slowed–then stopped.

But the eyes remained open, waiting for his master.


© Aman 2017

First place Winner, January 2016 PST contest.

Book of The Year, Poetry Society of Texas: 2017, pp, 122.

© Aman, 2016


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