Animal rights advocate, actor Ricky Gervais, took to social media earlier this month in order to share his views on the controversial Yulin Dog Meat Festival, set to take place during the summer solstice in June.
“I don’t get it, I can’t seem to stop it. It’s just the most horrendous thing I’ve ever heard of,” a visibly upset Gervais began.“It’s misleading as well, where it says ‘Yulin Dog Festival’, there’s no difference — if you eat meat, I don’t eat meat, but if you do, you could say there’s no difference to eating a dog than eating a cow or a sheep.”
Founded in 2009, the relatively new festival is notorious for its celebration of dog meat and the cruel treatment of the animals involved. The annual festival takes place in Yulin in the Guangxi province over the course of ten days, where an average of 10,000-15,000 dogs are slaughtered for consumption. Captive dogs are often subjected to various methods of cruel treatment such as being beaten, burned, boiled, or skinned alive. All, Gervais said, based on a superstition that violence affects the quality of the meat.
“But what they do to these dogs is they torture them first because it causes an overwhelming sense of fear and pain and they think that makes the meat taste better. It doesn’t matter if it does, it’s sadistic, it’s fucking mental,” Gervais said, describing what the dogs go through as “hell.”
“People will say what’s it got to do with you? But you could say that about anything, really,” Ricky Gervais said of Yulin, expressing frustration towards the lack of empathy some had expressed towards the captive dogs. He finished the short video by thanking his fans for listening to him.
An outspoken voice for animal rights, Yulin isn’t the only issue on Ricky Gervais’ radar. Earlier this month, he joined Dr. Jane Goodall in pushing for the European Union to end to cosmetic animal testing. He has also pushed for an end to fur, foie gras, and bullfighting, claiming that tradition does not make an act right. Ricky Gervais’s vegetarian status was confirmed when he told a fan recently that he does not eat meat.