Learn more about how the Kukur Tihar Festival celebrates the loyalty and friendship of dogs and why the world needs a wake-up call to the Yulin Festival, which celebrates animal cruelty and promotes dog meat.
You might not have heard of either of these festivals, but both are textbook examples: one of how to treat animals, and the other: how to NEVER treat animals. It is hard to believe that the Yulin Festival is still happening in 2017, even after the horrific animal treatment is getting more and more into the international spotlight. This is a very troubling and difficult topic to write about, but if people are not covering it then the animal cruelty will be hidden in the shadows, and allowed to continue on. The stark contrast happens in Nepal, at the Kukur Tihar Festival, where every year dogs are getting the extra pampering and loving attention they deserve.
If anyone is looking for a dose of cuteness overload, then google “Kukur Tihar Festival.” High in the mountains of the third happiest country in the world, Nepal spends a full day on November 10th, as part of the overall Diwali festival, dedicated to celebrating dogs. This puppy and dog-filled day is part of an annual tradition, where each day is focused on a particular subject or concept. The second day of their festivities puts a loving spotlight on dogs; thanking them for their friendship, service and loyalty.
Dogs have always held a special place in the Hindu culture. There is even a mention of dogs in the ancient texts of Mahabharata, where the great King, Yudhishthira, refused to enter heaven without his faithful dog by his side. We’re assuming this backs up the movie that claims all dogs go to heaven, and we couldn’t be more on board for hanging out with our furry sidekicks forever and ever. To honor each dog (no matter if it is a family pet, police K9, stray, or service animal) during the festival, a collar of fresh flowers are draped around their fuzzy necks. The dogs are also marked with a red dot (from natural dye powder) on their forehead, which is called a tika. This marks the dogs as being sacred. Additionally, the display of honor also serves as a blessing to all who encounter the dogs during their special day of celebration. While all the additional decorations are great, the dogs really look forward to the special buffet, and the food offerings are extra special. They’ll be treated to milk, eggs, high-quality meat, or even deep fried donuts, called sel roti. We love that this happens once a year but we would totally be down to make this a monthly thing.
WARNING: Upsetting Content related to animal cruelty following.
Stopping Animal Cruelty
The past few months have seen an outpouring of anger – expressed by animal activists all over the world, high profile celebrities, and a crowd sourced petition – over the Yulin Festival, the lychee and dog meat festival held every year in Yulin, Guangxi, China, during the Summer Solstice. The festival has been held annually since 2009, and covers a ten day period during which up to 15,000 dogs are tortured, murdered and consumed, along with cats and other animals. The festival represents animal cruelty at its most extreme, and is part of a larger picture of animal cruelty worldwide. This event is totally devastating and unacceptable to us, and we’re doubling down on getting you all informed.
Widespread international digital protests have been staged since 2014, but the pitch of outrage reached a peak this past year. Articles condemning the festival have appeared in TIME, The New York Times and BBC, and celebrities like TV personality Lisa Vanderpump, George Lopez and the late Carrie Fisher have all spearheaded passionate awareness-raising campaigns. Activists from past years have released absolutely heart wrenching photos of the abuses and horrors that have taken place at previous festivals. The Humane society and other charities have applied pressure to the local Yulin government, and hashtags have been trending on Instagram and twitter, resulting in the largest and most organized protest movement yet.
The result? 11 million petitions later, and the vile dog meat festival is allegedly taking dog meat off of the menu this year, with the festival mere weeks away. It’s certainly a start to ending the horrific practice: local Yulin government officials have allegedly said that they will enforce a fine of $900 to any food vendors who don’t comply with the new rules. While it’s a step in the right direction towards ending the barbaric and inhumane treatment of dogs, there’s still a lot of work left to be done. The dog meat industry still exists in China, and thousands of dogs are still at risk of being slaughtered and sold under the table at this year’s festival.
Even with what seems like a victory – and it’s certainly cause for celebration that our voices are finally being heard – we need to double down on keeping the pressure on this event, and maintaining a strong social media and activist presence when it comes to ending animal suffering, at the Yulin festival and beyond. The fight is far from over. It’s a hard subject to tackle, but not thinking about animal suffering isn’t going to make it go away.
Our vegan philosophy and company mission are grounded in a strong belief in ending animal cruelty: we don’t believe in it, we don’t financially support it, and we certainly don’t apply it to our faces. We never have and never will test on animals, and will continue to promote cruelty-free beauty that works in tandem with animal rights and the environment. We recommend throwing your support behind PETA. Take a peek here for suggestions about how to get involved, take action, and spread awareness. Or you can start your own petition on Change.org, or sign existing petitions. As evidenced by the recent ban, our voices matter, and together we can be heard.
Animals are sentient beings who can feel pain, love, fear, and sadness. At 100% PURE, we don’t believe in inflicting suffering on creatures who have these capabilities. It’s with enormous respect for animals and a commitment to humanitarianism (yes, animal suffering is a humanitarian concern) that we will continue on our mission of cruelty free products that change the landscape of the beauty industry and beyond. Join us in tackling cruelty and helping end it once and for all.