“Don’t you eat beef? If you stop eating beef, then we’ll stop eating dog meat,” a man yelled at the activists in the Dong Kou open market.
The Yulin dog meat festival, held in June, originated in Guangxi Zhuang region’s Yulin prefecture. Nearly 10,000 dogs are killed for human consumption during the festival.
A local person, when asked about the tradition of the festival, said eating the meat was a hard habit to break.
Another man at the market blamed the media attention for rise in the price of dog meat.
“This is our tradition and we are used to eating dog. It’s our culture and we won’t change … It’s tasty. But we won’t kill our pet,” a shop owner said.
Signs around the market adorned with pictures of labradors and golden retrievers advertise raw dog meat for sale, despite new government regulations that restrict this practice.
However, there are signs that dog meat is losing its popularity at some places.
Du Yufeng, a 58-year-old animal rights activist, has made it her mission to stop dog meat consumption across China. Her protest in 2011 successfully ended the dog meat festival in Jinhua, in Zhejiang province.
In Guangzhou, a restaurant that had been serving dog meat for over 51 years was recently closed.
Apart from dozens of journalists, filmmakers and celebrities have called for it to be stopped.