By Neil Ramos
Carla Abellana received mixed reactions when she took to social media recently urging followers to help end the Yulin Festival, an annual 10-day event held in its namesake city in the Guangxi province of China, where it is said over 10,000 dogs are slaughtered and eaten along with cats. Fresh lychees and alcohol are also served at the seeming bloody orgy, ongoing until June 30.
In an Instagram post Wednesday, Abellana begged fans to sign a petition via worldanimalnews.com to help put a stop to the revelry, deeming it “cruel.”
“PLEASE help put an end to this cruel festival forever,” she wrote. “All it takes is just a few clicks on your cellphone, tablet or laptop to save the lives of thousands of innocent cats and dogs in China.”
She added, “I have over 1.1M followers here on Instagram and if only each one of you would click and sign the petition then we would surely make a difference.”
Though there are those who approve of the actress’ move, going on to laud her for her “courage,” there are those who thought it all futile if also downright ignorant of her.
Commented one, “Kultura nila yan…You can’t just come in and impose your beliefs sa mga taong may ibang gawi ng pamumuhay.”
Another advised Abellana to “choose her battles” as “there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Some insist, however, tradition or not, cruelty to animals shouldn’t be tolerated.
“This is what I like about this girl, there’s nothing more despicable than seeing humans behaving like ravenous beasts,” said one.
Another chimed, “Nice move Carla! I salute your courage. Kahit tradition kung mali dapat itigil! Kultura din dati ng iba ang mag-sakripisyo ng tao pero bakit itinigil? Dahil Mali! We should all sign this petition!”
Dog eating is long-established in China. Doing so supposedly brings luck and good health. Some say it also helps heighten sexual performance particularly for males.
That said, the Yulin festival in itself has attracted widespread negative coverage within the country. Animal activists, celebrities and the Millennial set have been increasingly vocal on social media about their opposition to the festival.
But the end is nowhere in sight, with the Yulin Municipal Government turning a blind eye on the matter, repeatedly saying it can’t stop a festival that does not exist.