#2 The Robin's Cage

Today I've started the research for my second artwork in my up-and-coming fine art series of eight. It will be the hardest artwork of the series to research and pull together as it is about the Yulin dog festival.

The Yulin dog festival is one of the cruelest festivals in the world where men and women willfully cause pain, suffering, and death mainly to dogs but also to cats who are either strays, stolen pets, or pets that are sold to the meat industry. Dogs are tortured and brutally killed, in some cases skinned alive, and boiled alive slowly. The dogs and cats are kept in dirty cramped cages with people jeering and laughing at them. There is no justification for this level of cruelty.

It is harrowing looking through imagery at the sad terrified faces of the dogs and cats, seeing one trying to escape the boiling water left me with tears and anger towards anyone who could happily undertake such an awful act. The feelings of helplessness are overwhelming especially as this is all to take place again in June. I wish I could stop the suffering and save them all.

So with so much sorrow in my heart and imagery in my sight that I shall never forget, I need to find a way to create artwork to tell their story and raise awareness.

With so many hate crimes currently towards Asian people, I wanted to add a note to this post. Just because this takes place in China doesn't mean that all Chinese people support it. There are many Chinese people who have been victims of the dog trade in China having their beloved dogs or cats stolen to be eaten at the Yulin festival - I can't even begin to imagine how distressing this must feel. There are also countless Chinese people actively fighting to get this festival ban, a millionaire Chinese businessman is spending his fortune saving strays from a gruesome demise at the festival. So if you feel angry please don't take it out on Chinese people, it's not fair to be bullied for the actions of another person. Instead, channel your anger into making change by signing petitions and writing letters expressing your anger. Much more change will come from expressing anger into the right channel of communication. Without cultural change, these festivals will live on. We need to educate and ensure that the right laws to protect animals are fought for. Even if it isn't your country you can still have a voice through the right channels, but bullying and violence aren't going to change anything and it will actually make heels dig in deeper leaving us no hope for a ban.

Below I've given details for a charity that actively works to save dogs and cats destined for Yulin. To help you can get involved, adopt a rescued dog or cat, wear a tee-shirt to raise awareness, and donate. Don't forget you can now indirectly donate at Amazon Smile so every time you buy a little something goes to them. Amazon Smile is a great way to help charities.

Post Cover Image - Pattern made from dogs in cages at the Yulan Dog Festival