Every year, in Yulin, Southern China, locals kill, cook, and eat dogs for the summer solstice, despite a backlash from across the globe.
A Vice documentary released today (7 October), shows the inside of the festival and the locals who celebrate it. The news source went over to Yulin and interviewed people on the eve of the festival.
The eating of dog meat in China has been going on for thousands of years, although the festival itself has only been taking palce for the last two decades. The local people of Yulin claim that they want to protect their traditions from outside influences.
Thousands of dogs are said to be slaughtered and consumed in stews and stir-fries, alongside lychees and a strong, grain alcohol, during the festival.
Activists from all over the world are saying that due to poor regulation, this practice is cruel and unhygienic, with many claiming that the dogs sold for meat are often strays pulled from the streets and family pets snatched from homes.
Another problem with regulation is that some of the animals appear to be sick, and anyone that eats their meat, could become sick as well.
The report interviews the people who take part in the festival, and it shows they are not ashamed of their customs.
"It's really flavourful and nutritious. It keeps you healthy", said one local woman, queuing to buy her meat.
"Eating beef is even more cruel, you know? Cows help you plough fields. That's much more cruel."
Many of the vendors to which Vice speaks are keen to emphasize the point that the dogs being eaten are not pets or strays, but animals bred on farms specifically for this purpose. Although, none of them will give specifics on where the dogs are actually from.
Vice visits a downtown market, where dogs of all shapes and sizes, young and old, are packed into cages, ready to be chosen by anyone who thinks they look particularly tasty.
One woman is playing at shaking hands with what looks like her family pet, but when asked if she would sell him to be eaten, she says: "If someone wants to eat it, they can kill it."
"I'm just doing business. I have a big family. There are old people and kids, and my husband is gone. Where can I get the money to support them? What am I supposed to do, be a whore? I have to rely on myself to put food on the table."
In an interview, animal rights activist Shandai, claims that according to their data over 50,000 dogs and cats are slaughtered and eaten at the festival.
Although, it appears to be getting smaller as the government is beginning to enforce some regulations.
"I don't think it's bigger than last year," Shandai said. "I think the Yulin government has done something, and it's worked."