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Will Dogs and Cats be Off the Menu in China?

The fact that the Asian culture has long eaten animals that Americans consider part of the family is one of the starkest cultural differences between the two continents, but that may be changing.

A Chinese ad agency has launched a campaign to bring awareness to consumers that the meat they’re ordering in restaurants could be someone’s beloved pet stolen from the street.

"Do you know what you’re eating when you visit a restaurant? A stray from the street?” reads one ad. Another ad has a more direct message: “What you just put into your mouth could have been a loyal guardian who defended a family home.”

If the fact that people may be eating someone’s beloved family member isn’t unappetizing enough, there is also a segment of the campaign which appeals to people’s sense of eating healthier.

“The truth is, if you eat dog or cat then you have no idea where that meat is coming from or how safe it is,” Irene Feng director of Animals Asia wrote in a statement about the campaign. “We are still seeing many cats and dogs in China being abandoned and left to subsist on the streets, with many dying due to illness.  Stray dogs and cats, many of them far from healthy, are snatched from the streets and pets are still being stolen and taken to horrific meat markets. We believe that, faced with this knowledge, most people would find such a meal entirely unappetizing.”

The campaign will show a total of 279 stray dogs and cats between chopsticks.

According to The Daily Caller, this campaign and others like it seem to be working. “The reaction we have had from the public to the posters has been incredible as has been the willingness to further share the message,” says Jill Robinson, founder of Animals Asia. “Make no mistake, animal welfare is now an increasingly high profile issue in China and the dog and cat meat industry is being held to account.”



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