Covid-19, not to mention SARS, Bird Flu and Swine Flu, have been trying to drive home the message that the consumption of animals, domesticated and wildlife, is deadly to humans. Hopefully, Covid-19 has got this message across to humanity.
While China and the U.S. are duking it out over who is to blame for what about the Covid pandemic, I’d like to step out of that dog fight and focus on a simple and easy starting point on how China can show the world it is serious about addressing the origins of Covid-19 and be the leader – via Hong Kong – on leading the research and prevention of future pandemics.
A good place to start is the cancellation of the annual 10-days, from June 21-30, Yulin Dog Meat Festival. Discouraging the festival is not good enough! The governments, national and local, can easily cancel the event with serious penalties for the violators. Doing so, is a soft power play that will gender worldwide applause and support from pet lovers worldwide, especially in America, Europe and Latin America. Much needed support.
I do recognize and respect the cultural and economic political realities of doing so domestically. But internationally, the upside far exceeds the domestic downside. And right now, China needs an international boost – especially on the pandemic front – not to mention, economic, political and military that dominate global media headlines. Not much China can do on those fronts as long as Trump seeks re-election in November and pursues his Kung Flu kicks.
Cooling military exercises and aggressive moves in the South China Sea by both China and the U.S., starting with China, will go a long way to smooth the rough waters, not only in the regional seas, but Stock Markets. Furthermore, China has a lot more to gain with a soft-power pitch of taking its removal of dogs from the livestock menu to barring dog consumption – starting with the Yulin Dog Meat Festival.
Amanda Leask, with her Thailand rescue dog Miracle, brought this to the attention of the world on Britain’s Got Talent in May. Show host Simon Cowell was right in what he said after watching Amanda’s performance: “What happens in the dog meat trade should be stopped.”
If China wants to score politically globally, the best way for it to do so today is through pet parents in its primary adversaries markets. America and Europe.
Pet parents in these markets, not to mention China and the rest of the world, will go a long way to applaud China’s ban and cancellation of dog meat festivals in China – starting with a high profile ban and cancellation of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival.