20 Junio 2017 11:32
There's no blood in this video, but it’s one of the harshest scenes of animal abuse you’ll ever see
We are inundated with so many stories of animal abuse on the Internet that we sometimes feel as if our feelings have been anesthetised or beaten into submission. Not surprising if you consider the persistent doubts we have as to whether it’s all just a big fat lie (remember how they caught us out with the bonsai kittens?) combined with our overexposure to images of extreme violence. Reality has a nagging habit of feeling like a gory b-movie.
I guess that’s why this video is so hard to watch. It’s a reality check that doesn’t need the backdrop of a horror film to turn your stomach. There’s no avoiding it, no saying ‘maybe it’s a setup’. And you can’t console yourself with ‘it’s horrible, but it can’t happen that much’.
The twenty-four-second video shows a miserable, sick dog being forced to swallow water by his owner, who is about to sell it to a local restaurant. Filling it with water makes it fatter and, therefore, increases what restaurants are willing to pay. It’s that simple. The animal is so weak it can’t even put up a fight.
In second twenty-five the only thing we’re thinking is that the dog is about to die and will end up on someone’s plate.
Although at first, the seller recognises that he has used the technique on dozens of dogs, when he realises that witnesses might report him to the authorities he changes his version of the story and says he was giving them water ‘because it was very hot and they needed to drink more’.
This video, which went viral on the Chinese platform, Tencent, was used as a bitter aperitif for the Yulin Festival held in June, in which they kill, cook and devour at least 10,000 dogs. And not necessarily in that order.
Like every year, the social networks are flooded with news stories and videos and there are 350,000 petitions on Change.org from people outraged by such acts of animal cruelty and overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness. This would be a good moment to remember that, if we find images of this nature so unbearable, images like this should be just as harrowing.
And if we wanted, we could do something for them.