While China continues its push to be a world superpower its domestic policies continue to be some of the most crude and backwards of any reasonably developed nation in the world.
One area where the Chinese are notably regressive is in their protection of animals. China, and fueled by its quack medicine industry, are the top consumers of endangered animal species like rhinos, elephants and sea turtles.
But the nation's cruelty to animals doesn't stop with just critically endangered species - even man's best friend is treated with a level of cruelty rarely seen in the world.
The most stunning example of this horrific cruelty is the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, a supposed celebration of the summer solstice, which takes place in June. The 'highlight' of the festival is the slaughter of approximately 10,000 dogs, which are killed and eaten on the street.
The dogs are kept in terrible conditions, tortured, beaten, and forced to live in tiny, crowded, cages.
Many are then boiled, burned, or skinned alive before being served as food.
Dogs are not the only victims of this horrific celebration. Cats are considered a specialty and can be easily found at the kiosks.
This year activists are stepping up pressure on the barbaric festival and actively protesting, though by doing so they risk imprisonment by the harsh Chinese authorities.
Instead of vocal demonstrations that will land them in jail forever, the activists can be seen buying dogs from merchants in order to spare their lives, or marching on the streets with candles.
Yet global celebrities, not subject to harsh Chinese censors or repression, are speaking against this festival. Comedian Ricky Gervais and singers Richard Marx and Leona Lewis are using the hashtag “#StopYuLin2015” on Twitter in order to spread awareness.
An online petition has already gained over 850.000 signatures, demanding a stop to the killings.
In typical Chinese fashion, the local government has officially banned the festival, yet the slaughtering of cats and dogs remains legal in the area, and so the event goes on as usual.
We encourage our readers to retweet this article with the hashtag #StopYuLin2015 to help spread the word and stop this barbaric practice.