Story by Samantha Southard @samantha_southard
Editor In Chief Michael St. Michael @michaelstmichael
The Dog Meat-Free Indonesia coalition, supported by big name celebrities, exposed the harsh truths behind Indonesia’s disturbing cat and dog meat trade industry. An investigation conducted by the coalition unveiled the treacherous treatment of the animals including blow-torching and bludgeoning them to death. Over 90 celebrities have signed a letter written to Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, demanding that he end the merciless massacre of cats and dogs for meat trade purposes.
American celebrities in all areas of acting, music, sports, and TV personality as well as global celebrities are participating in this campaign. Some of these 90 celebrities taking action include: Ellen Degeneres, Simon Cowell, Shay Mitchell, Naomi Watts, Cameron Diaz, Kate Beckinsale, Keely and Pierce Brosnan, Chelsea Handler, Ricky Martin, Owen Wilson, Leona Lewis, and Ben Stein. The DMFI is made up of different organizations including Animal Friends Jogja, Change for Animals Foundation, Humane Society International, Jakarta Animal Aid Network and FOUR PAWS.
“More than one million dogs and cats are transported throughout Indonesia to supply markets, slaughterhouses and restaurants.” the celebrities stated in their letter to President Widodo. “These animals, many of them stolen, are subjected to crude and brutal methods of capture, transport and slaughter, and the immense suffering and fear they must endure is heartbreaking and absolutely shocking.”
Although the disturbing images of cats and dogs being inhumanely slaughtered for trade is becoming a viral concern, the practices also affect the health and safety of Indonesian citizens. Rabies, a deadly virus transmitted through the saliva of infected animals, is on the rise posing serious health concerns for people in Indonesia. The rabies endemic has already spread to 26 of the nation’s 34 provinces. Crime and violence rates are increasing as gangs are stealing dogs from their owners and families to sell into the trade for financial gain. Celebrities also warn President Widodo that Indonesia will see suffering in its international reputation and tourist numbers. They implore that President Widodo join the countries in Asia that have already banned the trade and consumption of cat and dog meat.
Celebrities joined the campaign as the footage that the DMFI coalition shot on their investigations including some shot earlier this year at two of North Sulawesi’s estimated 200 traditional animal markets surfaced. The graphic nature of how these animals are blow-torched and beat while still very much alive was documented in this footage. The videos show cats and dogs being yanked from nooses tied around their necks, bludgeoned over the head, and blow-torched to remove their fur. All of this happens in front of the other animals still in cages ghastly watching and waiting their turn.
The support the Dog Meat-Free Indonesia campaign is receiving from American and global celebrities continues to grow as more influential people come together to back the efforts that will put an end to the cat and dog meat trade industry. President Widodo is urged to protect cats and dogs from the cruelty associated with this industry and develop a resolution that will ensure the health and safety of Indonesian citizens.
To take action and join these celebrities, please sign the letter to President Widodo here.
For more information visit Dog Meat-Free Indonesia.