For the past few years I have dreaded the month of June for one reason; The Yulin Dog Meat festival. The barbaric images of how these dogs are horribly tortured and killed will be forever burned in my mind. In memory of all of the dogs that lost their lives I’d like to shed light on the beautiful Kukur Tihar festival in Nepal which celebrates the loyalty and loving nature of dogs.
Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is India’s most important holiday and festival of the year. It’s celebrated over the course of five days, with each day having a specific observance. In Nepal, the festival is called Tihar, and on the second day of the festival, they pay homage to dogs.
Dogs have longed been revered in Hindu tradition. They are said to be the guardian and messenger of Yama, the lord and judge of the dead and are considered protectors of the gates of heaven and hell. Yudhishthira, the king of righteousness, even refused to enter into heaven without his beloved dog.
During Kukur Tihar each dog, whether a pet or a stray, is given a necklace made from flowers or malla and red dye or tika is placed on their foreheads. This marks them as a sacred being and an object of devotion. On top of the necklace and the tika (and their favorite part I’m sure) is the food that is put out in the homes as offerings to the dogs.
I have love and respect for every animal that walks this earth but dogs in particular will always have a special place in my heart. Forrest and Lilly and our newest addition Zion bring such joy into our lives. They are loving, loyal, playful and entertaining, each with their own unique, and sometimes crazy personality. They embody all that is good on this planet. Every person who owns a dog knows the unquestioning love that they award us. To think that there are people who would prematurely extinguish their flame breaks my heart. It’s our job to show them they are loved and to show them they are safe.
Lisa Vanderpump and her incredible organization have done an amazing job at raising awareness and fighting against this horrific festival. Please take a moment to sign the petition and help us stop Yulin forever.