The celebrities get emotional over the Yulin Meat Festival, an annual Chinese event in which 10,000 dogs are tortured and killed for feasting, reports.


It begins with Joaquin Phoenix peering into the camera, his sea-green eyes filled with tears. A similarly distressed Matt Damon appears next, followed by Rooney Mara, looking even more ashen than usual. What has rendered Hollywood's biggest stars so distraught? In a season fraught with senseless gun massacres and racially charged political upheaval, the source of their torment, believe it or not, is a food festival held halfway around the world.


But this is no ordinary food festival. The Yulin Dog Meat Festival is an event held annually in the southern Chinese city of Yulin. Timed to the summer solstice — which begins this year on June 21 — the fest involves the slaughter of approximately 10,000 dogs. The animals are cooked and served as stews, typically accompanied by lychee fruit, in hundreds of restaurants throughout the region. 


The proliferation of internet video has changed things for the town's celebrations, however. Footage of the dogs being beaten and slaughtered — often using torturous methods in which they are skinned, gutted and boiled alive — has reached all corners of the planet. The torture is not merely for convenience: According to local belief, inflicting as much pain on the animals as possible renders the meat tastier and imbues it with health benefits.



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