Southern China has always had a tradition of dining on dogs—people from other parts of the country even joke that Southerners will eat anything with legs but the dinner table. But despite becoming more prosperous in the 1990s, Yulin has maintained the unique tradition of holding a canine banquet every summer.
Protesters use umbrellas to protect themselves from tear gas at Hong Kong’s Occupy Central.
China, the Climate and the Fate of the Planet
Activists Couldn’t Stop 10,000 Dogs from Being Eaten in China Last Weekend
Over the last week, there’s been some pretty intense media coverage of China’s Dog Meat Festival, which has become something of a tradition over the last two decades. As the name suggests—and much to the dismay of all the people who see dogs as friends rather than food—tens of thousands of dogs are slaughtered and eaten each year at the event, which takes place in the city of Yulin, Guangxi province.
I was in Yulin on Saturday, when locals once again raised glasses loaded with lychee wine to the heavens and tucked into bowls full of freshly roasted, fried and boiled dog.
Pet-lovers across China and the rest of the world have been quick to lament Yulin’s apparently boundless appetite for puppy flesh, and several Chinese celebrities have made online pleas to bring the festival to a halt. However, locals are reluctant to give up their annual gathering. When I spoke to one female vendor in the downtown Dong Kou meat market, she told me she’d lost count of the number of dogs she’d sold in the last week but guessed it was well over a hundred a day—business has rarely been better.
Shandai, from animal protection group the Guangdong Shoushan Volunteer Center, reckoned that previous estimations of 10,000 dogs being sacrificed for the festival are too low, claiming the figure is more like 40,000. (Plus 10,000 cats, in case you’re not really a “dog person”)
Walking around the city, the presence of animal rights protesters seemed to have resulted in an unapologetic backlash. Locals filling their baskets with freshly chopped paws and tails were defensive over their dog-eating customs, one woman in the market declaring indignantly, “I’m not forcing them to eat dog, so they can’t force me to stop.”
“Even more people are eating dog this year,” complained Pian Shan Kong, an animal activist from Guizhou who has been observing the festival for three years. “As outsiders come to protest, locals are spurred on to resist.” Kong is currently holding four rescued pups in his Yulin hotel room—the guy who sold him them reportedly got angry when he realized they weren’t destined for the dinner plate, and threatened to slice all four open on the spot if Kong couldn’t match his inflated asking price.
Michael Wolf takes photos of the masses of people who live on top of one another in Asia’s biggest cities and who struggle to survive in environments that weren’t built with their comfort in mind.
One Man’s Quest to Create the Best Blowjob-Simulating Machine of All Time
The Autoblow 2 is billed as the world’s preeminent “realistic robotic oral sex simulator for men.” It comes equipped with a motor built that lasts over 500 hours, a removable mouth-shaped sleeve made from artificial skin, adjustable speeds (duh you need adjustable speeds), and is “super easy to clean.” The Autoblow 2’s website specifies (emphasis theirs): “The feeling of having your penis inside of the sleeve while the spring-loaded beads stroke up and down can best be described in two words: surprisingly good.”
Earlier this year, Brian Sloan, a former lawyer and the creator of the Autoblow 2—as well as other adult entertainment products like the original Autoblow, Mangasm, andLadygasm—realized that despite investing over $100,000 into creating and testing the product, he was still $45,000 short of having the funds necessary to complete the project. This led him to launch an IndieGoGo crowdsourcing campaign, which has something of a viral success. With 16 days left in the campaign, the Autoblow 2 has raised over $40,000.
I found the concept and crowdfunding success of the Autoblow 2 fascinating, so I decided to give Brian a call in China (where he’s based) to discuss what his law school buddies think of his new career choice, the other names considered before settling on “Autoblow,” and why sex toys should work like kitchen appliances.
VICE: OK, let’s start with the most obvious question: why?
Brian Sloan: [Laughs] Why not?
I think that if you asked men what their ideal masturbation-improving device would be, many would say, “Something that does it for you and you don’t have to do anything.”
I’ve just always had this idea that it would be the ultimate fetish toy. In a way, it can improve people’s lives, you know?
Ever since I started making toys, I always thought the Holy Grail would be an awesome, automatic machine.
Rise as One: “The People’s Game”
Click “CC” on the video player for subtitles
China has never had much luck promoting football. You don’t often see it played on the streets, in backyards, or schoolyards. Yet there are growing grassroots football sub-cultures developing in unexpected places. We travel with one of Beijing’s most prestigious independent teams to a Naxi village in the rural southwest to see what happens when old and new China mix on the pitch.
Watch the entire series at http://www.riseasone.com
Has China’s One-Child Policy Bred a Generation of Dog Lovers?
People in Shanghai fucking love dogs, maybe even more than they love themselves. Walk down the street in China’s biggest city and you might see heiresses’ Chihuahuas getting facial scrubs, lawyers adjusting their poodle’s distressed jeans, a Yorkshire terrier with a pink Mohawk, or a couple feeding their corgi cupcakes outside a tea shop.
But what’s motivating the people of Shanghai to treat their dogs like extras in a Katy Perry video? Ask around and you get the impression that lots of locals are turning to their pups to fill a one-child-policy-shaped hole in their lives. It’s amateur psychology of the most amateurish kind, sure—but when you see a dog dressed up in little booties being pushed around in a stroller it’s hard to escape the conclusion that many Chinese people are turning themselves into surrogate bitches.
To tap into the city’s hound obsession—and to max out my phone’s memory with pictures of dogs wearing sneakers—I decided to head to the annual Shanghai International Dog Expo.
First I met Greg Li, Vice President of the Shanghai International Trade Promotion company, which organized the event. Sitting next to a board displaying the tagline, “My dog. My family. My life,” he explained that his event now attracts 50,000 people over five days, compared to 20,000 two years ago. He said unofficial stats put dog ownership rates here at around 12 percent of households, which would mean there are well over 1.1 million pet dogs in Shanghai, not including the nomadic armies of strays.
It’s the season finale of Fresh Off The Boat. In Chengdu, Eddie—a.k.a. the Human Panda—returns to his bamboo roots and discovers that pandas watch panda porn. He gets a taste of Chengdu traditions with hip-hop pioneer DJ SuperBestFriend and eats pig-brain mapo tofu at a “fly” restaurant on the brink of demolition.