Puppy lovers, rejoice. Officials in eastern China last week canceled the Jinhua Hutou Dog Meat Festival. If that name makes you a little queasy—well, there's good reason for that. The 600-year-old tradition saw at least 5,000 of dogs slaughtered on the spot, and served up as the main dish. As the story goes, the festival stemmed from a tradition begun in the 14th century, when the barking dogs that revealed an army's position were fed to the soldiers on the general's angry orders, reports the New York Times.
The ancient custom was scuttled following a Web campaign staged by animal-rights advocates, who posted graphic images from past festivals of cooked dogs and leftover carcasses. The People's Daily shares the observations of one blogger, "I've seen the dogs being stabbed, strangled, and even beaten into comas and thrown into boiling water." Some say it's an encouraging sign that, as pet ownership gains steam in China, so too does the animal-rights movement. But not everyone is on board. Wrote another blogger, "I personally think dog meat is like alcohol. They are both components of our ancient Chinese culture." (Read more China stories.)