When you think of dogs, would you associate them with “adorable” and “best friend”, or “dinner” and worse? In a utopia, everyone would choose the first option. Yet in our current world, a demographic greater than expected would opt for the latter. In many Asian countries, dog meat is considered as a delicacy, and in many North, Central, and South American countries, dogs are forced to fight each other to the death in order to provide entertainment. It’s absolutely true that we are the most advanced species, but that should only encourage us to further develop the world and all of those who inhabit it.

Staffordshire terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, and American bulldogs, more commonly known as, ‘pit bulls’ are one of the main breeds used for one of the human race’s most shameful and still current endeavors: dogfighting. Dogs are being forced to fight to the death or until severe, irreversible injury occurs.

According to Juliet Macur in The New York Times, “Many dogs are injected with steroids… dogfighters… sharpen their dogs’ teeth, cut off their ears, and add roach poison to their food” just to increase their chance of winning. Pitbulls are force fed murdered dogs so they crave dog flesh. Owners believe this will make them more deadly, therefore increasing their revenue.

Even if a dog loses, and is able to survive, the dog may be executed in an amusing fashion in front of the audience in order to appease their sadistic cravings. However, the arguably most horrid event that occurs, is how these fighter dogs are reproduced. Macur explains, female pit bulls are tied down and impregnated against their will. This treatment has lasting effects on the dogs, both psychologically, and physically, and has to stop.

Although halfway around the world, abuse against dogs still continues. The Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival is a devastating celebration where stolen dogs and cats are put in cramped cages, beaten, killed and eaten. This “celebration” takes place in Yulin, China during the summer solstice in June and lasts up to 10 days. This primitive act has only started in 2009. Since then, approximately 80,000 dogs and cats have been killed. They claim the consumption of dog meat helps fight heat stroke, but no evidence supports this. The practice of eating dogs have been banned in some places. For example, in Taiwan, if you are caught selling or eating dog/cat meat, you can be fined $1,640-$8,200, according to The Independent. Yet we still  feel that these fines can’t compensate for the lives that are taken from these animals.

Although there are laws against dog fighting and eating dog meat, they are not effective enough. These disgusting acts against innocent creatures still happen around the world every day. We believe that there needs to be global recognition of these problems. Only then, can we begin to solve the international epidemic of abuse towards dogs. With a global code of ethics, that lays out a firm set of animal rights, we can turn a sidebar issue into a top priority. Hopefully then, we can have more government enforcement in countries where dog cruelty occurs. If all of this happens, there still may be a chance to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of dogs in the future.