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Animal rights event at Main Beach draws crowd of volunteers and supporters

Story and photos by DIANNE RUSSELL

The animal rights rally at Main Beach on Sunday covered a wide spectrum of animal welfare issues. As explained by animal rights activist and author Shelly Fitzpatrick, founder of They Need a Voice – Save Dogs, “[Sunday’s] event had a great turnout of volunteers and people showing support for animal rights! We had many great conversations, along with positive responses from people as they slowly drove past. Our efforts were in two areas: raising awareness to end the dog meat trade and raising awareness about plant based and vegan options to save animals, preserve our planet, and increase one’s health.”

Animal rights Shelly

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(L-R) Shelly Fitzpatrick, Nathalie Gaulthier, and two young animal rights activists

Dog meat trade

Deborah Truax, who adopted Yuki, a rescue from a dog meat farm, attended the rally and said, “Every year across Asia millions of dogs are tortured and brutally killed for consumption. In Korea, dogs are bred on farms and live in  horrible conditions and endure unimaginable suffering. They are kept in wire cages where they are exposed to extreme weather conditions, many are ill, starving, and have broken bones. They are fed rancid food and garbage. They are tortured before they are killed due to false belief that when the dogs are made to endure stress and pain, hormones are released making the meat more tender. It is also believed that eating dog meat increases a man’s virility.”

Yuki was one of the millions of dogs that were doomed to be tortured and killed for consumption. Thankfully, Yuki was rescued from a dog meat farm by a group called Passion For Compassion in South Korea. At the rescue he received veterinary care, food, and attention from the staff. 

Animal rights Yuki

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Yuki, who was rescued from dog meat farm 

Truax said, “It is a complex issue, however, an international effort is underway to end the horrific dog meat trade for good. Recently there have been advances made but change has come slowly. Although there are no animal welfare laws in Korea there are many activists working hard to change that. 

“I have been an activist to end the Dog Meat Trade ever since traveling
to Asia and seeing a Dog Meat Farm. It was meant that we would adopt Yuki and give him the life that he deserves. On January 1, 2018 he left the staff at the rescue that had cared for him and traveled the long flight from Soul Korea to Los Angeles. He was thin with little hair, frail, and very shy. With lots of love, attention, and good nutrition Yuki is an outgoing beautiful boy today. Despite what he endured on the farm he has a sweet and loving personality.”

Animal rights crowd

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Volunteers at animal welfare rally

Turns out Yuki is also a protestor. 

He recently attended a rally at the Korean Consulate in Los Angeles to end the dog meat trade. Truax said, “Wherever he goes people are interested in hearing his story and learning about the dog meat trade. We are so proud of Yuki, he is such a great ambassador! We love him so much!”

Animal welfare and plant-based food

However, animal compassion goes beyond the dog meat trade. 

As Fitzpatrick explains in her book 50 Reasons for a Vegan and Plant-Based Diet, “While the dog meat trade is the most horrific, as torture is intentionally part of the process, the animals here are enslaved, impregnated over and over, milked to death and their babies are stolen from them. Animals are also confined to small cages for their entire lives, not able to even turn around. Animals are used and abused every day, treated terribly, robbed of everything they have. They are thrown onto conveyor belts, pushed around, fork lifted, hung upside down, kicked, beaten and the list goes on. What happens to these animals is criminal and should be illegal. We must be their voice.”

For more information on They Need a Voice – Save Dogs, go to

To sign a petition to end the dog meat trade, go to

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