Food festivals around the world are often a place to showcase exotic meats and other bizarre foods you might not otherwise eat, but only China can thousands of people show up to a food festival and welcome the opportunity to eat dog. A lot of it.

Yulin, a city in eastern China, is renowned for being one of the world’s foremost producers of “flavorsome dog meat.” I guess the stereotypes are true.

Now, in America, this wouldn’t go over to well. Over 15,000 dogs, known as “fragrant meat” in the region, were slaughtered for the week-long festival. The animals, of which there were a number of different breeds, are raised by farmers specifically to be slaughtered and consumed by the masses.

According to one local, Lu Hin, the festival is a way to show the rest of China that the best dog meat in the country comes from Yulin. “Dog is popular as a dish in China but we are the home of it,” says Lu Hin. “We proved that when we started the festival a few years ago and everybody accepts that the best dog meat dishes come from Yulin.”

While us Westerners cringe at the notion of eating dog, the consumption of canine meat has been around for thousands of years in China. It is thought to provide innumerable medical benefits, but this hasn’t stopped outrage at the supposed cruelty of the practice. Currently an attempt is being made to ban the practice of eating dog meat, which is sure to upset the Chinese yet make the West very, very happy.

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