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They are dying out there. The dogs I sacrificed my life to save. Dying – becoming words that crumble into the air without forming sentences. It is hard watching the death you save bleed into the night, and in the end die anyways. It is hard to stand there on the other side of the world, and look down as wars are waged. As lives are lost in a land where books have no covers, and sentences no periods to end it. That is why I know the journey that started off as a single person's determination to save lives cannot be achieved. There are no happy endings. There are no heroic stories about transformation and the leading of lives out from darkness. I watched as they were tortured alive. I watch as stains that drip from the machete cut into my own life. And I tell her that I am whole. I speak to her in the middle of the night. I fold words that fall off my tongue into pieces that she bites off my lips. In another world, and maybe in another life I would be a hero. Maybe if I was born different. Maybe if on the day I entered this world, I was born as something else. Then maybe I would know my name. Then maybe as I walk through life I could feel my face. Then maybe in the middle of the night when I close my eyes, I could feel your breath next to mine. When I look back into history. When I look at the struggles waged and the people that sacrificed themselves for the cause – I have never once read about happiness. It is always about death. It is always the soul shattering at the crack of darkness. And real change, never found until their lives become that period to the end. Love is never found in war. And heroes, never in stories like my stories. There are no happy endings. No lives saved that can outweigh the death. Find me there on Tuesday. Hero – may you rest in peace. My heart in your heart. Your paw, blood on my skin I will never forget. Forever. #MarcChing #animalhopeandwellness
More than 30 million dogs are eaten in Asia every year. To put that in perspective, in the U.S., about 3.9 million dogs are put in shelters each year, and 1.2 million of those dogs are euthanized. For Marc Ching, this is unacceptable.
At his local level, Ching owns Petstaurant, which provides healthy food for pets, in addition to the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, an abused and neglected dog rescue based in the Los Angeles area. Now, he’s upping the ante — and putting his life in danger — by posing undercover as an American businessman looking to buy dog meat from canine slaughterhouses around Asia in order to shine light on their barbarous butchering and torture methods.
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I think about death. I think about dying, and losing myself in that abyss. I think about my children, about my wife. And I think about how the world I built with these hands, if it could exist without me. I think about what the end would be like. I wonder if I will be afraid. I wonder if they would cut me into pieces and torture me in that same way. I wonder when I breathe the last thing I could breathe, if I would close my eyes and remember that moment for eternity. I wonder who my children would grow to be without me. And if my foundation would extend past my life and become something short of what I would call a miracle. I think about not living. But then I think about all those dogs trapped there dying. I think about the first dog I watched them torture alive. Then I think about Chosen, the dog they ripped out her eyes. I carried her into the mountain top as she bleed into my heart. We both died there that night, burying a piece of who we were on that mountain side. I leave tonight. I leave my family, everything I love. And my heart some where lost amongst the leaves. I leave without a name. Without anything, but the foundation that has become every part of me. At 12:30am, I descend into the air on what will be the hardest road ahead. I visit a country whose value system is so different from the system we were born with. Where if you die, justice becomes a cloud that is pulled and fades into the sky. I close my eyes. I use my heart to lead me. And when I stand there holding them as their blood drips from my skin to concrete – I will whisper softly. "You are safe. Let me lead you out of darkness." I will stand there, and with the lungs inside my chest breathe that same breath they breathe. And they will know that I came for them. That in the end, life was not just misery. Tonight I leave everything I love. Tonight I descend into the darkness of that sky and become the man who speaks to dogs. The man, who gives his heart – because inside of me that is all I am. Love. And one breath. If I die, let me die living the only way I could. Let me die believing that as a human being, I am supposed to give. The journey to face death, it begins.
He secretly tapes the horrific butchering methods, which involve extensive torture due to the belief that “scared” meat tastes better. He hopes that raising awareness with the videos will make a difference.
“I have videos of hangings, burning them alive, boiling alive, cutting their feet off while they’re still alive.” As a lover of animals, you can imagine the toll this has taken on him. “You know I’m just losing it out there,” he said. “But I have to go because a part of me feels like if I don’t go nobody else will.” Recently, Ching lost his cool after seeing a dog being cruelly dismembered, and he kicked the butcher in the face, which led to him being beat up by a group of men.
The Humane Society does its part, but the dog-meat industry is so pervasive and so popular, that Ching believes real change will have to start from inside the countries, at the ground level. He hopes his efforts will make a difference in inducing that change.
Each year, the Yulin dog meat festival is decried online, and petitions are signed, while thousands of dogs are tortured in the streets and not much happens. But Marc is putting his life on the line to make a small but important change that will hopefully one day stop the torture of dogs throughout Asia.
Buzzfeed created a deep look into Ching’s efforts to save these dogs, and it’s a touching, heart-wrenching seven minutes.
Please be warned, some of the images in this video are extremely graphic.