Social media is being overrun with petitions and protests against the Yulin dog meat festival in south-west China. It is impossible to avoid the sickening pictures of animals being burnt or skinned alive. But why should we care about animals when there are so many atrocities happening around the world?
Until the last decade or so, our pets on slipping this mortal coil would be interred either at the bottom of the garden - dog and goldfish lying paw to fin - or in rather less dignified ways. It's only relatively recently that pet crematoria have sprung up and other ways of remembering our pets have emerged.
Without animal welfare laws in place the situation is still extremely uncertain for rescuers and the animals alike. Cats are officially not classed as food in China which means they should not be subject to any seizure and quarantine inspections. The constant uphill task which we will all continue to approach diplomatically is how to explain this.