Ricky Gervais is setting his funny bone aside and rallying his fans and 8.6 million Twitter followers to get involved in a very serious cause.
The actor is offering his support to Humane Society International’s campaign to put an end to China’s use of dog and cat meat. The focus of the campaign centers around the week-long Yulin Dog Meat Festival, which begins June 21. In 2012, dogs reportedly were skinned alive on the street, according to FOX411.
“Up to 10 million dogs are killed for human consumption per year across China, with around 10,000 just at the Yulin festival alone,” Wendy Higgins, communications for Humane Society EU International, told Fox411.
While it’s “a dying industry” with the number of dogs being killed at Yulin decreasing each year, “the protest against this trade from within China itself is what’s really heartening and making a massive difference,” Higgins said. “HSI works with more than 35 animal groups and hundreds of campaigners across China who are outraged at the cruelty and want it to end.”
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) June 7, 2015
Gervais has used his social media following across all platforms to share photos of what appears to be dogs being horrifically tortured in China, as well as photos of himself with dogs as a reminder that dogs are friends and family.
It’s genuinely heartwarming hearing what you would all do to protect your own pets. Now let’s try to save other people’s too. #StopYuLin2015
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) June 15, 2015
He is urging those who wish to get involved to sign a petition banning the festival.