Since the introduction of China’s “Clean Plate Campaign,” a crackdown targeting mukbangs and “big stomach kings” has raged across Chinese social media. Tags relating to overeating have been blocked and videos have been taken down, but now a new mukbang trend appears to have emerged.
Animal mukbangs as a genre have started to gain popularity — someone’s pet eats food in the classic mukbang format, and viewers arrive in droves. During the crackdown on human mukbangs, it seems the animal format is on the rise. The lack of dialogue, and the ASMR audio are cited as common reasons for the genre’s popularity.
Sounds innocuous enough, but some creators have started to draw controversy over their videos, forcing their pets to engage in high-volume, human-style mukbangs. Dogs are presented with huge bowls full of dog food, meat, or assorted human dishes, and filmed as they chow down on the bowl.
One video showing two dogs challenged to eat 38 different snacks and 8 drinks, ends with one of them on its back with its belly fully distended.
Other creators have been called out for leaving unsafe bones in the food, or adding rabbit blood to the meat for a more graphic thumbnail.
In one video, a husky is forcibly fed popping candy. In another, a dog is fed a bowl of chili peppers.
Online, outraged commenters have pushed back against the videos.
“Dog lovers strongly condemn this,” writes one.
“There’s no way to prevent these things from happening,” writes another. “As long as there are audiences, there will be people doing these things. No matter what the cost, they just have profit in mind. It’s human nature.”
“Can you please just not keep pets,” writes a third.
The trend has faced significant backlash on social media, hitting the intersection between animal rights and mukbangs, two points of public awareness which China’s government has emphasized in recent weeks.
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