Published on September 4th, 2019 | by Alicia Silverstone
This past year I’ve gotten the privilege of befriending Marc Ching, animal activist extraordinaire. Most recently, we lobbied in Sacramento together for AB 479 to get more plant-based options in California’s schools. Hanging out with Marc gives you a real charge. He is an unbelievable man, a passionate self-starter that’s incredibly brilliant… So I need to tell you about him!
Marc is a father, 4th Generation Japanese Herbalist and Human Holistic Nutritionist, the owner of Petstaurant, and founder of Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation. Animal Hope and Wellness is a non-profit devoted to compassion, education, and legislation to guide hearts and minds towards a brighter future for animals. A main facet to their work is the rescue and rehabilitation of dogs abused, often at the hands of the Asian dog meat trade.
30 million dogs are slaughtered every year across Asia, with an estimated 10 million per year in China alone. A significant portion of these animals are brutally tortured — often burned and boiled alive prior to death — a practice attributable to the unfounded belief that tortured dog meat tastes better and provides enhanced health benefits. It’s horrific. After Marc became aware of this terrifying industry, he decided to travel across China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, South Korea, and Indonesia to document and expose it’s insane cruelty. Sometimes he would go undercover as an American buyer so he could “buy” and free as many animals as possible. Other times he would negotiate their release. This work is no joke. Marc has been harassed, beaten, and shot. To go undercover or rock the boat is any way is an incredibly dangerous endeavor.
Marc and Animal Hope and Wellness have helped rescue thousands of dogs from this madness. They opened a rescue shelter in Changsha, China to provide a safe place and carry out any medical needs. Rescued dogs live here until they are transported to either Sherman Oaks, CA or another vetted rescue where they are put up for adoption to find their forever homes.
I’m blown away and greatly inspired by his courage and compassion. Thank you Marc for all that you do!
You can stay up to date with Marc and Animal Hope and Wellness’s powerful work via social media.
Photos: Animal Hope and Wellness