This past Monday, roughly 1000 cats were rescued from being killed and turned into breakfast, lunch or dinner, all thanks to a traffic accident the truck transporting them got into.
The felines were crammed inside 40 cages, and following the truck's crashing and the driver's being taken to the hospital, they found themselves abandoned on the road.
The traffic accident took place in Changsha, China, and local authorities maintain that the cats were on their way to several restaurants in Guangdong, whose staff would have killed them and served them as meat.
Luckily for them, volunteers were quick in jumping to their rescue.
Seeing how China's ongoing legislation does not make it illegal for various individuals to sell cats to restaurants looking to please their customers with dishes made from their meat, these volunteers were left with no choice except raise money and purchase the cats from the truck's driver and the businessman who hired him.
If it were not for the volunteers' doing so, neither the driver, nor the businessman would have agreed to give up on the cats.
According to Huffington Post, some of these cats were taken to the Changsha Small Animal Protection Association, whereas others got to go home with some of the volunteers who helped rescue them.
Because all of the cats were underfed and severely dehydrated, veterinarians had to step in and provide them with appropriate medical care.
As animal rights activists who are deeply concerned about the practice of eating cat meat explain, Chinese restaurants kill and cook about 4 million cats on a yearly basis.
More often than not, the cats are raised by poor villagers who agree to sell them for about $1-$2 each (roughly €0.74 / €1.49).
“People have more money in their pockets now, so for many these so-called delicacies have become affordable. Eating cat is probably more popular in the south-east than anywhere else but increasingly we are finding that it is on the menu all over China,” explained a spokesperson for the Animals Asia Foundation.