Some people would do anything for their 15 minutes of internet fame, sometimes even dangerous crimes. The internet is trying to recover from the Skull Breaker Challenge, which sent many kids into the emergency room with severe injuries, underage kids illegally buying alcohol under the guise of an elderly person, and the Benadryl Challenge, which killed a teen from Oklahoma City. It seems like no one is safe from these insane trends, not the prankers, not the ‘prankees’, and now, not even their pets, as dogs are now being fed — and force-fed — harmful foods.
One particularly awful video clip shows a German Shepard being fed a bowl of spicy chili while tears stream from his eyes.
Social Media Influencers are Feeding Toxic Foods to Their Dogs
A viral trend spreading across social media in China involves feeding dogs exorbitant amounts of food. In some case, the pups are fed harmful items against their will. One viral video a live-stream featuring a German Sheperd eating a bowl of spicy meat while his eyes water.
Other clips showed other dogs being fed a giant bowl of raw chicken legs, huge hunks of meat, 38 types of snack food (with an emphasis on the pup’s engorged belly afterward), and one husky being force-fed chile peppers and popping candy in two separate clips. 
Some dogs tend to eat whenever there is food, causing them to overeat and possibly become obese. So even the owners overfeeding their pets with more appropriate foods are harming their pups.  Also, concerns arose for the Golden Retriever given a large amount of chicken. First, there’s the risk of the pup choking on the bones; then there’s the potential of it consuming a lot of harmful bacteria that can make can lead to illness.
Still, the video of the German Shepard being served what looked like a Chongqing chili chicken is gut-wrenching. Spicy food can be toxic for canines, and cause stomach issues, excessive thirst, and vomiting. Dogs possess 1,700 taste buds (people have 9,000) and it’s unlikely they can taste the hot flavor as it potentially wreaks havoc on their digestive system. However, the scent of the spice with dogs’ sharp senses of smell can easily make their eyes water, which is perhaps what is happening in the video.  The horrifying clincher is the caption on the German Shepard post, where the owner wrote, “He is enjoying it very much.”
Please do not believe that dogs could eat anything humans can!
The ‘Clean Plate’ Campaign that Sparked the Doggy Mukbangs
This terrible trend came as a response to China’s new ‘Clean Plate’ campaign, which placed restrictions over the country to decrease food waste. This puts an end to things like Mukbang content and ordering extra dishes from restaurants. President Xi Jinping introduced the new plan in response to the food shortages caused by the pandemic and food crops being damaged by floods.
CCTV criticized mukbangers, social media influencers who eat usually large amounts of food for their audience, for continuing this form of content despite the food shortages. These videos are starting to be blurred on Chinese platforms to discourage viewers.
“Users have started removing their eating videos manually,” said BBC China media analyst Kerry Allen. “But even then, they risk still being shamed online as their previous videos could be saved by others.
“Social-media users have leapt on the opportunity to start naming and shaming those who were once part of the niche that has overnight been rebranded as ‘wasteful’ and ‘vulgar.'”
One mukbang creator called Mini made a promotional video encouraging people not to waste food. 
However, some Chinese citizens are having none of this. In protest to the ban, social media influencers began over-feeding their dogs to generate exposure online. After all, a doggy Mukbang hasn’t been banned yet.
This new trend has sparked outrage over the internet, with people commenting on how evil and cruel these videos are.
One commenter wrote on Twitter: “This shouldn’t be tolerated, certain animals are accustomed genetically to certain foods. But to force an animal to abuse itself is WRONG!”
Another wrote: “Does not deserve to have such a beautiful creature why are people so cruel ?”
The owner of the German Shepard has since deleted the video. He claimed that he was aware that chilies are not healthy for dogs but his pet ‘really enjoyed eating it’. 
We can only hope that the pups involved in this trend had no lasting effects from their cruel feeding.
- ” Influencers Force-Feeding Dogs Online Under Fire After Mukbang Videos Banned In China.” Niamh Shackleton. Unilad. September 18, 2020
- ” Do Pets Know When They Are Full?” Hanie Elfenbein. PetMD. November 14, 2017
- “Can My Dog Eat Spicy Food?” Chrissie Klinger. Hills Pet. February 9, 2018
- ” Mukbang: Why is China clamping down on eating influencers?” Joe Tidy. BBC. August 20, 2020
- ” German shepherd ‘cries’ after being forced to eat chilli during live-stream amid disturbing new social media trend.” Rebecca Speare-Cole. Evening Standard. September 18, 2020