EXCLUSIVE: Lisa Vanderpump – We Learned Of Yulin Due To Our Involvement With Manufacturing Our Products In China
Today, tweets started circulating to The Dirty about Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump’s and her Vanderpump Pets toys being manufactured (partially) in China. People were criticizing her for being hypocritical, citing how she has fought vigilantly against Yulin for their dog meat trade, but yet manufactured her dog toys (partially) in China.
We spoke exclusively to Vanderpump, who we have always admired for her pet advocacy, to find out her response to this.
“Through our endeavors over the years in forming Vanderpump Pets, we formed a business relationship with China,” Vanderpump exclusively told us. “That’s how we initially became aware of Yulin and started our advocacy against it.”
“When we learned about Yulin, we immediately were concerned and began working hard to advocate against it,” Vanderpump continued. “We learned that 65% of China is against the dog meat trade, and have gotten lots of support from China due to our efforts.”
“My storyline (on RHOBH and Vanderpump Rules) has not been about making Vanderpump pets- rather, it’s been about my fight against Yulin,” she added. “I want to continue with our good relationship with China. It’s about stopping the dog torture festival. So there’s zero hypocrisy involved on our end with having our pet products manufactured in China while being anti-Yulin. It’s similar to how I’m an LGBT activist, but I’m not gay. The two don’t go hand in hand.”
Vanderpump had more to say, stating that, “We have many activists in China. We have a sanctuary over there where dogs have been supported. We just sent money over there. All the Vanderpump Pets products sold in the dog rescue center we opened over there will be financing the foundation and be used for the humane treatment of dogs worldwide.”
“So, yes,” she continued, “initially it started off as a business that was a lot of fun. When our intentions were drawn to Yulin, it became a very somber task. We’ve taken it very seriously the last 18 months. We haven’t made any money through sending things all over the world and making a documentary. We’ve organized our foundation and now a dog rescue center is soon to open.”
“Vanderpump Pets is still a business,” she elaborated, “but our focus became very- we’ve garnered so much support over in China. We have so many great contacts there. We’ve managed to really make a difference there and we will continue to do so.
“The Vanderpump Dog Foundation has never condemned China,” Vanderpump reiterated. “Through our support- and our contacts in China- we have managed to really create something. We will continue to make our products all over the world, but it’s very important to me that our contacts in China are still up and running. A lot of people that work in the pet world in China are animal advocates as well. We want China on our side. We have so many young people that you’ll see in our documentary who will really risk their lives trying to infiltrate the dog meat festival. It’s not about condemning China at all and it never has been.”
Vanderpump also told us about her dog center she has opened, detailing that, “Our dog center is really like a lifestyle place for dogs. We’re taking dogs from kill shelters, because people don’t want to go there. We’re giving dogs happy lives there until they’re adopted.”
We also received an exclusive statement form Dr. John Sessa, the Executive Director for the Vanderpump Dog Foundation. She told us that, “It was because of our involvement with our Chinese partners, friends and advocates in China that we became aware of the atrocities that occur. Our stance against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival is not a condemnation of the Chinese society, but a strong stance against this small group of people that torture dogs on the summer solstice each year. Over 65% of the 1.3 billion Chinese are against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, which includes our business partners, and activists fighting on the front line.”
We appreciate the clarification on the matter and commend how much Vanderpump and her husband are doing for the benefit of animals.