The Animals of China
A very large number of animals living in China are severely mistreated, probably a far greater a number than suggested here. This article is a criticism of the Chinese Government’s wholly unacceptable disregard for animals in failing to create and enforce laws that protect wildlife and companion animals in China.
The Chinese government can put on a good presentation, can’t they? This page is being built just after the opening ceremony of the 29th Olympics in Beijing. What a fantastic opening ceremony it was. Only praise can be given for the effort and skill that went into. It reminded us of the long history of China and its beauty such as the calligraphy. It cost over 40 billion USD. It is a shame that a fraction of the expense and effort can’t be directed towards animal welfare. For me, the Olympic ceremony misrepresented China, the true China. You don’t have to look far, in fact to see this.
In order to build the stadiums for the Olympics the government made many of their people homeless and stole people’s land without compensation. The streets were “tidied up” for the duration of the games by catching and brutally killing thousands of feral cats, animals of China that were once domestic cat companions or their parents were. Humans create the feral cat problem. We must punish the people who cause the problem not the cats. Factories were closed down and car use was restricted to try and improve the air quality, which still falls well short of acceptable standards despite harsh measures enacted too late. In any event it is a sham as after the games the Chinese government will go back to their usual ways and allow huge levels of pollution to continue.
This is our planet that they are polluting. The air doesn’t just sit permanently over China. I have personal experience of the poor air quality as I visited China in 1978 during the Cultural Revolution (how can they call it this?) and the air was so polluted you could almost chew on it. The people of Beijing at one time (probably still the case) had the highest rate of throat cancer in the world. The Chinese governments inhumane disregard for animal and human rights doesn’t stop at the brutal treatment of Beijing’s feral cats. For decades, perhaps centuries, they have allowed the “farming” of bile from wild bears caged in the most appalling conditions. This is perpetrated for the sake of their medicine, which remains archaic and deeply rooted in their past. Chinese medicine is the medical equivalent of fundamentalist religion. Fundamentalist religion is rooted in outdated texts while Chinese medicine is rooted in a past when it was acceptable to think it right that eating animal parts would improve health.
The world has moved on but the Chinese government will not force through much needed change by enacting new laws. They are able to enforce laws far more effectively than in the West so they could change medical practice in China. The appallingly negative impact of Chinese medicine goes well beyond animals of China. It affects the worlds most precious and endangered animals, such as the Bengal tiger. The Chinese government is passive about this. They may have presented an image of doing something, another misrepresentation, but in truth the picture is grim and not getting better. I’ll go on. Lets mention those poor vulnerable animals of China that are captured and skinned alive for the Chinese fur trade. Cats thrown into boiling water alive. I am so angry about this I wouldn’t trust myself to behave properly if I was in the presence of the people who do this. This barbaric behavior is not a fiction. Personally, I cannot allow myself to think about this cruelty towards animals of China as it depresses me. It messes up my life to think about it. It makes my life substantially less pleasant. I cannot view this video. Yet, I should be doing something to stop it.
This page may do a tiny bit. But people are generally apathetic about it. I believe in Utilitarianism. There is happiness and sadness in the world. One is balanced against the other. We should do things that promote the pool of happiness (contentment) in the world. And I include animal contentment in this equation and why not? We are all connected. I believe, in fact I feel, that the pain of these dying animals, so brutally mistreated by barbaric brutalized thugs of humans, affects me and all others. Their suffering degrades the world, it makes it a lesser place and a more unpleasant place for all of us whether we care about animals or not. And all of us should care because we are animals too though many billions of humans forget that. The justification for brutality against more vulnerable animals but no less important is justified through our arrogance and ignorance. A belief that we are special and above all others.
I read that the Chinese (some Chinese, one mustn’t generalize) think that animals don’t fee pain, a hugely archaic and old fashioned concept deeply rooted in a time when caveman was hunting mammoths. Grow up China. So, to recap we have these animals of China that we know that are mistreated brutally: feral cats (Beijing clean up), bears (bile), dogs (fur), domestic cats (fur), foxes (fur), minks (fur), rabbits (fur). As I can’t bring myself to look at the video I cannot add to the list of animals that give up their fur, alive and confused and dying in great indignity and in great shame for us. But there will be other animal species. And let’s remember it is all in the name of fur, damned fur.
Why are we as humans obsessed with carrying, wearing, feeling, stroking the dead fur of a slaughtered fellow creative? Are we jealous we don’t have it? We lost our fur millenia ago. Perhaps we hanker after it and can only get as near as wearing it. If we like it lets stoke the fur of a tenderly loved companion animal, a domestic cat, instead. Lets discuss some other animals of China. I wouldn’t like to be an animal of China.
That takes me to another misrepresentation that the Chinese government so cynically makes – their Pandas. They present to the world this cuddly and oh so well cared for bear like creature because it looks so attractive and symbolizes the animals of China. However, the Chinese got this wrong as well. They have allowed the Panda to inbreed due to reduced populations and isolated groups. Inbreeding can result in inbreeding depression, which means the animals will be less robust and more inclined to illness. However, despite the happy image portrayed of wildlife in China through the Panda, perhaps no more than a few hundred miles away in some darkened stinking shed can be found a tormented and dying bear with a gaping wound in his side out of which a tube passes draining the bile from his gall bladder for medicine, damn stupid fake medicine. So we have the animals of China tormented for fake medicine and bl**dy fur!
The Chinese government does nothing to create and enforce laws protecting animals. This is really no surprise as the government’s human rights record is hardly better. I’d like to digress to human rights for a moment. Lets talk about the criminal of China (no, not the Chinese government) imprisoned in Chinese jails. China executed 4 times more than to the total number of worldwide executions in 2005. Although the Chinese government resolutely deny it there is compelling evidence that prisoner’s body parts are “harvested” as soon as the prisoner has been executed and when barely dead in some instances. There is also circumstantial evidence that the government is persecuting members of a spiritual practice called Falun Gong. It is alleged that these people are being executed in breach of their most basic rights and their body parts harvested.
OK back to the animals of China. I have already written about the shameful practice exercised in China of eating cat meat. The act of eating cat meat is repulsive to all decent people as it is patently against the whole concept upon which our relationship with companion animal is founded. However, the Chinese government allows market traders to partially kill cats and dogs before being bought by customers. This makes the flesh taste better as adrenaline is pumped through the animals body. The government through their passivity endorse this. Shame great shame on those involved. The Chinese government is incredibly cynical and insensitive. They have a duty to promote change. It is generally accepted that human behavior can be gradually changed by the application of wise law making and efficient enforcement. The government of China has the ability to enforce laws with great efficiency. They simply do not have the moral integrity and sensitivity towards animals of China to do the right thing, namely to prevent animal abuse and cruelty on a massive scale. From animals of China to Feral cats