Have you – living in the West – ever visited Chinese websites such as Weibo? It’s worth doing. It is like going to the Moon or Mars. It is a different world and difficult to fathom. You can translate the website but the translation is poor. This adds to the strangeness of the experience. It is all opaquely pink, and odd.
But to me it seems that one major cultural difference between China and the West is that Chinese society is even more human-centric than in the West if Weibo reflects Chinese society. By ‘human-centric’ I mean that life revolves around humans. It is all about humans, their needs, desires and activities. Animals are there to entertain the glorious human who is at the center of the world; the master of the universe.
They probably think that the sun revolves around the Earth rather than the other way around. Certainly, their attitude towards animals is one that would grate badly with PETA’s objectives. Their motto is well known: “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.”
China likes animals to entertain and when that is no longer possible, the only way they can be useful to good ‘ole Homo sapiens is to become food. Hence the cat and dog meat markets and increased animal abuse.
Introducing animal welfare laws would change things. They have almost none at present. Laws can alter attitudes. Beijing refuses to introduce animal welfare laws and Xi Jinping supports the cruel traditions of that economically successful and increasingly Westernised country.
For me – rightly or wrongly – the photograph on this page encapsulates in some ways the frothy, frivolity of the Weibo website tined with pinky cuteness. What I see is superficial. The pretty girl is made to look like an anime cat character with her large eyes. It is transforming a real human into an illustration. I am not sure that it is wise. It seems to be an abuse of a child.
The person who created the image is a person with a massive following on Weibo: Blastosaurus (204.7 million followers). He/she is a talented artist. The image is titled: Domestic Piglet Cat.
I guess the girl is meant to look like a piglet or a cat?! Not sure you can be both at the same time. The cat’s eyes and face has inspired the image. This in interesting as the breeders in the West work in the opposite direction. They sometimes create cats that look like baby humans! This is equally unethical or more so.
I am thinking of the Scottish Fold. The no-ears look makes the face rounder; baby-faced, which is why Taylor Swift relates to her Scottish Fold, Olivia, as a baby as she cradles her in her arms and look adoringly into her eyes. She does the same with Benjamin, her Ragdoll.
Not good as we need to respect the cat as a cat and not as a little human or a dog. And we need to respect both animals as sentient beings; something which escapes many millions even in the 21st century.