“Lying flat” and cat ownership

CHINA-NEWS AND COMMENT: It is reported that many young Chinese are “lying flat” – a new resistance movement. It means that they have given up on the usual aspirations of following a career path and have decided to ‘lie flat’. It is a phrase which appeals to me because it creates a visual image of what it means, which is to stay at your income level, status and general lifestyle without any attempt to be upwardly mobile because it’s too hard to be upwardly mobile and to what purpose? Life will not be better and probably worse. I totally understand the mentality.

Lying flat a new resistance movement by China's youth
Lying flat a new resistance movement by China’s youth. Photo in the public domain.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats


They say that the youth of China are fed up with overwork and skyrocketing housing prices combined with ever-increasing living costs. It’s forced young people to hold their hands up in despair and declare to the world that they are going to “just lie flat. Lying flat at home, lying flat outside, lying flat like the street cats and dogs. I choose to lie flat, and I am no longer stressed”, said Zhang, a 24-year-old living in the rural area of China’s South West Sichuan province. It is not his real name as he wanted to avoid attracting attention to himself.

Many unmarried Chinese young adults live with their parents. The government does not want its young people lying flat. They want ambitious people to progress the wealth and welfare of the nation. The concept of collectively lying flat must be highly unwelcome in government. In an editorial of May 28 in the Global Times it was stated that the country would not allow them to collectively lie flat. The newspaper is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

It seems that if a young person embraces upward mobility and shuns lying flat, they have to work 12 hours a day which many feel is unsustainable. It is said that China’s economic development has plateaued and young people have fewer job opportunities. The concept of lying flat reflects these difficulties and the overall economy in China, it is said.

So, we have to conclude that many young people are rejecting the typical work treadmill that they are expected to jump onto because they see no future in it. It’s a mug’s game and they’ve jumped off.

Domestic cat adoption

I recently wrote about the increase in cat ownership in China and their continuing lack of animal welfare laws. However, the way people want to live and their attitude towards lifestyle and living generally has a direct impact on domestic cats! You can see I’m getting to the point gradually. But it is a point which needs to be made. Domestic cats live in the human world and what humans do impacts the world of domestic cats and importantly their adoption.

If a Chinese young man living in China is ‘lying flat’ living with his parents, he is not in a position to adopt a cat. That may seem insignificant to a lot of people but there will be unwanted cats in China that need a home. If there are less homes for cats there are more unwanted cats. The lying down phenomenon affects cat welfare indirectly and perhaps not in a major way but it is worth noting nonetheless.

Domestic cats need homes, stable homes which are calm and reassuring. If property prices are going to the roof and if the attainment of this ideal lifestyle is impossible or perceived as being impossible, there will be less pets in homes. You’re going to get feral cats in streets living short miserable lives.


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