In a Shanghai shopping mall, shoppers can win a kitten or puppy displayed inside a gaming machine. It looks bizarre and reinforces the belief that cats and dogs are non-sentient and cheap prizes to be won in a game. Not a good look. It is certainly something that you would never see in the UK or the USA or other Western countries. In the UK, it would violate the Animal Welfare Act 2006. It’s quite telling about the relationship between the citizens of China and animals. And I don’t want to go on about their relationship because it’s tiresome and it sounds as if I am racist or xenophobic (I am not). However, it is a relationship which leads to animal abuse (e.g. cat fur trade) and it is a relationship which leads to no animal welfare laws to protect companion animals.
Note: this is an embedded video from the Express newspaper. It may stop working one day and if so I apologise but I can’t control it. There may also be adverts.
This video and image are a very visible, high-profile sign of what is wrong in society in China concerning animal welfare. This machine shouts very strongly that the attitude is wrong. That doesn’t mean that it is wrong across the board among all citizens. That would be unfair. It is an underlying attitude among the general population from which emerges this sort of contraption where kittens are put inside a shopping mall gaming machine. The sort of things you normally see inside these machines are plush toys of cats and dogs but here we have the real thing! Perhaps the people who made the machine decided that it would be a good idea to ‘go real’. Change the plush toys to the real thing and see what happens. Far more impact and far more interest from casual shoppers, right? Yes, I am sure that’s what they thought.
And there is another problem with this sort of method of companion animal adoption. It is too casual. The circumstances strongly promotes casual, careless adoption of a companion animal which should be for the life of that animal. Once again not a good look. It’s a tell-tale sign, like I said, of an attitude which would not be out of place about a thousand years ago but not in the 21st century.