Theory as to why animal abuse is so normalised in China

It seems that there is a general consensus that animal abuse is almost normalised in China. That’s probably an unfair assessment because there are many people very sensitive to animal welfare in China but in generalising China has a very poor reputation regarding animal welfare reflected in the fact that there are no umbrella animal welfare laws protecting all animals including domestic pets.

Poverty leading to a lack of education resulted in a long, generalised history of animal abuse
Poverty leading to a lack of education resulted in a long, generalised history of animal abuse
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

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So why has this dire state of affairs arisen? Well, a Chinese individual writing on the Reddit.com website asked that question. They were desperate to understand why. I don’t know whether the person is male or female but I will make a presumption that they are female. She reports that her parents never really taught her “that it wasn’t okay to treat my pets like that [cruelly] so I ended up torturing a few is a five-year-old.”

Yes, she admitted torturing pets. And she blames her parents in teaching her that it was okay and secondly, she blames poverty. And of course poverty is linked to a lack of education.

So I’m going to propose a theory that this poor attitude towards animals in China originates in a long history of poverty and the lack of education in around 1950 and beforehand of course which has been carried through to the present age by the now elderly parents who have handed down this insensitivity towards animals to their kids.

The parents and grandparents inherited this lack of sensitivity and elderly parents who were living in 1949 and the 1950s are now dying and I would hope, therefore, that the modern youngster in China may be able to shed the misinformation that they’ve learned from their parents regarding animal sentience.

It’s going to take generations to truly eradicate this insensitivity but there’s no doubt in my mind that there are grassroot changes in attitude towards animals in this vast country of 1.4 billion people. There is an emergence of animal advocates rescuing, for example, cats and dogs from lorries being shipped to the south to be eaten.

There are animal advocates in that country demanding animal welfare laws. As I said this is grassroots stuff but one day it’ll flourish into a forest of trees.

And because this person on Reddit said that she believed it was poverty which normalised animal abuse I did some research. Of course, poverty would lead to animal abuse by modern standards because of the need to survive. Animals become a means of survival in terms of serving their master, the human, and when they are dead to be eaten by their owner.

Animals in a very poor country where there is lots of poverty, are a utilitarian asset. They are to be used to survive. There is a lack of sensitivity and emotional bonding. They are functional creatures. This allows animal abuse. Although the animal abuse in China appear sometimes to surpass this kind of necessity. It seems that some people take pleasure in abusing animals and being very cruel towards them. The Yulin dog festival is an example. This, too, reflects, a dire lack of education.

China very poor in 1949

But my research confirms that in 1949 China was one of the world’s poorest countries. The Asia Times website says that only 10 countries at that time had a lower per capita GDP. There was terrible poverty during the era of Mao Zedong. There was national suffering and between 1840 and 1949 almost a hundred million Chinese people died in wars due to foreign intervention. Or they were victims of civil wars and famines related to these interventions.

Despite the incredibly energetic push towards wealth generation in China today as it has become the world’s factory for consumer goods, this legacy of poor education linked to poverty subsists and it has been carried through to the modern generation but as mentioned it is fading.

Rush for economic growth and global dominance

Unfortunately, the change will be to slow for animal advocates who find it impossible to avoid stories of animal cruelty in China. Because China is obsessed with economic growth and wealth, it is substantially contributing to the destruction of the planet by refusing to speed up efforts to curb global warming in insisting on burning coal to generate energy in vast amounts. And China continues to defile the oceans such as the South China Sea and around Antarctica. There are many instances of China’s abuse of nature for economic reasons.

China puts short-term growth above long-term damage to the planet and I believe that the principle of karma will bite back and harm China one day in the most horrible way. It already has once with Covid which started in China due to gross carelessness and recklessness in, ironically, abusing wild animals. Like I said, karma bites back.

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