An earlier post about fur farming in China reminded me of the heinous animal offenses that people will overlook to possess something as silly as a rabbit’s foot keychain. I remember reading the post and thinking, Wow—could there possibly be a more constant reminder of animal cruelty than a rabbit’s foot keychain?”
Well, you can now buy live animals to attach to your keys so as to help you not be so forgetful in the mornings. That’s right, for the U.S. equivalent of $1.50 (plus a visit to the streets of Beijing), you can purchase a small fish or turtle to carry with you throughout your day, hang from the steering wheel as you drive your car, keep in your purse while you are at work, and throw on the counter after a long day at the office. How else to respond to criticisms that killing animals for useless trinkets is too harsh? Manufacturers in China have now outsourced their cruelty to consumers.
The animals live in a 7-centimeter bag filled with colored water. Although some vendors claim that there are enough nutrients in the water for the animal to survive for months (that must be what the coloring is, right?), others warn that once the air in the bag runs out, the animal will suffocate.
In light of this, it is not surprising to learn that China has zero laws that speak to animal cruelty.* This is particularly frightening considering that the Chinese are eating more meat than ever, and given the black holes loopholes in American animal cruelty laws that give factory farmers free range on how to treat their non-free-range animals, one can only shudder to think of the lives and deaths of farm animals in China.
The semi-silver lining to this story is that some people seem to be buying the keychains for the sole purpose of setting the animals free. Of course, this carries the danger of increasing demand for the animals, but I am sure that the amphibians on sale at this very moment would take the Yellow River over the yellow water of a 7-centimeter mobile prison any day.
*This is based on the information found in the news articles linked here, however, the publicly accessible website for Chinese law is quite user-friendly and translated into English alongside the Chinese text. Not taking the articles’ word for it, I tried doing Title and Full Text searches for laws and regulations that prohibited animal cruelty; there were no hits.
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal ethics, animal law, animal welfare Tagged: | animal abuse, animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal ethics, animal keychains, animal law, animal rights, animal suffering, animal welfare, anti cruelty laws, China