“Now where did I put my animal cruelty laws….” Selling live animals as keychains

Margaret Maigret

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.

8 Responses

  1. that is so messed up, what’s even worse is I bet there is a market for this.

  2. Somewhere on the web I once saw platform heals made of acrylic… Inside the pair were tortured fishes. Sick isn’t it? 😦

    It makes me wonder though – How empty are some people’s lives that they go to this extreme to either dominate some one else OR to be “fashion-wild” for approval?

    If only they would step outside their very small little world of key-bobs and other trinkets that harm the innocent, they would see how truly wrong and cruel they are.

  3. الاخوة الأعزاء في منظمة حقوق الحيوان
    تحية الانسانية التي تحملونها في قلوبكم
    في ظل هذه الانتهاكات التي يتعرض لها الشعب السوري,ودون وجود منظمة إنسانية تدافع عنه,وباعتبار الإنسان حيوان ناطق,لم أجد أمامي إلا منظمتكم ألجأ إليها للدفاع عن حقنا في الحياة وحقنا في الرعاية من قبل المجتمع الدولي,لدرئ الهجمة الشرسة والمذابح التي نتعرض لها من قبل نظام الحكم المجرم في سورية,أستحلفكم بالله,وكون المنظمات الإنسانية لا تتطلع إلينا,أرجوكم أن تعتبرونا حيوانات ولكن ناطقة,ودافعو عنا ,وأنصفونا من هذه المجازر التي نتعرض لها,أرجوكم لا تقفوا متفرجين كغيركم من المنظمات والحكومات العالمية,على الأقل أصدروا بينا أدينو فيه هذه الجرائم,لم يبقى أمامنا سواكم لنلجأ إليه,عسى أن تنصفونا وتوجهوا أنظار العالم نحو إضطهادنا وقتلنا أطفالا ونساءا وكبارا,ساعدونا أرجوكم,فأنتم من شدة رحمتكم وإنسانيتكم إهتممتوا بالحيوانات ودافعتم عنها,إعتبرونا حيوانات ودافعوا عنا,أغيثونا…أنجدونا…إنهم يقتلوننا دون أدنى شفقة,أنتم من تبقى لنا لنأمل المساعدة منكم,فلا تردونا خائبين.
    وشكرا لإنسانيتكم العالية

    Dear brothers in the animal rights organization
    Greetings humanity that you hold in your hearts
    Under these violations against the Syrian people, and without the presence of a humanitarian organization stands for, and as a human animal spokesman, did not find me unless your organization resort to it to defend our right to life and our right to care by the international community, to ward off the onslaught and the massacres that we are exposed to from By the regime of the offender in Syria, QURAN, and the fact that humanitarian organizations are looking to us, please be Tattabrona animals, but the language, and taxpayers from us, Oncefona of these massacres, which we are exposed to, please do not stand idly Cguirkm organizations and governments of the world, at least issued a Pina been convicted When these crimes, did not remain ahead of us except you to the resort, it may be that Tncefona and headed for the eyes of the world about our oppression and killed children, women and old, help us please, you are the severity of the mercy and your humanity Ihtmmtwa animals and Daftm them, Iattabrona animals and defended us, Save us … Onjdona … They kill us without the slightest pity you, the remaining hope for us to help you, not Trdona frustrated.
    Thank you for your humanity high

  4. An ocean away, I shed tears at this butchery. This violence and bloodshed is the lowest scourge on this earth. My prayers to all of us to find lasting peace.

  5. […] “Now where did I put my animal cruelty laws….” Selling live … […]

  6. I lived in Malaysia for a few years when I was younger, and traveled to China and Japan several times for vacations. I’m afraid that this type of behavior, as I’m sure all of you know, is nothing surprising. It’s horrifying, yes, but not out of the ordinary.

    Even for those who aren’t too keen on animal rights and whatnot, this is a gross violation of basic natural laws. I can’t imagine anyone missing that. But clearly, I’m mistaken…

  7. How long do you think it will be before we can take small foreign children and stick them in a box to tote around with us and gawk at? Or even babies? Where did standards go?

  8. Gross and inhumane! These animals will die a slow and painful death while wallowing in their own waste.

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