In China, an utterly disturbing and empathy lacking trend is more than likely still going on, as it was reported earlier this decade. Live fish, turtles, and other creatures are most likely still suffering through being made into key-chains, mobile phone charms, and things of that nature.
These animals risk death and endure what amounts to torture, being fully sealed within small, uncomfortable plastic containers. Animal rights groups and publications have spoken out.
In the major cities of China, along with other largely useless commodities that citizens are forced to trade in, you know, little key-chains and trinkets and all those things, these live animals are trapped in those things and are being sold. They say you’ll find them being sold outside train and subway stations, for as cheap as $1.50.
Usually the animals suffer through whatever chemicals they use to color the water within their plastic container as well. Remember, look at it from the perspective of the little amphibians: we breathe air, they “breathe” water, so the people who made these keychains are essentially forcing other sentient life forms to breathe more than likely toxic coloring compounds, in addition to being trapped.
Some sad excuses have been offered by vendors who sell these things, including some explanation that each key-chain “contains enough crystallized oxygen and nutrients to keep the animals alive.” That’s such a terrible excuse with no specifics provided whatsoever.
Within the bags, you’ll find fishes, young Chinese soft shelled turtles (eaten by Chinese people as adults, which doesn’t seem that nice either), or perhaps an amphibian.
A vendor of these things told CNN that after a few days the animals suffocate unless someone cuts them out of the bag. Then what happens? They are probably discarded and left to pass away.
According to an article from Inhabitat:
“If your heart has ever ached looking at pictures of animals pent up in tiny pet store cages or pens at the zoo, prepare to be outraged. CNN and other internet sources have uncovered a souvenir scheme in China that seems like a sick joke, but isn’t. Live animals—turtles, fish, lizards and other amphibians—are being trapped in tiny plastic bags and sold as decorative key chains. Vendors claim that the bag contains crystallized oxygen and nutrients designed to keep the animals alive, but in reality, most die within a day or less due to oxygen deprivation. What’s even more shocking is that thanks to China’s lax animal protection laws, most customers are encouraged to microwave and then eat the animals upon their demise.”
That article is good and everything, but what do they mean “lax animal protection laws?” China is a dictatorship with restrictive laws in every way imaginable, and tons of surveillance on everyone. Whatever they need, they don’t need more laws.
They need more empathy and connection to animals and nature, to really feel the joy a normal, healthy person feels from doing something like pet a dog or take a walk and admire the fish in a river, instead of killing them. In general empathy is something people must develop and nurture, it’s not hard to kill it in a person, and that’s not a good thing at all.