China is undergoing one of the most rapid industrial transformations of any country in history. It is said that China is presently building 1,000 cities, each equivalent in size to larger American cities. Hopefully with the thirst for Capitalism will come a greater love for companion animals and interest for animal welfare in general. What the recent Chinese dog cull (immediate and brutal killing of dogs due to rabies outbreak) perfectly exemplified was a country of clashing morals and ideals. It was easy to find images of Chinese military persons beating dogs to death during the rabies cull but the media gave us few images of the many dog owners crying for their beloved dogs. This harrowing event also brought to light the lack of education and infrastructure for animal welfare in China (like the simplicity of vaccinating puppies for rabies).
China is a clash of old vs. new. The older, more traditional forms of Chinese medicine sometimes call for bizarre animal materials and torturous means of extracting those materials. The famous Black Moon Bears (pictured below) are renowned for being caged for life in tiny cages and having bile extracted from their stomachs. The role this bile plays in Chinese medicine could easily be replaced by natural herbs. While Chinese animal welfare laws are painfully limited for all animals, the Moon Bears might be the closest thing to the abuses you will find with American Veal / Gestation Crates and French Foie Gras. I look at these farming “techniques” as constructive madness. If you’re going to start some universal standard of morality for animal welfare then outlawing these farming “techniques” would be a good start (along with promoting the benefits of companion animals). I invite you to support a charity that both saves Black Moon Bears from lives of imprisonment and also promotes the benefits of companion animals in Asia (click to view the Animals Asia website).