As it turns out, on the streets of China, live animal keychains CONTINUE to be sold at a tourist market in downtown Xiamen, despite at least several petitions being called on the Chinese government to completely and utterly ban their sale once and for all.
Yep, that's right folks. For a mere 15 to 20 yuan (which is around $2.17-2.90) each, you can get one of these bizarre - but most importantly, absolutely barbaric - souvenirs for yourself. Exchanging the quality of a creature's life for a couple of dollars, disgusting.
Safe to say, I. Am. LIVID!
Tourists - if they so wish to - can choose from salamanders, terrapins, and fish as their “pets,” which are then sealed up in teeny tiny airtight plastic bubbles filled with fluorescent, "oxygenized" water and a single food pellet which is apparently to help keep the animals alive for up to three... yes, THREE, months, according to Shanghaiist.
Oh well in that case, what is everybody so upset about!? LORD do I hate people.
Reportedly, the live animal keychains first appeared way back in 2008 during the Beijing Olympics (because people are trash), and then went viral 3 years later during 2011 in China.
Understandably, this trend extremely quickly sparked outrage with animal rights activists from around the world who have called it a serious form of animal abuse... and rightly freakin' so!
And despite the fact that at least several online petitions were then signed in order to push the government to make the whole practice illegal, vendors still continue to sell the live animal keychains on the streets of China, where tourists attach them on their keys, bags, and mobile phones... again, because people are trash.
I mean this is CRAZY, right!?
“There might be enough oxygen and food in the plastic casing but the animal waste from digestion and respiration is toxic and will kill them. They essentially poison themselves with ammonia,” Dr. Sam Walton, a former research lecturer at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, told The Star Online.
“Aquatic animals are very sensitive to temperature fluctuations so being in a bag is like being in a greenhouse,” he said. “The temperature shock and physical shock of being shaken around will probably kill the animals before anything else.”
Allegedly, during September 2009, China did introduce a draft of the first comprehensive animal protection law... however, since then, there really hasn’t been much progress on it since...
On a brighter note, however, statistics show that there has been a rise in animal activism in the country, with hundreds of animal rescue groups focusing primarily on cats and dogs.
So I suppose for now we should focus on the small, positive victories! And live in hope that one day there will be enough manpower (or even better, lady power!) out there to rid the streets of China completely of these monstrous "tourist souvenirs" once and for all!