As modern China continues to prosper economically and the middle class becomes larger, a common theme is becoming more apparent that is causing the widening gap between the rich and poor when it comes to the outlook toward animals. For thousands of years the people in China have consumed cats and dogs as food. More specifically it was the huge class of the poor who could not afford other kinds of meat.

Then there was the Cultural Revolution where owning a pet was considered a capitalist activity. It was widely felt that only the rich and arrogant had dogs and cats as pets. The implication was that if you treated pets well, you will treat humans who are weaker very badly. But with the middle class now growing in China, many are accepting pets as a wonderful necessity.

So when a trucker with over 500 dogs in his truck was forced off the road recently and made to turn over the dogs to animal activists for a sum that was quickly raised of $17,000, many in China felt this was against the old way. China does not have any anti - cruelty laws against animals, and it is estimated that as many as 10 million dogs are sold for consumption each year and are often kept under horrible conditions. Many of these dogs are stolen pets or strays.

After this huge rescue of dogs took place, a man named Zhu Guangbing from Guangzhou, China posted on his twitter account that he protested the rescue money being raised for the dogs and that he felt it should have been given to the poor and needy. He then made the outrageous claim that starting in June he would kill one dog a day until the $17,000 was turned over to the poor. The old saying that "you reap what you sow" quickly came into play as he received more than 200 threats against him. Even his name, cellphone number, office number and his parents’ number were posted online.

Recently Zhu was forced to quit his job as his company was also receiving threats against him. Quickly back peddling, Zhu tried to say that he really wasn't going to kill the dogs but rather was just making a point. He also spoke against the animals activists who he said, " claimed to have the moral high ground, but look what they did to him."

But the animal activists have defended their stance as a necessity to move forward in China. They say it is a question of civilization and not what some people in China are saying that it is silly to protect animals. Activist, Wang, stated that, "By teaching people in this country to love little animals, maybe we can help them to love their fellow human beings better."

So the Revolution has began in China in a determined effort to make the lives of so many suffering animals there better. As with all major societal changes, the road will be long and hard. But let's stand behind the activists in China, which is not a open society by any means. There are many risks still in a country that opposes any opposition. But the seed of long overdue change for animals has been planted and it must continue to grow. Let it grow quickly!

Responses to "The Revolution continues in China - Cultural Clashes between old world and new world beliefs about animals."

  1. Anonymous says:

    We were put on this planet to take care of what God made. If man treats animals in this way -- how will they treat other human beings. This frustrates me to no end. Man is continually cutting down trees and using that land for homes, business (don't we have enough stores}. We are pushing animals out of their own habitat -- why do you think they are moving into populated areas. We are to take care of the animals with love and respect. I think this will turn me to be a vegetarian. I am tired of this greedy world we live in. I pray God will stop this insanity.

  2. This is something animal rights activists have been fighting for years. I am glad to see any help coming for these innocent cats and dogs who are not only consumed as food, but thousands and thousands who are harvested like vegetables for their fur. Yes, we are making some progress and yes it will take a long time. But at least a step has been taken.

  3. AlikiBags says:

    It is hard to make judgement on other cultures with a clear conscience. I deeply hate the thought that anybody should go hungry because I deeply care for all animals, particularly those we bread over centuries to be our companions. The poor in China seem to be lightyears away from their government and I only hope that the change in attitude amongst the middle class in China and pressure from the outside world will move the government in China to introducing animal welfare education and effective legislation.
    It depresses me intensely that I felt moved to support an animal charity here to stop exporting Greyhounds from IRELAND ( NO LESS !!!!! ) to China....surely the traders involved were aware the dogs were not going to carefully selected and loving new homes??? x

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