In what seems like a sick joke, it’s been revealed recently that live animals trapped in plastic bags are being sold as souvenirs in China. Known for their propensity to eat all kinds of animals and not pay much attention to their treatment, it’s still shocking to see such a twisted tourist attraction coming out of China.
The animals are usually amphibians such as turtles, fish, and lizards. Alongside the animals, there is a small amount of water inside each plastic bag. Vendors normally claim the bag contains crystallised oxygen and other nutrients, but most of the trapped animals die within a day or two.
If it isn’t enough that the animals die from oxygen deprivation, the vendors also advise customers to microwave the deceased amphibian afterwards. That way it can make for a tasty snack as well as a keychain for as long as the animal is alive.
You can normally find the live animals trapped in plastic bags being sold as souvenirs from coolers outside subway stations in China. An excellent place to catch passing tourists and encourage them to buy one of the horrifying keepsakes.
Many of the keychains contain young Chinese soft-shell turtles, a species which is quite popular in Chinese cooking once fully grown. Despite the practice seeming decidedly illegal, there are no local laws that say anything to the contrary.
Apart from the morale issues associated with these keepsakes, the animals can pose a threat to human health if consumed. Turtles are know for carrying certain strains of the salmonella virus, which can be deadly.
A petition to stop the sale of these live-animal keychains is already gathering support on Avaaz.org, with 143,000 people having signed their name already.
So if you think live animals trapped in plastic bags isn’t a suitable souvenir to be sold in China, or anywhere else around the world, you could also sign the petition, or tell us what else could be done to prevent this atrocity.
Image via Ryot.org