Talk Back: China’s Golden Opportunities

By on August 22, 2008 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

The 29th Olympic Games will wind down in Beijing this weekend and the world will soon shift its attention away from China. It’s easy to write off China, but it would be a mistake for us as a movement. We’ve got to work with government, business, nonprofit animal welfare organizations, and others there to change the atmospherics when it comes to animals. And based on the comments that have come in, most of you see it that way, too. Here’s some of your feedback to the series of posts on China and the Olympics:

Thank you for speaking out about China’s treatment of animals. It is sorely lacking in protections for wildlife. Their treatment of marine mammals, animals used for fur, and domestic dogs and cats is atrocious. The fact that China is hosting the Olympics should not silence us, but make us louder. Then China’s treatment of animals will be more visible to the public and hopefully the country will learn to take meaningful actions, at the very least to salvage its reputation. —Sara N.

This is, indeed, encouraging. I am a supporter of Animals Asia as well as HSI, and Peter Li has expressed my same concerns regarding the enormity of the problem in China. Wish that it were easier and faster to accomplish improvements for those unfortunate animals. I’m glad there are individuals and groups who are there and willing to apply themselves to this effort, slow as it may be to see successes. —Blanc Weber

Good day. The effort to protect and enhance the environment goes hand in hand with animal and wildlife protection. We cannot have environmental protection without wildlife. They are part of nature. China’s President Hu Jintao has declared that China would embark on a path of economic growth based on scientific and environmental friendly ways. Too much of environmental damages were done over the past centuries and the Chinese now start to realize that something needs to be done to clean up the environment and prevent further deterioration. What can really help is a great education program to reach the general population of China on ways to protect the environment. Reduction of animal farms, protecting wildlife, adopting a healthy diet of plant protein instead of cancer-causing meat, etc. that they MUST IMPLEMENT with urgency. We, from outside of China, must provide the information with scientific proof that it is a win-win situation for all concerned if animal farming is reduced or better eradicated. —Ng Sin Hoe

Thank you for speaking out, the more publicity about the abuse of animals in China, the more likely they are to change. Please do not forget about the live dog skinning for their fur and before the Olympics they “’cleaned up” all of the dogs and cats from the streets to be stacked in warehouses to suffer (and die). Please keep speaking out and use your muscle and money to bring compassion to the animals in China. —Jan Fredericks

China is a wonderful and beautiful natural country and I would love to visit it but I never will. I completely disagree with China’s forced occupation of Tibet and abhor their human rights, animal rights and environmental violations. I will not be watching the Olympics which is sad for the many sports members of the U.K. who have worked very hard to win a place in the Olympic Team. Boycotting the Beijing Olympics is one of only a few ways I can as an individual protest against China; I also refuse to buy any goods made in China. It is a small protest but if many people feel the same and do the same it will make a big impact. They will then have to listen to reason! I was proud of the many people around the world who made peaceful protests when the Olympic Torch travelled through their country. —Helen Warner

It is obviously about time that China did step back and take a good look at the way they treat animals as it is a disgrace. If China is starting to change their attitude then it is fantastic but of course there is always work to be done and hopefully it genuinely starts here!!! —Bonnie Young

You also responded specifically to the post about China’s fur industry:

I wholeheartedly support the work of The HSUS. This article is welcome, but I do wish I would see more effort and resources put forth regarding this horrific fur industry. In my opinion it is the worst of the worst. It seems more common to defend cats, dogs and horses in newspapers and on TV than these unfortunate creatures that are killed for the sake of a coat. I am very happy you defend all creatures, however I wish The HSUS would shed more light on this industry so the public could be better informed regarding the fur industry. Thank you! —Diane L.

Thank you! I was wondering if there’d be any coverage on the animal abuse in China during the Olympics. It’s a perfect opportunity to spread the word to the general public who may not be informed about fur and where it comes from (dogs and cats especially). Again, thank you so much! —Peg

Thanks so much for the report! We Americans really need to do something in our country as well as overseas. Not only for the environment but for the HORRIFIC abuse the animals go through. I just recently started viewing the HSUS website after Oprah’s puppy mill show and it just saddens me what happens regarding the fur industry. Absolutely appalling!! I never knew this went on? I really think Americans are not fully aware of this and more televised programs pertaining to this as well as the environment need to be addressed. I just want to thank you, your staff, especially the undercover investigators that have to witness such horrors, for all your hard work—all of you are absolutely wonderful. I think the Coats for Cubs program is absolutely wonderful, too!! God Bless all of you and the animals too! —Karen E. Wagner

And we heard from several readers who were especially upset by the news that China and the United States are the two largest consumers of poached ivory:

This is disgusting; I watched a wonderful program recently on the BBC which followed orphan baby elephants at a sanctuary in Africa and how they were saved when poachers killed the mothers with barbaric methods of trapping. ALL trading in ivory should be banned and any stores selling it illegally should have their license suspended. Unfortunately there will always be people willing to make a buck off the mistreatment and death of animals and so the penalty needs to be harsh. Most antique ivory is worth a lot of money and tends to end up in auction houses, not tourist stores, and the owners are not that stupid to believe they have "legal" ivory! —Helen Warner

I have to be honest: I cannot bring myself to even read these stories. Elephants hold a special place in my heart and to think anyone would harm them for ANY reason—let alone ivory—makes me ill. But in bringing this to our attention today, I at least know The HSUS is working on behalf of elephants to protect them from the cruelty of ivory trade. It does bring me some small comfort. —Maria

Companion Animals, Humane Society International, Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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