Officials are also cracking down on zoos nationwide, citing animal abuse and maltreatment as reasons to stop performances or even close zoos entirely. In fact, according to Treehugger, 300 zoos have already been closed for these violations. Some of the instances of abuse are horrifying; lions were made to perform acrobatics off the back of a horse in one performance, while monkeys in another location exhibited sores all over their bodies—a condition, a keeper assured one patron, that was due to the monkeys fighting each other in live shows.
Though cock fighting was only recently (and finally) outlawed around here, it’s hard for me to believe people putting on monkey fighting shows. Monkeys are so closely related to humans, after all—and while one might argue that humans engage in these shows, it is of their own free will, not because they are violently forced to do so. Then again, we know it is common for poachers to skin and sell gorillas, or chop off their hands to sell as ashtrays, so why would humans not be capable of this violence as well? As Joyce Carol Oates hauntingly told us all in her novella Beasts, “We are all beasts, and this is our consolation.”
The point, however, is that we don’t have to be beasts; in fact, it is our obligation as humans to be stewards of this earth and the other inhabitants that cohabitate it with us. That’s why China is taking a stand not only against zoo and circus crimes but also against animals being abused in the food industry!
That’s right—China is also forcing zoos to stop selling exotic animal parts, which are commonly used in medicines in the country. This is sure to help save many exotic and endangered species. Sure, it can’t stop the practice entirely, but boy is it a good step in the right direction. Restaurants across the nation are also being forced to stop selling dishes made from rare animals—yet another continued threat to endangered species the country has been known for. It’s definitely a good day for animals in China; if only the Western world could adopt such practices.