Key chains are rings in which people bunch up their keys so that they don’t have to carry them separately everywhere they go. They are not only purposeful, but have also become a fashion accessory of sorts for young people with key chains coming in different colors and materials like plastic, PVC and even leather. But recently in China a new and cruel key chain fad has come into light that has taken animal rights groups such as PETA to sit up and notice. See for yourself what this new and inhumane fad is.
1 What are these new key rings?
Anyone who needs a keychain usually goes to any store and buys a cheap keychain to put all his/her keys in a bunch and usually most key chains nowadays are made of plastic or leather with intricate designs. But in China, some vendors have been selling a unique type of key chains that have not only angered lots of animal rights activists but also tourists who visit China. It all started when news channel CNN reported that live goldfishes were enclosed in small plastic bags were being sold as key chains outside the Olympic venues when Beijing, China hosted the Summer Olympics Games in 2008. Again in 2011, CNN returned to the commercial streets in China and were horrified to see that vendors were selling different animals like turtles, salamanders and fishes for $1.50 USD only or 1-3 RMB. The vendors say that water contains crystallized oxygen for the animals to live for 1-3 months. But the reports of these key chains being sold have angered the animal rights activists and other people not only in China but all over the world.
2 The reaction of people
Animal rights activists have condemned the practice of sealing in live animals in tiny plastic bags as cruel and inhumane. Unfortunately China’s animal protection laws are only applicable to animals found in wild and since these animals are mostly categorized as pets, law cannot touch these vendors. While some people buy them so that good luck can come with these animals, a huge number of people buy these chains and free the animals so that they can get a chance to live. Though online petitions have garnered huge response, the practice is completely legal under the laws of animal cruelty in China. Qin Xiaona, director of the NGO Capital Animal Welfare Association, described the trinkets as “immoral and pure animal abuse” – but said they were legal. “China only has a Wild Animal Protection Law,” Qin told The Global Times. “If the animals are not wild animals they fall outside the law’s scope.”