Saturday, January 21, 2006

Bear Milking: Traditional Chinese Wisdom?

I was chatting with my brother on MSN the other day when he made a chance remark about bear-milking. I had been talking about my unwillingness to work in China because, among other reasons, its abuses against animal welfare is legion. So I take this opportunity to pull my soapbox out of the closet, blow the dust off, and climb on top:

In China, over 9,000 surgically-altered bears are kept in small metal cages (boxes really) and have metal tubes inserted twice daily so that their bile can be "milked". This distressing, inhumane & painful procedure is carried on in spite of the fact that there are synthetic substitutes available. The harvested bile is used for Chinese herbal teas and medicine. Please check out this page & its links. Don't forget to click on "Take Action" by which you can submit a letter of protest to your country's ambassador. "A three-year investigation by WSPA has proved that bear bile and bear gall bladders are being illegally sold at traditional Chinese medicine shops throughout the world."

Please think twice before you purchase anything smacking of traditional Chinese medicine. And if you have a teddy bear, give it a hug. Sympathetic magic is still magic.

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