Living key chains cruel, unusual

By Stephanie Saviola

Just how low will the human race stoop for a quick buck? Apparently, extremely low and often at the cost of other living creatures. People are willing to look the other way when it comes to cruel and inhumane treatment all for a simple, trendy materialistic possession.

Street vendors in China are starting to sell tiny key chain trinkets containing live animals. For the same price as a tacky souvenir you find in a tourist gift shop, you can buy a small animal sealed in an airtight plastic bag filled with colored water, which contains “nutrients” for the animal to survive off of.

Vendors claim they can live for months inside the airtight bag, but some veterinarians are claiming it’s impossible for them to survive in those conditions.

According to a article, customers get to choose between either a Brazil turtle or two Kingfish enclosed in a bag less than 3 inches long. I read about a similar scenario in a novel by one of my favorite authors, Margaret Atwood. In “Year of the Flood,” the second installment in Atwood’s three-part series about a post-apocolyptic-esque society, there are girls who have live jellyfish bracelets. In the book, these bracelets symbolized society’s extreme greed.

Straight out of a fiction novel’s pages and onto the streets of modern day China, this practice is sadly legal.

I don’t want to sound like a spokesperson for PETA, but this is of the utmost cruelty. To put a living thing inside a bag with no space is incredibly cruel.  A customer gets to have a crappy, trendy trinket because it’s a fad at the time and what are the consequences? An animal being held prisoner and wasting away in a bag it can’t even move in.

Some of the people who bought the key chains said they did it because they liked the way it looked or because they thought it would bring them luck.

One customer interviewed said she bought a key chain because she felt bad for the animal and wanted to release it. Unfortunately, by buying the key chain, it only boosts sales and give vendors more of a reason to keep selling the animals.

According to the article, in China there are only laws protecting wild animals, so these turtles and fish are not protected because they have already been captured.

Chinese government officials need to find a way to make these key chains illegal as soon as possible, especially before the trend spreads to other countries where this is also tolerated.

Another solution: People should find another cheap fad item to buy and one that doesn’t harm another living thing.