On the streets of China, live animals such as turtles and lizards are sealed in plastic bags filled with colored liquid and sold as keychains and mobile phone charms. Treated as objects rather than living beings, the animals endure extreme confinement -- and usually, suffocation and death -- for a few moments of human enjoyment.
One seller of live animal keychains told CNN that the pouches contain “crystallized oxygen and nutrients.” But animal advocates counter this claim, asserting that lack of sustenance and oxygen deprivation quickly kill the animals. And frankly, it doesn't take an expert to realize that an animal will not live long in a plastic bag.
Some compassionate people may free the animals from their plastic tomb and keep them as pets -- but these people could face serious health risks. Turtles, for example, are known carriers of Salmonella, a dangerous bacteria.
No matter how you look at it, the practice of forcing live animals into keychains is simply cruel. Unfortunately, in China there are no animal welfare laws preventing this outrageous treatment of living creatures. These animals are subjected to a slow death by suffocation in a watery grave.
Sign now to send a message to Cui Tiankai, Chinese Ambassador to the United States, urging him to help put a stop to this atrocious practice. Let the government of China know that this treatment of living, sentient beings will not stand with the rest of the world.