(FASHION/ANIMAL CRUELTY) With the rise of China’s economy, more citizens are celebrating their new-found wealth. Because of this, high-end sports entertainment, fast food restaurants, and sports cars are becoming more prominent in modern Chinese society. However, a smaller item Chinese are buying is admittedly more upsetting than the rest.

Live animals, trapped in plastic bags, are sold as key chains in China. Photo Credit: Care2
Live animals, trapped in plastic bags, are sold as keychains in China. Photo Credit: Care2

For about $1.50, you can buy a trendy keychain outside of train and subway stations in the major cities throughout China.

Unfortunately, this isn’t your typical keychain. These keychains contain live animals, such as fish, Chinese soft-shelled turtles, and other small amphibians. The animals are considered to be good luck, and are used as fashion accessories by a number of young people.

Each keychain is said to contain enough oxygen and nutrients to keep the small animals alive. Nonetheless, some vendors claim the animals can only survive for a few days. Consequently, the animals have been known to either suffocate or starve to death.

“They are a form of extreme cruelty,” said PETA’s Lyndsey Wright.

“These key chains provide no way to feed the animals and no way for them to breathe. Fish and turtles, they both need oxygen to breathe. No matter what these vendors are telling people about the water, these animals are bound to die in a matter of days, if not hours, after people take them home.” 

While animal rights activists across the globe have condemned these items as cruel and inhumane, it has not halted the sale of these keychains throughout China.

Photo Credit: Care2
These keychains provide no way of caring for the animals, leaving them to die in just a matter of days. Photo Credit: Care2

To say that the market for this product condones animal cruelty is perhaps an understatement. Despite this, the practice will continue to go unchecked if China does not implement stronger animal cruelty laws to protect these small animals.

TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition to stop the sale of these live-animal keychains.

— Sabrina Clinkenbeard, exclusive to Global Animal