On Thursday after lunch we went to the pet market in Chengdu. This was a very hard place for all of us to visit. It is one long street, a few blocks long as well as inside a decent sized two-story building. There were many different shops selling a variety of animals. In the shops facing the street there were a variety of stores selling fish. Many large fish were shoved in a small tank that was not suitable for their size. I will honestly say that In the past I did not have much feeling towards fish. Learning about them, knowing now that fish do have feelings and feel pain and seeing them in these small tanks I have started to feel pain for them being in these horrible conditions.
The sidewalk was also lined with cages crammed with small animals. They had mostly kittens, hamsters and rabbits, a few cages had puppies. There were also cages with squirrels and chipmunks. These animals were most likely caught in havahart cages (live animal traps) in the wild and brought to the market for sale.The one cage with squirrels, had three squirrels. The one squirrel was essentially doing back flips off of the cage showing distress. The other squirrel was just laying there and the third squirrel looked like it had possibly died.
It was an extremely hot day when we went and most of the animals were panting and sleeping but looked almost dead because their bodies were so lifeless, probably from the heat. A lot of the cages had wire bottoms that were hard for the animals that had room to walk around walk on. Some of the animals were also given improper food such as giving rabbits corn husks. Improper food does not give the animal proper nutrition and can lead to death.
Inside the pet market were more “designer” animals, mostly cats that were all very beautiful. A few stores had puppies. One store was selling cats that looked almost like dachshunds with short stubby legs, they were bred to look like this. As we were walking around we came across a few puppies so we went up and pet them. The one I went up to seemed like it had urinated and gotten it all over her long fur which was now all tangled and needed to be brushed. The workers at the pet market do not care about the welling being of any of the animals they are selling. They are only worried about making money.Inside there are also a variety of lizards, geckos and turtles. Some of them are probably on the endangered species list. The pet trade has made some animals go extinct.
In China and I am sure in America and other countries animals are just treated like any other thing that you buy. There are many stories in China and I’m sure other countries where a parent buys their child an animal and doesn’t learn how to take care of Because of this the animal dies shortly after bringing it home or the family may take it to a shelter or leave it on the street because they decide it is too much work and urinates all over the house. Most of the animals that we saw in the pet market will die within one week. The owners of the shop don’t mind this because the family will come back again to buy another small pet for their child. The pet trade kills millions of animals in the U.S. And billions in China. A lot of the animals die before they even reach the stores
On a happier note twin girl pandas were born on Monday. They weighed 70 grams and 118 grams. I have already gone to visit them three times this week. In the wild the mother can only care for one baby, so she will have to let one die. In captivity they do twin swapping. Every 12 hours they swap the babies, one baby goes to the mother and the other baby is in an incubator. They can pump the breast milk from the mother panda so the baby in the incubator will get the same nutrients as the baby with the mother.