Friday, June 24, 2011

Cultural Differences in Animal Welfare

I know I need to have respect for cultural differences, but there are some things that still irk me.

Yesterday, I was walking to work and passed by the usual gaggle of ajummas set up outside my building, selling a variety of trinkets to the children who are en route to their various academies.

Kids buying birds on the way to class
Only today, there was a woman with a box of just-hatched chicks selling them --in sandwich bags-- to children.

Over the course of the day, more than a few of the students came in with tiny, helpless chicks chirping away. One student came in to show me her new pet (that she was transporting in her cloth pencil case), then manhandled it and tried to feed it crushed up french fries. I was thisclose to unleashing some major pent up anger on her, though I realized that grilling her would not fix anything. I calmly told her about the responsibilities of having a pet, and the importance of taking care of another living thing. From what I was told the next day, almost all the chicks died the first night they had them.
Buy a chick for $0.50
This adds to my frustrations of seeing dogs tied up outside for days on end (or the dogs locked on the roofs of buildings I can see out my apartment window), stray cats being hit by cars, and shocking stories about the Korean government exterminating hundreds of thousands of pigs by burying them ALIVE (click for the story)

I wish animals were more respected here!

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