Activism 2907486042_21327dc7a4

Published on December 23rd, 2008 | by Michael A. Weber

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Chinese Cats Skinned and Cooked Alive; Activists Outraged

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December 23rd, 2008 by

Cruelty against cats is increasing in Guangdong, China, where over 10,000 domesticated cats are eaten daily. The cats, some of which are apparently being stolen from people’s houses, are transported in small cages to restaurants in the town where they are then cooked, often while they are still alive.

Activists in China are taking a stronger stance against this cruelty, and have begun demonstrating in Beijing against the treatment of cats used for food. 40 people, many of them elders who care for orphaned cats, protested outside of the Guangdong office in Beijing.

A butcher from the province plans to continue using cat meat as the main ingredient in the region’s famous soup, which also includes chicken and dog. She blew the protests off, saying “Cats have a strong flavor.” The animals are likely to continue being used as food, as the Chinese, and the Cantonese in particular, are known for their adventurous taste buds.

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But even if cats remain a food source in China, the abhorrent treatment of them must cease. Stealing companion animals from peoples’ homes and skinning them alive is something that would never be tolerated in many other countries, regardless of the type of animal.

With outcry like this, and with landmark animal welfare legislation such as California’s Proposition 2 passing, it is obvious that people are making the connection between the animals we see as “pets” and the animals we see as food sources. Maybe this awareness will even cause more people to make the switch the vegetarianism?

Photo Credit: Gruntzooki on Flickr under Creative Commons license

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About the Author

Michael A. Weber is a political activist and recent graduate of Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He is the outreach coordinator for Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), located outside of Washington, DC. Environmental and animal advocacy, energy policy, and ecological economics are his areas of professional interest, and his personal concerns extend to all people, animals and the earth.



  • Cber Cop

    very barbaric .Gandhi said judge a civilisation by the way they treat their pets.. more pressure via global coverage

  • Cber Cop

    very barbaric .Gandhi said judge a civilisation by the way they treat their pets.. more pressure via global coverage

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ESSWZT65T3VVGRLTUABCFCGWCU Jade V

    You are an idiot!

  • Kevin Hutchison

    What is it with people from the far east? Sure, people worldwide eat animals. But why do these lot think it’s ok to deliberately torture them to death, skin them alive, boil them alive etc? Why!? If the world ever ends in apocalypse or holocaust, I will be right over there as quick as I can to bludgeon as many of these subhumans as I can before the end! It will be sweet.

    • http://importantmedia.org/members/zshahan/ Zachary Shahan

      Have seen similar actions taken in Europe and North America, unfortunately

  • http://Web Crystal

    Wow. I can’t believe they are eating pets. Especially ones that belong to someone. I feel like they should get a death penalty. I dont care if it has a “strong flavor”. I hope the cooks and animal catcher die and go to hello cuz this is inhumane

  • mgfh300

    ps eating animals is killing them

  • mgfh300

    i dont now what we human have become we should be caring for these litle animals not torturing them or killing them thats why i wanted to mske something so i adopted 5 dogs at the pound

  • http://www.clockout.org employee time management

    the cruelty is not the eating the cruelty is the method of killing them.

  • James

    Cat and Dog eating will stop in China in the future. For now the government of China should pass a law on how to kill these animals as quick as possible with the least amount of suffering. This is the responsibility of Hu Jintao.

  • Bonnie

    Sorry, I don’t believe it. Remember how it used to be standard practice in past centuries to believe that your enemies ate babies? Now we look back and can’t believe people believed that nonsense. This is nonsense, too. I’m sure those cats were killed humanely; I’m sure most Chinese look on unnecessary cruelty as we do. And anyway, stress right before butchering ruins the taste of food, so it’s in their interest to butcher humanely.

    • http://Web laura

      Look it up…..you can find many videos. Its true!

  • http://www.huh.com GanGsta

    I am a vet, so I completley dissaprove of this. Yes, you can cook and eat animals, but not like this!! And their are certain species of animals that are very dangerous to eat eg. A chicken with bird flu, a cat with a disease.etc. P.s James is an asshole

  • http://www.huh.com GanGsta

    fuck you motherfucker

  • jenn

    All Americans should boycott Chinease food in this country until it stops………I will never go there…..they r frickin wierd people….dont’t they have enough to eat?……..they even kill endangered species for food on the black market……..they r disgusting people,……….that country is disgusting……….the water there is so toxic that the rise of cancer is unbeleiveable…………they r destroying the earth…….at least the US is trying to make changes to protect the planet and it’s species………….I will make sure I don’t buy anything that comes from there……..It was said years ago that they traded cat for chicken right here in the US! we should hit them with an atomic bomb!

  • Gramage

    This does indeed show me the connection between animals we see as pets, and those we see as food. However, far from sparking my conversion to vegetarianism, it makes me wonder what a catburger would taste like.

    I don’t agree with the way these cats are being killed, but I have absolutely no issue with them being eaten. There is a big difference between animal cruelty and making dinner.

  • http://planetsave.com anissa

    i think this is just rude and crul i love animals and i think its rude that they would do such a thing it’s just no frair that cats and dogs suffer like thins i just think chinese should get another food sourse to work with like something not living

  • Mike

    Thus proving the old maxim:
    There really Is more than one way to skin a cat!

  • Alex Felsinger

    James,

    You clearly did not actually read the post. The issue is that the animals are being stolen from homes, skinned, and cooked alive. It’s the treatment that is being made an issue, not the species of the animal. However, you’re right that all animals deserve the same basic rights, including that to life without premature death.

    -Alex

  • James

    a) What about the dog?

    b) What about the chicken and the bull and the rest of the animals? Are they less important?

    c) People have been eating these animals for thousands of years. What gives you any right to insist they change? You moral superiority? Your
    “greatness” as a westerner?

    Stop being so hypocritical, racist, intolerant, and elitist. You are so far gone, you can no longer apply simple, rational logic to your thoughts.

  • parrotgypsy

    that’s some sick shit. obviously those people don’t subscribe to the notion we are all one.

  • Nothere

    I saw this on HBO years ago. They put a noose around the cats neck (like a dog catchers pole) and then dip them briefly into scalding water while still alive. This allows the skin to peel off easily and at this point the cats are still alive.

  • Michael A. Weber

    Millie- Right on. I don’t eat any animals, because I don’t think treating an animal cruelly is ever okay. I do not make distinction between cats and chickens when it comes to which one I would sooner cook and consume.

    Hank- I believe your last point is exactly what Millie was trying to say.

    Valerie- I sourced this from a Los Angeles Times article, which said “The cats are being skinned and then cooked alive.” If you click on the first sentence, you can read the original article in its entirety.

    I would also like to reemphasize that it is not radical kids in the US that are outraged by this practice, but people in China itself, many of them elderly folks having their pets stolen from their homes. People are afraid to leave their homes unattended out of worry that their companion animals will be missing when they return.

  • Valerie Karsjens

    Is the author very sure that the animals are being skinned and cooked alive? I find myself wondering what purpose that would be for? Trying to skin a live cat would certainly be appalling to the majority of people everywhere, dangerous (scratches and bites anyone?), time consuming, and plus a tremendous yuck-gross factor. So unless the Chinese are just into cruelty for the fun of it, I don’t understand why they would not kill the cats first.

    If they are killing the cats in a swift and least painful manner possible, then back off people. You are trying to regulate everyone to your standards of acceptable behavior. Study history and you find that method has been judged by history as backfiring, unethical, self-serving, and causes strive. Freedom, remember what the word means?

  • Hank

    I really think that it is the animals that should do more for animal rights

    American cats are sitting around the house eating kibbles and bits while their chinese counterparts are being skinned and boiled alive. This is selfish and is something they should be more involved in.

    And as for Milles comments, I feel that there should not be bias in which animals you should feel need to be treated with care. If you personally feel that boiling an animal alive is wrong than that should apply to all animals, regardless of cuteness and size. I, on the other hand, enjoy eating a wide variety of animals and therefore are agnostic to the topic.

  • millie

    thanks for this post. not that i (or anyone) enjoy to hear about animals being skinned and cooked alive, but it’s happening — so it is a sad reality that we all need to face and bear witness.

    i’d like to take this opportunity to ask people to think about how much our culture dictactes which animals are food, and which are friends, and how arbitrary this distinction is. to the animals, it’s all the same: they no not want to be killed. lobsters are boiled alive here in the US. is this any better? (i’m putting aside the whole aspect of stealing someone’s pet, witch is obviously wrong!)

  • some dude

    what about the F-in dog in the picture

  • Leena

    This is an absolute outrage. This is disgusting and inhumane and even worse, these bastards are stealing people’s pets. My pets are like my kids and if anyone laid a finger on them, Id warrent the same reaction as if someone tried to harm my son. This is an epidemic, yes, an EPIDEMIC, that needs to be brought to the attention of many more people quickly so we can get some order in an otherwise orderless craphole of a country.

  • matt

    What? No pictures???

  • YAAAAA

    Sounds delicious

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ESSWZT65T3VVGRLTUABCFCGWCU Jade V

      You are an idiot!

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