Tagged pets

Dyed Goldfish Cruelty

Street Pets

As I was walking around my neighbourhood this weekend my eyes were drawn to a a man selling small pets off the back of a cart by the side of the road. He had rabbits, various brightly coloured fish and baby turtles which seemed popular with parents buying them for their kids. I didn’t think much of it at the time and quickly took a couple of shots before moving on.

Dyed Goldfish

Today someone left a comment against the goldfish photo on Flickr that they must have been dyed to give them such bright colours. I’d heard of street sellers in China dying dogs more desirable colours to fetch higher prices but didn’t know the same could be done to fish. As you can imagine the chemicals used are highly toxic and are so unhealthy for the animals that it often reduces their life expectancy to less than a week (even after feeding them painkillers). In the case of fish the dye is injected into the skin after being dipped in a chemical bath, a very cruel process, which also leads to a quick death.


Unfortunately this is another case of animal cruelty for the sake of profit. Goldfish may be small little things but there’s still no excuse for this. I don’t know if there are any laws against this kind of thing in China but hopefully people will see sense not to buy pets from disreputable vendors.

Shanghai Insect Market

Crickets in Jars

Whilst wandering around Shanghai Old Town last month I came across this curious market selling all manor of creepy crawlies and other things you’d probably not want to get too close to! In fact the market sells a variety of flowers, birds, fish and insect’s as well as all the paraphernalia needed for keeping them (although don’t expect animal rights to be very high up on anyone’s agenda here).

Baby Turtles

Baby turtles by the dozen. They go nicely sautéed with birds nest soup I hear… 😉


Looking at these bird cages I was reminded of Chinese apartment blocks.

Live Insects for Sale

If you can put up with their incessant chirping apparently crickets make very good low-maintenance pets – all they need is a few fresh grubs each day! In ancient China they were the pet of choice for the rich and wealthy where cricket fighting was and still is today a popular pastime. In Beijing, the Association for Cricket Fighting organises cricket fighting events and championships (I kid you not). In some cases the crickets will go as far to bite each others legs off and cricket gabling can be an equally dangerous business where thousands of Yuan are often at stake.

You can find the market the market not far from Laoximen metro station (line 8).