Senseless slaughter

We come across unusual sights here, many times dealing with different standards of animal treatment.  We will never forget the little stray bird being kept on a leash by the toddler at our favorite noodle shop, nor the boiling vat of water with chicken feet sticking out above the rolling water.

A few days ago Liz walked by our local vegetable/edible animal market, only to be nauseated at the sight of scores of bullfrogs being slaughtered by hand.  Blood was running over the sidewalk, but no one seemed to mind.  People like their food fresh!

Today on my walk down the nearby street known to us local foreigners as ‘bird flu alley,’ an animal peddler was hawking ducks, eels, and a few other kinds of animals for sale.  I arrived as he was skinning a pair of small birds, one halfway finished, the other with its head pinned underneath the man’s sandal.  The operation was carried out with a small pair of scissors over a black tarp to catch most of the entrails.

I was interested to see an animal skinned, as my previous city life relegated my experience of animal flesh to the meat section at Kroger’s.  This little bird had already lost its main appendages, feet, tail, and most of its skin.  As the flaying continued I marveled at the deft experience of the farmer’s hands, reducing an animal to its edible parts.  And then he finished with a last *snip* – and there went the head.

What??  The poor bird had been alive during that whole painful flaying!  I too couldn’t suppress some nausea, and left quickly before the bird’s unlucky partner began his turn.  I couldn’t help but wonder if the live flaying of animals is simply a cultural difference here, but I have to wonder if this incident weren’t a little extreme.  There’s no sense in animal cruelty- what a way to die, having one’s body dismantled while still living to experience it!

Further food for thought as we continue learning about our new home here in Nanjing.


1 Response to “Senseless slaughter”

  1. 1 Becca May 30, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Ok. That’s just sad and totally unnecessary. :o( Working in surgery that kind of stuff doesn’t bother me but the alive thing? Not necessary.

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