Numerous people are horrified after learning about the new bizarre trend in China, and animal activists are especially upset.
Namely, people in China are keeping live fish, turtles and other amphibians as keepsakes on their keychains. The animals are in little plastic bags with just enough water to allow them to survive.
The bags also contain a small amount of crystallized oxygen and other nutrients, but they still are tiny prisons for the little animals.
Tourists can choose from salamanders, terrapins, and fish as their “pets,” which are sealed up in the small airtight plastic bubbles filled with fluorescent, oxygenized water, and a single food pellet to keep the animals alive for up to three months.
Moreover, Dr. Sam Walton, a former research lecturer at University Malaysia Terengganu, explains that there might be enough oxygen and food in the plastic casing but the animal waste from digestion and respiration is toxic and will eventually kill them. They essentially poison themselves with ammonia.
He added that aquatic animals are very sensitive to temperature fluctuations so the life in a bag is like being in a greenhouse. Therefore, the temperature shock and physical shock of being shaken around will probably kill the animals before anything else.”
If their owner wants to save their life, they must cut it out of the plastic. Sadly, but this is rarely the case, as some people keep the keychains until the animal dies, and then throw them away.
The strange keepsakes are sold for $1.50 on subways and train stations.
According to Qin Xiaona, director of the NGO Capital Animal Welfare Association, these souvenirs are legal as only wild animals are protected in China, and these animals do not fall under that classification.
Yet, more than a million supporters signed the petition to end the sale of these disturbing keepsakes.