Beijing Zoo puts their animals on the menu


Photo: Creative commons.

Meet Interesting Animals, Learn About Them, Eat Them...
You might think that a zoo's mission is to care for animals and to educate the general public about the fascinating creatures that we share our planet with. For most zoos, that's the case, but the Beijing Zoo operates a bit differently. You can't feed the animals, but you can eat them (or at least, their relatives); the zoo's restaurant serves things like the webbed toes of hippopotamus, dishes made with crocodiles, scorpions, kangaroo tail, deer penis, ant soup, shark fin soup, peacock, etc. Until recently, signs on the animals' cages even contained information about which parts were tastiest and which parts could be used to make traditional medicine (aka placebos, for the most part).


Photo: Flickr, Creative commons.

"It is utterly inappropriate for a zoo to sell such items," said Ge Rui of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. "One of the zoo's missions is to foster love of animals and a desire to protect them. But by selling the meat of caged beasts, this zoo stimulates consumption and increases pressure on the animals in the wild. It is socially irresponsible." (source)

That's exactly the problem. Zoos should be part of the solution, not part of the problem. China is already facing the extinction of many species, and animal welfare doesn't seem to be a priority for most of the authorities. If at least zoos were educating the general public instead of giving them hippo recipe ideas...


Photo: Creative commons.

Negative media coverage has made the zoo promise that it would revise its menu, but I doubt it will be much different until the zoo starts seeing itself as a protector of animals.

Via The Guardian
WATCH VIDEO: Planet 100: Zoo Animals On The Menu
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Tags: Animal Rights | Animals | China

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