Heal Our Planet Earth

Re: An appeal from 1 Chinese person to 1.4 billion

Fellow Activists,
If you haven't read the original blog I sent out yesterday (see "An appeal from 1 Chinese person to 1.4 billion", please read it first before reading the following exchange.
I further request that you forward the blog and this exchange to as many of your contacts as you can, so that it will reach, via their extended networks, as many Chinese people around the world as possible. 
You might also want to drop a line to Zhang (straight from a Caucasian), and forward your remarks far and wide as well, since they, too, need to be heard. 
Thank you.

Mr. Marr,

I briefly visited your website. I see the hope for the earth and animals. I am a Chinese, often I feel so shamed by what the Chinese are doing to the animals. I always feel so much pain whenever I read the news that Chinese brutally treat those animals in such a barbarian way. I think the way to change this is more depending on education. But during the time of the education, how many animals will be suffer to die. I just cannot stand to think about it. Really, I hate Chinese! HATE those human beings who show no respect to animals and earth!


Dear Zhang,

Thank you for sharing with me these deep, personal and troubled feelings. I know exactly how you feel. I hope you don't mind me sharing your sentiments with my friends and colleagues. I'm responding to you in public because I know that your sentiments are quite universal to the Chinese people in general.

First, I'd like to say that shame is a common sentiment amongst all animal advocates of the world, and in fact amongst all people with a conscience. I sometimes, too, hate being Chinese, but, having visited so many countries and interacted with people of so many cultures, nationalities and ethnicities, I have observed that many Americans hate being American, many Canadians hate being Canadian, and, in general, many humans hate being human! It certainly is true that no matter what nationality or ethnicity one belongs to, there is always something to be ashamed about.

Second, should we Chinese feel more ashamed of ourselves than others about themselves? I would say that, yes, the collectivity of Chinese animal abuse is indeed immense and diverse, but, no, because so are the Chinese populations around the world and even within China itself immense and diverse, which would in turn produce the immensity and diversity of the abuse. This means that not all Chinese eat dog and cat meat, and not all Chinese torture animals, and not all Chinese have shark fin soup, and not all Chinese eat monkey brain. Unfortunately, in the eyes of the world, China is China, singular, so if a small sector of the Chinese people eat dog meat, then all Chinese people eat dog meat; if a small minority of Chinese people torture animals, then all Chinese people torture animals; and if the Chinese government adopts a certain evil policy, all 1.4 billion Chinese are evil. Of course we Chinese know that these generalizations are untrue.

In my family, we have never had tiger bone or rhino horn medicines, nor eaten bear paw, nor worn fur, nor mistreated animals, as far as I know. We might even argue that on a per capita basis, we Chinese people are perhaps even less blood-thirsty than the people of some of the more "advanced" countries. How many Chinese people, for example, take rifles and bows-and-arrows into the bush and shoot animals for "sport" and fun? Almost none! Do the Chinese kill whales? No! Do the Chinese slaughter dolphins? No! Do the Chinese do bull-fighting? No! Do the Chinese people eat as much meat as the Western people? No! But - Do some of the Chinese people eat dogs and cats? Yes!

These two points are to put your/our shame in a more objective perspective, so that it be not over-blown to the point of causing us undue loss of pride and dignity.

This said, let me say that I'm not one to point my finger at others. In my humble opinion, all who feel shame should do something about it. I can say this bluntly because on this score I have walked my talk. I feel shame being Canadian, so I participate in the movement opposing the Canadian commercial seal hunt, and even take the campaign to the United States, and soon Europe, to ask the American and European peoples to boycott Canadian seal and other products. I feel shame being Chinese, so I go into the Chinatowns of North America to cleanse them of endangered species medicines.

I do both also because I also love being a Chinese Canadian, and want the best for both.

Bottom line. Please pass this message on to as many Chinese people as you can, and let's all do something about it, individually and in unison.


Anthony Marr

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