1,000 Cats Spared From the Cooking Pot in Chinese Restaurants

A truck crash in the central Chinese city of Changsha in Hunan province last week led to the discovery of live cargo, 1,000 cats in cages, says China Daily. The cats were packed into wooden crates piled high and, according to Xu Chenxin of the Changsha Small Animal Protection Association, were destined to be eaten in restaurants in Guangdong in southern China.

As Xu said to AFP, “…from looking at the crates you could tell their owners didn’t care if they were alive or dead… The cats has travelled for days, without food or water, and the smell was dreadful.”

After the crash, a number of cats escaped. Left out in the cold (and at the same time as a cold snap) for more than 24 hours, many died.

A call went out on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like site, after the accident which led to some 50 local volunteers appearing to rescue a number of cats. Xu’s volunteer group negotiated with one of the drivers of the truck and bought the animals for 10,000 yuan (about $1,600). Xu said that his organization had already had a number of inquiries to adopt the cats.

Cats are not regularly eaten in China but are served in some restaurants, especially those in the south. One dish, “Tiger and Dragon Locked in Battle,” contains snake and cat meat. Cats intended to be eaten are raised in the countryside, where residents see them as an “easy way to make money,” says Medical Daily. The cats are sold to restaurants for $1-2. Demand for cat meat seems to be on the rise for “a previously unaffordable delicacy” as people have more money.

The organization Animals in Asia says that some four million cats are eaten yearly in China. Indeed, in Guangdong province, “it is common for restaurants in the province to have cages of live cats at the entrance, waiting to be chosen by the diner.”

Back in November, Chinese authorities intercepted atruck carrying 500 cats in Xuzhou in the northern province of Jiangsu. Those cats had been packed into metal cages and sacks; the driver claimed that he was carrying a load of rabbit. Another local animal rights organization negotiated with the driver and bought all the cats for 3,500 yuan (about $350). China does not have laws to protect non-endangered animals — these recent discoveries of hundreds of cats kept in inhumane conditions and fated for slaughter are more than reason such laws are needed.

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Ashlyine B.
Ashlyine B.4 years ago

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.4 years ago

thanks god they are safe,thank you for sharing

Severine C.
Séverine C4 years ago

Alicia B., pigs are very intelligent and very sensitive creatures. And still we mistreat them, torture them physically and mentally, kill them and eat them in western countries. But they're not as "beautiful" as cats, so that's okay?
What countries, they need to learn that we are in the XXI Century.
Horrible people.

Alicia Blumenkron

Please save beautiful cats from insane and barbaric chinese people who eat every thing that moves. What a country, they need to learn that we are in the XXI Century.
Horrible people.

Liz g.
Liz NO FWDS G4 years ago

Thank you for sharing this news,thankfully these cats are safe and i hope they will find loving homes,there are a lot of compassionate people in China who are doing their best to help all these poor unfortunate cats and dogs who suffer horiffic deaths to be eaten,there are many more who need our help in countries all over teh world.Thank you.Liz Xx

Karl Murphy
Karl Murphy4 years ago

I am starting to hate China and everything Chinese. These barbarians need to evolve.

Celine P.
Céline P4 years ago

Good news for these ones!

Severine C.
Séverine C4 years ago

Anne R., and everybody else who thinks like that, how is "raising a cow or chicken for food acceptable", while raising a cat or a dog isn't? Do you really think cows and chicken deserve the horrible life they live and the torture they endure? Why, because they don't look at you with loving eyes and don't come to you when you call them? Or maybe you think they feel less pain than cats and dogs, or something? I really can't believe you people actually think that. Protecting two types of animals and eating others, ie MAKING THEIR LIFE HELL TO ENJOY A GOOD TASTE... That's shocking! Why don't you go vegan? It's easy and so right... And better for your health, for the environment and for poor human populations too (as eating feeding less animals for the rich countries would leave poor people more nutritious vegetables and cereals). Please inform yourself, you can get a lot of information about the virtues of veganism on the internet. Vegan is the way to go.

anne r.
Tom R4 years ago

I find the Chinese culture disturbing. There is no need today in 2012 that this prevails and Chinese people are so ignorant regarding animal rights and feelings. They consider cats and dogs in the same line as farm animals and they are not. While raising a cow or chicken for food can be done with humane intervention and for food acceptable. Cats and dogs are domestic helpers and pets for humans for thousands of years -- to eat them and to boil and slaughter them alive for food and/or foodis cruel, unnecessary and barberic. This is not acceptable in USA and most of Europe so why accept China cultural acceptance. This practice needs to be banned immeditely.

Harish S.
Harish S4 years ago

Ughh!! I find nothing positive about reading this even though a 1000 cats were saved. How do people develop the taste for cats and dogs??