Bear farming in China
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Bear farming in China

While the Chinese are well know for caring for nature and all in it, some also have a barbaric side that not many in the world realise is there. What could the Chinese possibly do that would go against their practises which promote peace and harmony amongst both man and beast?

The barbaric act is know as Bear farming, many of the Chinese medicines which for thousands of years has been promoted to helping man and their pets, in fact contains an ingredient called bile. Bile is a digestive liquid which is stored in the gall bladder and secreted by the liver, the bile used in many Chinese herbal remedies is Bear bile.

In the past it was traditional to catch and kill bears in the wild, their bile was then taken after removal of the gall bladder. However over the decades bears became scarce and bile quickly became liquid gold.
So it was during the 80`s that the Chinese turned to a technique which originated from North Korea and which allowed them to extract the bile from the bear without the need for killing it. Now you might be saying “well this is good isn’t it, the bears are looked after, not killed, and so what’s so wrong with that, it’s not such a bad deal?”

Well no, it’s not a bad deal, except if you happen to be the bear in question. If you think it’s not a bad deal then put yourself in the bears place for a second, picture this, and then decide if it’s such a good deal.

You are in cage; you cannot move around, you cannot scratch if you have an itch because the cage is barely bigger than you. As a result you cannot move at all, you cannot stretch your limbs, muscles or back, as a result of this your muscles begin to atrophy. Usually to make life safer for your captors you will have had your claws and canine teeth removed and now you will be eating nothing but porridge or grain mash.

As if denying you your freedom and restricting you in this way isn’t bad enough you will also have had an incision made in your abdomen into which a catheter has been inserted. Not a pain free incision in a sanitary environment, but a crude rough cut. The catheter goes directly into your gall bladder and it is extracting your bile twice a day, every day, which then goes for sale for a good price, all in the interest of course of making life pleasanter for millions of people and their pets.

So the next time you have to have that “fashionable” Chinese herbal remedy that can smooth away those wrinkles think about the bear and ask yourself, “is it such a bad deal?”

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