Across China, for roughly $1.50 US, you can buy a keychain that contains a small plastic bag with an even smaller animal inside.
Most likely fish and small turtles – soft-shell Chinese turtles – these animals, as you can see from the photograph, are literally entombed in a small plastic bag, sold as a keychain charm.
They are sometimes referred to as “Good Luck Keychains.”
Vendors usually sell these at train stations and subway stations in large Chinese cities, playing off the novelty of owning a disposable pet.
You see, these small animals are encased with enough food and oxygen to only survive for a few days.
By then, the small animal will have consumed all the resources from the bag it is sealed in, and will eventually starve of suffocate, depending on what comes first. There is only enough crystalized oxygen and food to last a few days.
Then the owner can just throw the novelty pet away and presumably start again with a new one. They are especially popular with young people.
A petition site created to protest against this cruel treatment of animals states that, “A sick trend is killing innocent animals in China. Vendors are sealing turtles, fish and small amphibious animals into plastic bags and selling them as keychain and mobile phone trinkets. The trinkets are supposed to bring good luck, but clearly bring only bad luck to the trapped animals.”
152,373 of 160,000 names have already been started by the petition.
You can sign on at this link.
*Photo courtesy of Care2 Petition site.