Recently I received an email in chinese about a story of a man who was asked to look after the running of a bear farm for a friend. I will roughly translate the important parts.
Just before dawn the author couldn't sleep, he kept hearing pained cries in his room. At the same time, he heard movements at his door with heavy, rough breathing. Nobody replied him so he grab a broom and opened his room door.
Outside was a baby bear. The author stretch out his arms and the baby bear crawled towards him and licked his hand.
Suddenly, a noise came from outside and the baby bear hid itself. Someone told the author that they let a small bear out, the author told them it was hiding under his bed and they grab and drag the bear out from his bed. They tied it up and carried it away with a pole. The bear looked helplessly at the author as it left the room.
In the morning, one of the workers Old Zhang, took the author to the bear room. The room is large and has 6 cages. Each cage has a bear inside. On each of their tummy is a shiny metal pocket. He was told that that is used to extract the bile. Bile prices are now 300 rmb per gram. The author was led to the 1st cage and informed that the bile extraction has started.
Two workers tied the bear down and pull the rope attached at the 2 sides of the metal pocket which passes through a pulley. With a shout, the shiny object started to contract. Suddenly the bear let our a miserable cry. It kept lifting its head and bulged its rounded eyes. It scraped at the ground in the limited space, emitting a sharp ear-piercing sound. Within moments, the metal rod attached to it's belly started to drip dark green bile. The workers released the rope slowly.
The author saw the bear shed tears. He couldn't look anymore and left. He then understood where the cries he heard came from last night.
Old Zhang followed the author to the door. He asked him, "Do you all still have any humanity? They are lives!" Old Zhang replied, "No choice, this is our job." The author calmed down and asked, "What's the interval between each draw?" Old Zhang told him if there is more bile, twice a day. Less bile, once every two days. In general, one bear can produce 2000 grams of bile powder in a year, and this can be produced for 10 years. Twice a day for 10 years! That's 7200 times of pain, day after day, year after year! It will be difficult for even a strong-willed person to endure.
The author wanted to go back. Old Zhang said, "In a short while, we have to performed surgery for the small bear, you cannot leave at this crucial moment, you represent the boss, if you leave and anything happens, who is going to be responsible?" He had no choice but to follow Old Zhang back to the bear room. Under Old Zhang's command, four workers tied the small bear up.
The baby bear look terrified at everyone, when it saw the author, it looked at him with pleading eyes and the author felt his eye teared. The bear flop and kneeled on all its four paws. But Old Zhang waved his hand, and instruct the operation to commence. The baby bear lifted its head to the roof and emitted a disappointed cried. It was such a soul-shaking cry that even the workers were shaken.
At that moment, a strange sight occured. One of the bears in the cages let out a howl, and used her paws to pry open the thumb-wide cage bars bit by bit and rushed out. The workers scattered. The author was rooted to the ground and couldn't move. But the adult bear ignored his presence and pounded towards the baby bear, using her clumsy paw to rid of the thick chains, but in vain. It can only kissed the baby bear and hold it in her arms licking away its tears and cooing to her young.
Suddenly the adult bear cried crazily, using its big paws to strangle the baby bear, howling and using all her strength on the grip. Until its body goes limp, the mother bear then released her grip, watching her dead child and whimpering. Then she bit her own fur, and ripped off the metal pocket on her body together with half the gall bladder, in an instant her fur at her tummy was red. In a loud cry, it rushed madly towards the wall and rammed against it, and the wall fell. The author went numb.
For the whole day, the same tragic scene repeated in his mind. He asked himself, "Was that a show of motherly love? It should be, it's a helpless motherly love. There was no way she could save her child from 20 years of hell, except to kill it and accompany it later. It could only be this meaning.
Please do not wear fur, eat bear paws, eat bear meat, use bear bile and any product from bears. More on bear farming in the next post.