China's young elite unite against bear bile farming
21 February 2014
Thousands of high-flying students represented by 100 Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSAs) around the world have thrown their weight behind the campaign to end bear bile farming in China by signing an Animals Asia pledge.
These young Chinese elite from some of the world’s highest profile universities, including Princeton, Stanford, Oxford and Cambridge have pledged to “support the campaign and urge our country to end the cruel and unnecessary practise of bear bile farming”. The pledge decries the practice of bear bile farming on the grounds of animal welfare which, it states, has no part in a “civilised Chinese society”.
Across Asia international students continue to be regarded as an elite and hugely resourceful group likely to be leaders, political high fliers, successful entrepreneurs and opinion formers of tomorrow.
Xin Teng, President of the Princeton University Association of Chinese Students and Scholars said:
“Bears have been suffering extreme abuse in bear bile farms. As overseas Chinese students, we hope the creatures in our motherland can enjoy the freedom they deserve, instead of being tortured. Therefore, we would like to call upon the vicious industry of bear bile farming to end as soon as possible.”
Morgan Wu, President of the Berkeley Chinese Students and Scholars Association, where the campaign began (pictured above and below) in March 2013, remembers:
“We were not sure how far this campaign could go and how much support it could gain, but we believed in the saying, ‘a journey of a thousand miles can be achieved through the accumulation of single steps.’ Today I am truly thrilled and gratified by the fact that 100 CSSA’s joined us. And I’d like to express my gratitude to the great efforts and support from all employees of Animals Asia.”
Public perception of animal welfare has continued to change dramatically in China over the last decade, as the issue becomes ever more important to the country’s young people.
Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:
“We talk of these incredible students as the leaders of tomorrow. China is changing and these are the young people that will go on to oversee further change and hopefully increased prosperity. They don’t need us to tell them that bear bile farming should be consigned to the past. They know there’s no long-term future in industries that aim to profit from cruelty. China should be very proud of them.”