Think China doesn’t care about animals — these incredible young people will change your mind

28 October 2016

China’s caring, courageous animal lovers are making their voices heard. 

Outside an animal circus show in Beijing, a group of young animal welfare advocates start their own performance.

They paint their faces, don furry suits and begin to run through their lines.

“I am a monkey: I am chained, starved and beaten to learn to perform unnatural tricks. If you love me, don’t come to see my performance.”

These are the courageous members of Freedom for Animal Actors (FAA), just one of the hundreds of grassroots animal welfare organisations which have sprung up in China in recent years.

Their demonstration outside the Beijing Workers Stadium in May this year successfully convinced a number of parents to turn away from the show, even after they had bought the tickets.

For many more it started a dialogue and sowed the seed of a new idea which would force them to question accepted norms.

Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director Dave Neale said:

“This kind of grassroots work is exactly what will change hearts and minds in China. Once people start to question the morality of the entertainment they have taken for granted, there is only one conclusion they can reach.

“At this event, many of the parents reached that conclusion in a matter of minutes and took their children somewhere else for a day out — somewhere cruelty-free.”

FAA has been supported for the last three years by Animals Asia. As a leading international charity with an established track record in awareness-raising, Animals Asia offers experience and guidance to a number of animal welfare-related charities around the country.

Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:

“When I first came to China, there was not one animal welfare organisation in the country. Today there are hundreds. But they need help. We are proud to have supported FAA whose work is doing so much to raise awareness of the cruelty behind animal performance. China has already banned animal performance in zoos, we hope that one day that compassion will be extended to those suffering in circuses too.”