Little Critters

This post is dedicated to the little critters of China.  They might be small, but they also call this place home.  Critters like the ones pictured to the left are sold in many markets.  As you can see, one stand sold newts, fish, and miniature turtles in small decorative toy-like containers.  I have to assume that the animals don’t live too long in a setting like this one, but they look very cute to small children who are visiting the market with their parents.  It made me sad to see newts like Mina (my wonderful late pet) in such inadequate containers. The other day I saw a man walking through lanes of traffic carrying items for sale: in one hand, cell phone chargers, and in the other hand, a live turtle.  And sometimes bigger animals are sold in a similar inhumane fashion, such as the chicks in the photo on the right. I think these ones won’t be raised to live on farms. They’ll more likely be toddler toys until they grow out of their cute phase.

The most interesting insect obsession here is the Chinese love of crickets. To others, crickets are an annoyance, but Chinese people view their singing as a sign of power, and they are supposed to bring good luck to the home.  People even strap little cricket cages to their shirts, wearing them close to the heart.

Many insects live peacefully in China, away from human cages.  I’ve been really intrigued by all of the colorful varieties. There is no safari here in China like I experienced last summer in Southern Africa, but I have seen a rainbow of bugs:

Stunning in Flight!

Or is it an alien bug?

A Cicada that got caught by a powerful spider

Blue is Beautiful

Cooler than a Ladybug?

A snail in the Great Wall. Seems like a strange place for a snail to live, but who am I to judge?

Categories: China

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4 replies »

  1. This is an awesome post Ms. Krakauer!!!!

    I’m happy that you did a post on the small animals in China. Now they can get some respect!! Maybe you can do another post about some of the more bigger animals in China?
    I feel angry at those people for putting those little animals in such tiny bags!!!! 😡
    I can’t believe they would even do such a thing!! Do they not care about the animals?!?!?!?!? Are the animals alive in the bags? Is the coloring on it in the water? Like food coloring?
    I remember when I was Beijing, there a man and his really young son sitting at the entrance to an apartment building, and he was selling 2 chicks (who were already kind of older) for free!! But I didn’t get one because I didn’t think there was enough space in our room.
    I think I saw somewhere that crickets were put into small cages and brought with people because they’re so special.
    You’re pictures are great though!! I like the picture of the snail and the butterfly. I agree, that’s kind of a strange place to live for a snail. But, hey, if the snail’s happy there, that’s good enough for me. I feel bad for the cicada though, getting trapped in the spider’s web like that, but it’s the way of life. And was that a pygmy blue butterfly?

    Have fun!!
    😉 ~ Anna

  2. that is so sad! I would want to but all of them (that is the newts, turtles, fish and chicks) so I could save them. I would carefully break the containers and let them go. I would bring the chicks to a farm and give them to someone who will care…. at least that is my fantasy. If I were actually there, I would just look sadly on as the poor creature sit there. I wouldn’t be able to buy all of them and what if I couldn’t find homes? I would probably say a mental “i’m sorry” to them and tell the person selling them to find good homes. Then walk away, trying not to look back. I can’t believe that people do this cruel things to animals.

  3. That is really terrible though I do know a certain someone who no longer likes things once they are out of their cute phase. But really selling a turtle, why do Chinese people want things like that while they are in the middle of one of the most inhabited cities in earth?

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