Every one knows about China’s crummy human rights record.  From the banning of Tibetan Buddhist practices, to the limitation of free speech, to the persecution of the Fulan Gong, violations of human rights in China are well documented worldwide, save perhaps China itself.  The Government does a good job of covering up most of the egregious actions, and since Chinese people often live in fear of the power of government, any tourist or student in China is unlikely to hear about or witness any major violation of human rights in China.  However, if you spend any time in China, you will most certainly come across violations of animal rights, as I did yesterday during my visit to the Liaocheng Zoo at the People’s Park.

You couldn't pay me to get on this thing, even if I did fit.

The Liaocheng Zoo can hardly be considered a zoo.  The admission was four yuan, less than a dollar, and the few carnival rides there looked they had survived a nuclear holocaust.  A few poor barkers sold trinkets and enticed children to catch goldfish from a pool in which there were probably more dead fish than alive.

A goat picks at what tiny bit of fresh grass has grown through the cracks on the floor of his pen

All the pens had concrete floors and measly living space.  All the animals were malnourished and looked exceedingly bored.

Notice the big patch of raw skin on his side.

This big guy paced the length of his tiny pen the entire time I was there.  You could tell he was just thinking about nice a big fat leg of human would be right then.  Despite his abysmal appearance, there was no doubt that he could take out a human with one swipe of his massive paw.

I think she knew she had a sympathizer in me.  When I arrived in front of her pen she got up, walked to the front, and posed with this pathetic look of desperation.

I thought the monkeys might cheer me up, and they did for a bit, until I saw one that was clearly very sick, in desperate need of attention, but will most likely receive none.

This is the point at which I lost it.  Maybe it has something to do with my personal adoration for the canine race, but I felt the sadness of this guy’s situation much more than the others.  Besides, I’ve seen plenty of German Shepherds around Liaocheng.  It’s not like they’re some sort of exotic creature.