China has been offering bizarre souvenirs for some time, however these living keychains go too far from quirky to inhumane.
Little, live animals, for example, turtles, fish, salamanders , and frogs are caught in a little plastic air pocket loaded with water, beads, and other decorations. The air pockets are scarcely sufficiently huge for the animals to move so they simply stay there suspended. One vendor told CNN that the water contains crystallized oxygen and other nutrients to keep the small animals alive for a few days.
The vendor advises people to free the animals after the air runs out so the creatures don’t die, but obviously that doesn’t always happen. Besides, the best case scenario here is that these animals are freed, and then end up as pets to unprepared owners.
These trinkets have been met with a lot of backlash from animal activists, who condemn then as “unnaturally cruel.” The psychological cruelty of trapping a living creature in a plastic bubble filled with glitter is immeasurable. There’s even a Facebook page called “Like if You’re Against Living Keychains” where they circulate petitions to stop the cruelty these tiny creatures are subjected to.
It’s just another way human beings try to profit off of the weak and vulnerable. What do you think? Should these keychains be banned? Or is it harmless? Let us know!