The smiling children giggled as they patted the young goat on its head and tickled it behind the ears.Savagery. And child abuse.
Some of the more boisterous ones tried to clamber onto the animal's back but were soon shaken off with a quick wiggle of its bottom.
It could have been a happy scene from a family zoo anywhere in the world but for what happened next.
A man hoisted up the goat and nonchalantly threw it over a wall into a pit full of hungry lions. The poor goat tried to run for its life, but it didn't stand a chance. The lions quickly surrounded it and started tearing at its flesh.
"Oohs" and "aahs" filled the air as the children watched the goat being ripped limb from limb. Some started to clap silently with a look of wonder in their eyes.
The scenes witnessed at Badaltearing Safari Park in China are rapidly becoming a normal day out for many Chinese families. ...
Next to the main slaughter arena is a restaurant where families can dine on braised dog while watching cows and goats being disembowelled by lions.
The zoo also encourages visitors to "fish" for lions using live chickens as bait. For just £2, giggling visitors tie terrified chickens onto bamboo rods and dangle them in front of the lions, just as a cat owner might tease their pet with a toy.
During one visit, a woman managed to taunt the big cats with a petrified chicken for five minutes before a lion managed to grab the bird in its jaws.
The crowd then applauded as the bird flapped its wings pathetically in a futile bid to escape. The lion eventually grew bored and crushed the terrified creature to death.
The tourists were then herded onto buses and driven through the lions' compound to watch an equally cruel spectacle. The buses have specially designed chutes down which you can push live chickens and watch as they are torn to shreds.
Once again, children are encouraged to take part in the slaughter.
Accessing one of the clearest windows into a man's soul is as easy as observing how he treats the defenseless when he has power over them and no external consequences for his behavior exist. The Chinese are severely autistic even by Western trophy hunting standards.
Those who think the dimunition of the West, especially of the US, is somehow going to be a boon for human (or in this case, animal) rights are sadly mistaken. Our broad understanding of what it means to be "humane" is something unique to Western Europeans and their descendants.
In 1960, one-fourth of the world's population was of European descent. Today it is less than one-sixth, and by mid-Century it will be about one-tenth. The economic and military growth of the Middle Kingdom, and the continued demographic growth characterizing the Middle East and Africa are going to bring with them an uglier humanity in the eyes of most Westerners.
The CPC has no qualms doing business with the Sudanese government, Mugabe in Zimbabwe, or Ahmadenijad in Iran. This debased form of Chinese entertainment, on par with bear-baiting that was finally outlawed throughout the British Empire in the 19th Century (thanks in large part to the efforts of Puritans who had been fighting the barbaric practice for 300 years), illustrates why there is virtually no public opposition to such business and governmental dealings in China.
Note too, that this is not merely a passtime for adults--young children are exposed to it and encouraged to enjoy themselves in the process.
Genetic engineering? Ninety-one percent of Chinese geneticists said they'd favor eugenic practices for the good of the nation. Selective reproduction? Policies on mandated abortion already exist. These are things the Chinese will embrace, with much less angst than will be felt in the West.
I favor a national consumption tax to replace the federal income tax system. It will levy the tax on foreign goods as though they were made domestically, irrespective of other taxes previously imposed prior to domestic entry. It will remove the disincentives that currently exist within the tax structure for manufacturers, reduce imports and internal consumption of cheap consumables, and increase exports.
Breaking the back of Chinese economic growth--fully 10% of China's entire GDP is comprised of exports to the US alone (compared to the one-fifth of one percent of US GDP that exports to China represent)--is a consequential side effect that wouldn't break my heart.