From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2000:
Beginning on page one of this edition, ANIMAL PEOPLE compares Chinese attitudes about animals, as recently surveyed by professional pollsters, to the attitudes of Americans, voiced in similar surveys done in the United States.
Readers with our own penchant for tracking statistics may notice that in order to find surveys which asked Americans essentially the same questions, we had to use data gathered on 27 different occasions by 22 different polling agencies––and though some of the questions were asked just a few months ago, others were most recently asked 17 years ago.
There were some questions we could find no match for. Hired by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Animals Asia Foundation, and the Hong Kong SPCA, the Chinese pollsters asked not only about issues and practices indigenous to China, but also about forms of animal use and abuse which might be imported, to see what might take hold if allowed the opportunity. Bullfighting and circuses were of particular interest, because entrepreneurs have already brought both bullfights and western-style circuses to the Chinese mainland. Incredibly, though we combed more than six feet of files documenting U.S. activism over animal use in entertainment, we found no indication that anyone here has ever really tried to find out what Americans think about animal spectacles in any kind of detail. All the existing data allows us to say with certainty is that Americans mostly approve of well-managed zoos and overwhelmingly disapprove of cockfighting. Where Americans stand on bullfighting, circuses, and rodeo––which combines aspects of both––is presently measured only by television ratings and gate receipts.