Animal welfare is Chinese tradition, says prof

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2010:


CHENGDU–Legislating on behalf of animals is not a break with
Chinese culture and tradition, but rather a rediscovery of ancient
Chinese values, Central Institute of Socialism professor Mang Ping
recently told an ActAsia forum on promoting animal welfare
“In Chinese history there is a long tradition of protecting
animals, but we forget about the past. We have the same sympathy
and mercy as the West towards animals,” Mang Ping declared,
according to notes taken by Animals Asia Foundation founder Jill

“The Tang Dynasty,” for example, “was a glorious period of
civilisation,” Mang Ping continued. “During the 300-year rule of
the Tangs, demonstrating the mercy of Buddhism and Taoism,
slaughter was suspended each year for one third of the 365 days.
People were not allowed to slaughter animals, nor to buy fish in the
“Our culture is embedded in benevolence, which is the core
of Buddhism,” Mang Ping emphasized. “If we lose benevolence, we
lose Chinese culture. In the Qing dynasty we introduced Buddhism and
Taoism into Confucianism. Buddhism introduced the mercy of not
killing into Confucianism.
“Ancient manuscripts show that animal protection was the
first activity to be regulated by the ancient dynasties,” Mang Ping
said. “People under the Qing dynasty were not allowed to kill cubs,
or pregnant animals, or working animals. Today you can see people
eating young animals,” Mang Ping acknowledged, “and this is a shame
on the Chinese people.”

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