Cartoon: “I sympathize with bears too…But bears sympathize with us even more”
Guizhentang (literally Guizhen House) is China’s largest producer of bear bile – by extracting bile from live bears with abdomens slit open. Since news that the Fujian-based company has filed for an initial public offering broke on Sina Weibo alongside gruesome pictures of cuddly bears suffering, clamors against the cruelty and the bile trade that Guizhentang encouraged have been gathering steam, with hundreds of thousands relaying the message and celebrities, including Yao Ming, standing out.
A cartoonist, who goes by the name “zeeko”, is of considerable acumen and talent to draw a parallel between bile bears and humans. His cartoon, titled “Guizhenia”, is about a country that may sound very familiar to most of us.
Bear bile is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a pricey cure for liver-related diseases and poor eyesight. However, scientists and medical practitioners have found the active substance in bear bile actually exists in some herbs, which is much cheaper, more accessible, and totally green and cruelty-free.
Text: Here, cages are not free… Food is not free… No medical treatment for have-nots. We have to provide for the old and the young at home… We are on the go every day, trying to eke out a living…Still, we can’t escape having our bellies slit open…For “bile”…And yet we’ll have to chant…”Long, long live, Guizhenia!! We feel no pain…We are happy…Thanks to Guizhenia…” I sympathize with the bile bears too…But in the country Guizhenia, the bears sympathize with us even more…
Selected comments from @zeeko’s post on Weibo (20,762 shares, 2,488 comments)
柯南是新一：A man who does not work hard in his youth will be grieved when he grows old and gets stuck in China…
Superstring-YaoZhifeng：A sad, albeit true story…
假装在纽约: We all are citizens of Guizhenia.
点滴的过往：What kind of bearish life is that!
Caius赵: To live is not easy.
小BIN: (I) wanted to say something, but don’t know what to say, so I can only quietly share it.
懒得起茗字：Thanks to the country, thanks to the party, for giving us such “beautiful” life.
我的人生就是个傲娇受啊_姗：Right! No one will ever care about the truth about us…
超级格林童话：Bears are happier than humans.
卢浪：The best cartoon of the year.
撒韬：China is a Guizhentang. We are the black bears squeezed for bile. And there are people who watch us hanging our head and eating, and conclude that we don’t feel any pain.
17美家网：Why do we call for protection of bears? Because we see ourselves in bears squeezed for bile! Actually, we are more miserable than bears! Just look at the cartoon, isn’t it?
玉树临疯啊：You must be talking about that USA?
Cotswolds小颖：I strongly oppose extraction of bear bile!!!