Vegan's Chronicles + [vegan politics]

Save the Moon Bears!

I recently came across this article about the suffering of the Korean Moon Bears (aka 'Asian Black Bears'). I've known about this issue for a while, so the article served as a reminder for me to talk about it on my blog.

Moon bears are beautiful creatures that are unfortunately nearing extinction. Apparently, there are only about 19 wild bears living in Jirisan National Park- a number so small that you can count them on your fingers and toes. On the other hand, according to www.moonbears.org, there are about 1,6oo of them caged in 110 bear farms around Korea, where they are tortured and exploited for their bile juices, and eventually slaughtered for their gall bladders, meat, hands and feet, all in the name of Oriental Medicine. The information and images online are downright infuriating. These bears are kept in cages sometimes hardly bigger than their own body size, fed poor diets, and are not allowed to hibernate in the winter, which leads to unnatural, frustrated behavior.

No, that is not a bear fanny-pack. (image source: moonbears.org)

When I come across articles such as this one about the suffering of Moon Bears, my heart just breaks. And what's particularly depressing is that even though most Koreans (87%) disapprove of this practice and cruelty, it seems that very little is being done to stop this trade. How can we allow this to happen? Let's do what we can to help these moon bears of Korea. For starters, head over to moonbears.org, where they have plenty of information, photos, and news updates. The Animals Asia Foundation and the Humane Society also have good information about bear exploitation. And go sign the online petition.

Here's a happy rescued moon bear in a sanctuary:

image source