The plight of animals in China has attracted intense interest in recent times. Speculation about the origins of COVID-19 has sparked curiosity about how animals are treated, traded and consumed in China today.
In Animal Welfare in China, Peter Li explores the key animal welfare challenges facing China now, including animal agriculture, bear farming, and the trade and consumption of exotic wildlife, dog meat, and other controversial products. He considers how Chinese policymakers have approached these issues and speaks with activists from China’s growing animal rights movement.
Li also offers an overview of the history of animal welfare in China, from ancient times through the enormous changes of the 20th and 21st centuries. Some practices that are today described as “traditional”, he argues, are in fact quite recent developments, reflecting the contemporary pursuit of economic growth rather than long-standing cultural traditions.
Based on years of fieldwork and analysis, Animal Welfare in China makes a compelling case for a more nuanced and evidence-based approach to these complex issues.
Praise for Animal Welfare in China
‘Peter Li has authored a thorough and thoughtful review of the historical and cultural factors that have shaped China’s attitudes toward nonhuman animals. He further demonstrates how modern economic pressures and government policies have dramatically shifted that country’s priorities to the detriment of wildlife, farmed animals, and many others used for human means. This book is a vital read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the causes and potential solutions to “the welfare challenges currently affecting the world’s largest population of nonhuman animals”.’
– Chris Green, Executive Director, Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program
Dr. Li received his bachelor of arts degrees in English and foreign service in China. He graduated from Syracuse University with a Master's degree in International Relations. In 2000, he completed his doctoral study at Northern Arizona University with a Ph.D. degree in Comparative Politics. Since 2002, Dr. Li has been teaching at the University of Houston-Downtown. His areas of specialty include China's domestic and foreign policies, China's environmental & wildlife policy, political and social transformation under conditions of economic modernization. He also consults international animal welfare organizations.
Introduction: Animals in contemporary China
1: Animal cruelty in contemporary China: is culture to blame?
2: Human-animal relations in Chinese history
3: China's "civil war" over dogs
4: Wildlife as a resource: the controversy of bear farming
5: Animal agriculture
6: Protection or utilisation: revising the Wildlife Protection Law
7: China's animal protection NGOs
“[The book is] recommended reading for anyone interested in anthrozoology in the context of Chinese society and Chinese history more broadly, and could be considered essential background reading for operational advocates, academic researchers, and international agriculture policy-makers working in the region.”
Michelle Sinclair Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
'It is an absorbing, well referenced and easy-to-read book which gives a thorough account of animal welfare in China and will be a ‘must have’ textbook for scholars, animal protectionists and those interested in social welfare.'
Pei Su Wellbeing International
'Peter is the go-to man for explaining what has happened and is currently happening in the arena of animal welfare in this highly diverse country ... Animal Welfare in China is a comprehensive review of the history of the ways in which nonhuman animals have been treated through the ages and what is currently happening in this highly diverse country. It also debunks misleading simplistic myths about what is happening in China. There are very few people who could write such a unique, timely, authoritative, well-referenced – the bibliography is an encyclopedic goldmine of information – and on-the-ground perspective of a wide range of topics including animal agriculture, bear farming, zoos, and the trade and consumption of exotic wildlife, dog meat, and other products.'
Marc Bekoff Psychology Today
Size: 210 × 148 × 15 mm
Publication: 01 Mar 2021
Series: Animal Publics