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What is it with Chicoms and killing people’s pets?

“Heartbreak as Hong Kong pet owners give up hamsters for Covid cull”, reports France-24:

Time was running out for Pudding.

The hamster, a new addition to the Hau family, was to be given up to Hong Kong authorities for culling after rodents in a pet shop tested positive for coronavirus — leaving Pudding’s 10-year-old owner wailing in grief.

“I don’t want to, I don’t want to,” the boy cried, his head buried in his hands as he crouched next to Pudding’s pink cage, according to a video shown to AFP by his father.

But the older Hau, who would only provide his last name, said he was worried about his elderly family members who live in the same household.

“I have no choice — the government made it sound so serious,” he told AFP, shortly before entering a government-run animal management centre to submit Pudding.

I am not certain, but I think the video of the little boy crying next to his hamster’s pink cage might be this one, which is being widely shared online.

Given that I am not a vegetarian, I suppose I cannot make too much of a fuss about animals being killed, but I had a hamster once of which I was fond. That little boy will remember his pet being taken away for the rest of his life. I could understand if there were any serious evidence that the cull would achieve anything for humans. None has been provided. Evidence is not really the point here: The People’s Republic of China has a Zero Covid policy. Nothing is to be allowed to stand in the way of progress towards this perfect state. In fact, now that the PRC has dropped the pretence of “One country, two systems” with regard to Hong Kong, it might even be desirable from China’s point of view that the people of Hong Kong should be made aware of what their new masters think of such Western-influenced bourgeois sentimentality. Let the children weep and know themselves powerless.

Of course Communist China has form on this. During the Cultural Revolution,

Even China’s feline population suffered as Red Guards tried to eliminate what they claimed was a symbol of “bourgeois decadence”. “Walking through the streets of the capital at the end of August [1966], people saw dead cats lying by the roadside with their front paws tied together,” writes Dikötter.

Nor was that the first of Mao’s grand animal-killing schemes. In the disastrous Four Pests campaign of 1958-62 he sought to kill all the sparrows in China.

Sparrows were suspected of consuming approximately four pounds of grain per sparrow per year. Sparrow nests were destroyed, eggs were broken, and chicks were killed. Millions of people organized into groups, and hit noisy pots and pans to prevent sparrows from resting in their nests, with the goal of causing them to drop dead from exhaustion.In addition to these tactics, citizens also simply shot the birds down from the sky. The campaign depleted the sparrow population, pushing it to near extinction.

The result was predictable: with the sparrows who ate the insects gone, the numbers of insects exploded. It was a contributing factor to the Great Chinese Famine. Warnings from ornithologists (or anyone else) that this might happen counted for little against a government that had mobilised the people to march towards a public health goal that could be defined in one sentence.

18 comments to What is it with Chicoms and killing people’s pets?

  • Pet hamsters live in, uh, cages. They don’t slip out to see illicit lovers after telling us not to, like Neil Ferguson. They don’t arrange beer and pizza with their mates. They don’t even attend socially-distanced garden parties. Letting a boy keep his hamster alive and fed in an ever-so-safe way is really not that hard. The hamster might miss his cuddles – and then again, the hamster might handle that. Either way, Pudding would still be alive.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that after two weeks of this un-slipping-out, un-beer-and-pizza’ed, un-garden-partied existence, Pudding would not be able to give his young master the ChiComCold anyway, unless said young master gave it to Pudding first – unless of course the cage were carelessly placed such that a rat were able to get near it. Wait a minute! – didn’t the Chinese Communist Party already decree death to all rats long ago under Chairman Mao. So no need to worry about that danger.

    Given how they treat their slaves, I guess it’s no surprise how the ChiComs treat their hamsters. But somehow, the total absence of thought that went into this latest decree manages to surprise even me.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Niall Kilmartin, Not that this is much of a defence of the Chicoms, but the first article says that it is only hamsters purchased after December 22nd 2021 that are to be put down. The idea is that they might have caught Covid while waiting to be sold.

  • Paul Marks

    The killing of pets today is madness – it will not stop the spread of the virus.

    As for Mao – he mixed Marxism with his own madness, even before he became a Marxist Mao wrote crazy poems about how no one mattered apart from himself and his own desires.

    Mao murdered tens of millions of people – not in some distant age, but within the lifetimes of many people now living, including the present dictator of the People’s Republic of China (who honours Mao – and is himself honoured by the wicked fools of the United Nations and the World Economic Forum)

    In the end all power, including military power, comes from industrial power – and the leading industrial power on Earth (it has been 2014) is the People’s Republic of China – a ruthless dictatorship which not only honours the memory of Mao, but shares his dream of world domination.

    The Western leaders, since Richard Nixon and Edward Heath, who have have aided the rise of the People’s Republic of China, may have doomed us all.

  • The [communists’] idea is that they might have caught Covid while waiting to be sold. (Natalie Solent (Essex) (January 22, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    They might indeed. I daresay Uyghurs waiting to have their organs harvested might catch it, and I daresay it would occur to the communist bureaucrat in charge of the operation to keep them alive, caged up, isolated, until they were well enough to harvest. No prizes for guessing why so obvious a thought did not occur in the hamsters’ case.

  • bobby b

    Excuse my off-topic skepticism, but how many Hong Kong residents named Hau name their hamsters “Pudding” or “Marshmallow”?

    Wikipedia tells me that about 4% of HK residents normally speak English. It strikes me as strange that these names were chosen. Almost as if a story writer were trying to tug at my heartstrings, dishonestly.

    (Transations, maybe? But writing conventions don’t normally involve translating names.)

    I remember helping some friends get their herd (beef) into a few large trucks, to be taken and destroyed because one cow at a feedlot they had all touched briefly many months before had tested positive for BSE. (Mad cow disease, for the non-ranchers.) I suppose if we had named them “Fluffy” and “Poopsie” instead of Q23HH2239, they might have been spared. At the end of this episode six – six! – cows in the US actually tested positive.

    Cynical rant of the day over. Sorry.

  • SteveD

    Zero Covid Policy? Are these people insane?

  • I know it’s not polite to say so these days, but could it be that just in general, some cultures lack empathy?

    ’ That little boy will remember his pet being taken away for the rest of his life. ’

    No, he’ll be brainwashed into believing in the infallibility of the almighty state, like his father.

  • Didn’t help ‘Geronimo’ much, did it?

  • JohnK

    Zero Covid Policy? Are these people insane?

    They are communists, so yes.

  • Didn’t help Geronimo much, did it? (JuliaM, January 23, 2022 at 9:12 am)

    No, but IIRC we did get to discover, courtesy of Geronimo’s autopsy, that, contrary to the assurances of the experts, no, that Alpaca did not have TB and did not have to be put down. This was little comfort to his owner (she had pointed out that the tests used to diagnose TB were unreliable, and that, thanks to the fight she put up, “If Geronimo did have TB he should have been dead by now”) but if errors are reported there is a very slight chance that even ‘experts’ will not repeat them.

    The Chinese state is better at ensuring that counter-narrative information is kept from the public – and from the bureaucrats.

  • Paul Marks

    What the People’s Republic of China Communist Party Dictatorship has done is marry privately owned manufacturing industry to a totalitarian state bent on World Domination.

    “But Paul that is not proper Marxism” – THEY decide what “proper Marxism” is, and they have lots of guns to enforce their decision.

    The marrying of privately owned manufacturing industry to a totalitarian state bent on world domination has been done before – yes National Socialist Germany (see Ludwig Von Mises “Omnipotent Government” and F.A. Hayek “The Road to Serfdom”). However, Germany was relatively SMALL compared to the British Empire, the Soviet Union and the United States.

    No matter how vicious Mr Hitler was, he could not overcome the physical fact that Germany was relatively small compared to the British Empire, the Soviet Union and the United States. But the People’s Republic of China is NOT small – it is vast, it has the highest population in the world. It does not have to rely on the myth of “Supermen” overcoming being hopelessly outnumbered (and, contrary to endless silly films, the Germans in World War II were nearly always greatly outnumbered – the silly films and television shows essentially reverse military history reality), because China has plenty of people – and lots and lots and lots of manufacturing industry.

    The situation is very grave – and the Credit Bubble West (which acts as if manufacturing industry is something that can be safely “outsourced” to China) may well have committed suicide.

    The solutions of President Trump may have been right or wrong – but at least he understood the problem. It is hard to think of any other Western leader who understands the gravity of the situation.

    The United Kingdom in the 1930s had very severe problems – but (contrary to the modern education system and media) it actually had a RELATIVELY strong economy and society – at least compared to today, where industry is weak and society has long been in terrible cultural decline.

    “But our living standards are vastly higher than the 1930s” – yes welcome to Credit Bubble world, but also say goodbye to it. Because it can not last for much longer.

    In 1939 Germany manufacturing industry was bigger than British manufacturing industry – but (contrary to Nazi propaganda) not by much, and British output per man was actually higher (much higher) than that of Germany.

    Compare Chinese manufacturing output with that of Britain today – Britain is nothing by comparison.

    “But Paul – America, America, America”.

    The People’s Republic of China overtook American industry in 2014 (the policies of a whole series of American Presidents helped lead to that) – their superiority is now vast.

  • Patrick Crozier

    I know I am going to regret this but why were their front paws tied together?

  • sonny wayz

    “Zero Covid policy”

    Zero does not exist in nature*, so if rigorous enough measurements are put in place, the controls can never go away.

    *As an example, even deep space doesn’t get to zero Kelvin. 2-3K, IIRC.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Bobby B, Here’s a list of Chinese food-related cat names, most of which appear to be dumplings, buns and other desserts, so apparently it is not unknown for Chinese-speaking people to name pets after sweet food. I assume the association of sweetness with endearments is common worldwide. So I see nothing unlikely about the idea that they would call hamsters the Chinese words for “pudding” or “marshmallow”. Perhaps they might even use the English terms. Though as you said only about 4% of HK residents have English as their native language, judging from my visit to Hong Kong a much higher percentage of them speak English to some degree.

    Patrick Crozier, I would have preferred not to think about that. One possible explanation is that the cats’ paws were tied together while they where still alive and they were thrown onto the street in that state so that the spectacle of them dying because unable to find food would serve as a warning that the Communist party meant what it said about eradicating them.

  • Jubadoobai


    Bobby b, it is quite likely because the Chinese like English names that sound interesting to them. Marshmallows and pudding are available in grocery stores in China. So whether or not the child speaks English at all or fluently is irrelevant. He may have read/heard the name, sounded it himself, and liked it. That’s enough for him. No heart strings faked.

  • Jubadoobai

    Bobby b, it is quite likely because the Chinese like English names that sound interesting to them. Marshmallows and pudding are available in grocery stores in China. So whether or not the child speaks English at all or fluently is irrelevant. He may have read/heard the name, sounded it himself, and liked it. That’s enough for him. No heart strings faked.

  • suburbanbanshee

    First off, a lot of Hong Kong Chinese give their kids weird English names, and some Chinese mainlanders have English nicknames. It is prestigious on the mainland to study English and be good at it.

    Also pudding is the subject of several popular global memes, and Japanese pudding and pudding cakes (“purin”) is also popular for memes. Pudding shows up in a lot of games as a food source, and Harley Quinn calling the Joker her Puddin’ is also a meme.

    I hope this helped.

  • suburbanbanshee

    Oh, and the kid in the video is bilingual. He says “I don’t want to” in English and adds more comments in some kind of Chinese (presumably Hong Konger).