Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Beijing's Pets Are Beijing's Children

From China Daily:

Today, China’s capital is a city bustling with domesticated life, whatever shape or form it may take.

The “pet craze” in China’s major cities harkens back to the nineties, when pets became more popular among an increasingly affluent Chinese middle class. The once ubiquitous Pekingese dogs on city streets have been replaced by many exotic breeds, and species.

Among these pets on walks is Laifu, a big pot-bellied pig that lives in a high end district of Beijing.

[Li: His given name is “Laifu”, his nickname is “Handsome”, his courtesy name is “Smelly”.]

To his owner, he is a pampered and perfect child, and to him, his owner is his mother. For her child, his mother wants only the best. She hired a couple from Henan who had experience raising pigs to be Laifu’s nannies, who feed him as much as he wants to eat.

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The booming pet industry in China is attributed to many social changes including the everyday stress in an increasingly competitive urban environment, the one-child family planning policy, a growing aging population, and improved living standards.

Click to watch the video. It's a hoot!

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