There are many different ways that humans have abused animals for their entertainment. From putting them in circuses, to riding on their backs for entertainment, we have come up with countless ways to use animals for our amusement at their expense.

However, it has recently been revealed that a shocking trend in China has taken this to a new level, and it’s been going on for years. Keeping live animals in key chains as jewelry.


This is an issue that CNN reported on back in 2011, however, the trend has still been going strong ever since, and little has been done to stop it.

They found that small fish, turtles, and other amphibians are being sold in small, plastic pouches by street vendors while they are still alive.

One of these live animal-filled pouches costs only around $1.50 and provides the animal with just barely enough room to squirm around.

According to the vendors selling these “trinkets”, the pouches are filled with a clear or colored oxygenated water that provides the animals with nutrients.

However, the animals can only survive in a few days in the pouch and will die if the customer does not release it early enough, something that they are not obligated to do.


These live animal pouches have caused outrage among animal activists in Asia and worldwide. Many of them have pointed towards the lack of animal protection laws in China to be the reason this is so prevalent.

This use of animals as jewelry is not unique to China, however. Encrusting live beetles in precious jewels and wearing them as broaches is a common practice in Mexico.

Wearers then attach these live beetles to their clothing using either chains or clothespins.

For more information on stories about animal abuse and welfare, click here.


CNN. (2011, April 15). Live animals sold as key rings in China. Retrieved from

Meikle, J. (2010, January 22). Bling beetle brooch bugs US customs. Retrieved from

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