TCM = Torture.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Aug 12, 2011
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Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners, please Boycott Bear Bile. And anything from Tigers, nearly extinct. What else is inhumane and comes from endangered species?

Inhumane doesn’t even come close to describing this.

Worst story ever. Excerpt:

The Chinese media has reported on an extraordinary account of a mother bear saving her cub from a life of torture by strangling it and then killing itself.

The bears were kept in a farm located in a remote area in the North-West of China. The bears on the farm had their gall bladders milked daily for ‘bear bile,’ which is used as a remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

It was reported that the bears are kept in tiny cages known as ‘crush cages’, as the bears have no room to manoeuvre and are literally crushed.

The bile is harvested by making a permanent hole or fistula in the bears’ abdomen and gall bladder.

As the hole is never closed, the animals are suspect to various infections and diseases including tumours, cancers and death from peritonitis.

The bears are fitted with an iron vest, as they often try to kill themselves by hitting their stomach as they are unable to bear the pain…

Should we protect basic animal rights in the US and the world over?

I wish this weren’t real:

Teddy Bear: Don’t be Cruel:


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


12 Responses to “TCM = Torture.”

  1. elephantjournal says:

    Via twitter: @elephantjournal Seeing the story earlier today I found this charity that helps to set Bile Bears free

  2. Lynno, acupuncturist says:

    Don't forget that this is illegal in North America and Europe. Please don't put all TCM in one lump as bad. There are Vegetarian alternatives

  3. Eblue says:

    Before this page loaded I tried to guess what TCM stood for–Turner Classic Movied?

    Horrifying! Glad I avoid bear bile.

  4. Marzipan says:

    Suggest you contact C2C in SF CA for advice on this matter, as they have tackled bigger opponents w/in industrialized abuse.
    Jacques Cousteau Society, UN, French, British, US Consults in China.

    Hideous. Preventable. Chinese Middle Class consumer can do better.

  5. Marzipan says:

    Do you need help w/ this? Please advise.

  6. Jack says:

    As Lynno echoed above, it is not right to say TCM=Torture. I am also a TCM physician and I wathced this video sent to me by a friend yesterday. As I explained to my friend, TCM practitioners in the US and universities for TCM are well aware of animal right issues and bear bile is never used. As far as I know, it is an Asian usage, and perhaps even an underground Asian usage. Years ago I read about the horrible treatment of bears to extract bile, and that article did not mention the norm in the US to not use these and other animal substances. So, it is not healing or entirely accurate or helpful, really, to title this article as it is. It spreads poor propaganda about a very valuable profession in the USA. Most all TCM practitioners are ethical, conscious, sustainable healers. This title gives all of them a bad name, which is not fair.

    Moreover, treating bears like this is not part of TCM…it is not traditional to do this. It is a modern perversion. So, the title, in addition to being unfair, is also inaccurate. Let's try to be more mindful please….Jack

  7. Jack says:

    Thanks, Lynno….I agree. Please see my comment below…Jack

  8. Jack says:

    Addendum: Thank you for posting this horror. WE ALL NEED TO ACT:


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