Not that we were begging for yet another past-their-prime pop star to sing for us, but former Wings frontman Paul McCartney has made it very clear: He will not be playing any gigs in Shanghai — or anywhere else in China — any time soon. Why? Because people abuse animals in China, and government officials don’t seem to care.
McCartney announced his China boycott after seeing footage of dogs and cats being tortured and killed for their hides at a fur farm in Guangzhou. “This is barbaric. Horrific. It’s like something out of the dark ages. And they seem to get a kick out it,” McCartney told the BBC. “They’re just sick, sick people. I wouldn’t even dream of going over there to play, in the same way I wouldn’t go to a country that supported apartheid. This is just disgusting. It’s just against every rule of humanity. I couldn’t go there.”
McCartney and wife Heather wondered how such things could go on in a country that will play host to the Olympics, and called for a boycott of all goods made in China. “If they want to consider themselves a civilized nation,” McCartney said, “they’re going to have to stop this.” A spokesman for the Chinese Ambassador in London noted that cats and dogs were not endangered and that most people who buy the fur products come from Europe and the United States, so those countries should bear the brunt of the blame. (We wonder what products that Americans and Europeans buy are made from cat and dog fur. Yuck. Anyone know?)
Shanghaiist is a dog lover, and the practices described in the BBC story (and this one, which is not blocked in China) truly sound barbaric and horrific. They should be stopped. Now. And government officials should not pass the buck. But China is not the only country where animals are tortured and killed, and to call the entire nation — or race — uncivilized because of the actions of some wackos who may or may not know any better is just plain stupid. And since it took an animal rights issue to make McCartney boycott all things China, are we to assume that he had no problem with anything China had done up until now? Like, say, how China treats its humans? (That last link is blocked in China.)
To sum up. Torturing animals = bad. Beatles = good. McCartney’s stance = misguided. And one important lesson learned: Michael Bolton is obviously in favor of butchering puppies and kittens.