10 thoughts on “Wet Markets”

  1. I’ve been to China, including places off the tourist track, and I’ve seen the wet markets first hand. To call them unsanitary is an understatement on many levels. The inclusion of all kinds of exotic species in such conditions is especially bad – as was seen in the origins of SARS. China has long been the source of a massively disproportionate amount of the world’s zoonotic (animal origin) epidemics.

    The article impressed me by talking about the biggest cause; the “taste” issue is not it. It’s Jinbu; Chinese mysticism, “Chinese Traditional Medicine. This is the source of their fondness for things like rhino horns and bear claws for aphrodisiacs, etc, and thus China’s major role in the killing of all manner of endangered species. It’s a huge part of their culture, and not just among the elders. It’s why you see so many bizarre foods in very high end Chinese banquets – like the centipedes and similar I saw at an official reception banquet in Guangzhou.

    China has actually banned these markets before (though then, like now, with loopholes), and then done nothing to enforce the ban – even outside the loopholes. Expect similar lip service this time, if even that.

    The biggest disease here is political correctness. There’s nothing wrong with criticizing a cultural problem, be it China’s backwards and stupid Jimbu, or America’s absurd fondness for the handshake, or the French and Italian custom of the hug and kiss on the cheek. All of those are very dumb behavior, even in cold and flu season, let alone in a pandemic. Worrying about being “offensive” by criticizing such things, though, is the dumbest move of all.

    As for reengaging with China – I think it better if we simply do not. I think we have a chance to make a case for this, now that this pandemic has exposed what’s been so obvious all along; being dependent upon China’s regime is a dangerous folly, and trade with them is destructive and dangerous on many levels. They are fascist monsters bent on world domination – it’s long past time we realized this, and acted accordingly. Trade with them does not mellow them – it feeds the beast.

    1. I have never been to China but I have seen the unhygienic behaviors of Chinese people who are travelling in other countries. I’d rather not think of what they do at home.

      Yet their rulers are no rubes. They have been spreading Confucius Institutes to hundreds of universities around the world, overtly using other countries’ public education systems for their own ends. When will the democratic governments fight back with Aristotle Institutes?

      1. As someone who spends a lot of time in a National Park popular with Chinese bus tours, the ones where they trail behind a guide waving a flag, snapping selfies, it will be wonderful not having them around this summer.

        This swarm of locusts really only appeared about three years ago, and they’ve become hated by everyone who has to deal with them. Not for what they are, but for what they do. They’re rude and pushy, caring only about taking their selfies. Restrooms become filthy after only one or two busloads. They leave garbage anywhere and everywhere, and don’t respect the rules about protecting the areas the visit.

        I’ve been told by a friend, the GM of one of the concession operations in that park, that his company (and the other concessionaires) make no money from all those tours. They stay in Chinese owned hotels outside the park, ride on Chinese owned buses, buy meals from Chinese owned restaurants and even buy their souvenir trinkets from Chinese owned operations. Other than having driven up the price of real estate in gateway communities, they contribute little to nothing to the local economy.

        1. My wife and I went to Yellowstone last July, and were stunned by the number of Chinese visiting there. They didn’t seem to be particularly ill-behaved except for one thing: they were really intrigued with bears, and didn’t realize that bears are dangerous.

          As we were driving from Jackson Hole to the lodge in Yellowstone, my wife kept talking about how she was going to see her bear that night. I thought she would be disappointed. But when we got into our room in the lodge, a room on the third floor facing the woods, my wife looked out of the window and exclaimed “There’s my bear! I see my bear!” It took me a minute to get there, long enough to find that there was a back story. A Chinese man was taking pictures of something, and going deeper into the woods to get closer. A woman, probably his wife, was yelling at him in Chinese. Apparently that was enough to get him to come out of the woods.

          We watched for a minute or so, and then the biggest damn bear I’ve ever seen came ambling out of the woods where the man had been, taking his sweet time walking wherever he was going – which was wherever he wanted to go.

          Later that night there was a traffic jam on the road to the food courts, caused by another Chinese man who stopped his car in the middle of the road and went off into the woods – the same woods – because he saw a bear. The same bear, no doubt.

          For the rest of the trip, my wife’s standing joke was how the Yellowstone bears prefer Chinese food.

  2. I forget where I came across this, probably Instapundit.

    According to them, the process of decoupling has been going on for a couple of years. There are a lot of posts on the scams that Chinese suppliers run on their foreign customers. They’re position is that the Chinese factories figure that we aren’t coming back so they will do whatever they have to for one last score.

  3. We haven’t even found patient zero yet, and you control freaks want to ban everything that makes you squeamish. How many people need to starve to make you feel better? Are wet markets the source of disease? If so, then why problems with just one of thousands? Maybe a little education can help. Some research will definately help. Knee-jerk reactions with nothing to show the real cause of this thing will just make people go hungry, which is what led to this way of food preparation in the first place. How about we ban stupid people from the reigns of power?

    1. I’ve been to wet markets in China, and I joined in the calls to ban them after the SARS outbreak. (I also happen to give a damn about endangered species.) It’s a fact (ask anyone who works on zootonic virus origins) that mixing a plethora of species, some of which are major carriers of viruses (bats, for one), slaughtering them amongst the live animals, having raw carcases in close proximity, etc. etc, is the ideal genesis conditions for cross-species transfer – including to humans. It’s happened before, and probably has again. There’s a reason there was international pressure on China to shut this things down, and that’s before the latest pandemic China has caused.

      Starve? The wet markets are a cultural thing, based on ancient quackery, not done out of need. You can find cheaper meat with ease; the wet markets are a lot more akin economically to our gourmet farmer’s markets, not where they’d go for cheap eats. (hint, they have supermarkets, and pretty good ones at that, with cheaper food than the wet markets.).

      1. You still have not shown the origin of this thing. Just because wet markets are disgusting and smelly is not a good reason to close the food sources for a billion people. If the wet market in question was just a pass-through of an already infected animal, then closing them would accomplish nothing more than helping your sinuses. Why has only one of these stalls been blamed for coronavirus? How are the thousands of stalls in all of the wet markets in the whole country not having any issues, but this one caused a worlwide pandemic? Just close that one. Otherwise we just mask the problem and set ourselves up for going through this mess again in a few years.

Comments are closed.