Bear Bile: A Life and Death Sentence

Posted on by Ashley Fruno

BearImagine spending your entire life in a prison—a prison where your cell is so small and cramped that you can’t lift your head, turn around, or even stand up. Add starvation, isolation, torturous mutilations, and the gruesome butchery of having your body cut open for someone to take what is inside you. Welcome to the life of an Asian black bear raised for bile. Welcome to hell.

Bile is a fluid created by the liver of most animals—including humans—to aid in digestion. Bile from Asian black bears or moon bears is used in traditional Chinese medicine all over Asia for its supposed medicinal properties in treating common ailments such as fever and hemorrhoids—all of which can easily be cured with humane, modern, and effective methods. In recent years, the industry has been criticized harshly both in and outside of China—and for good reason.

On bile farms, bears are confined to tiny cages for their entire lives—up to 30 years. During those years, most bears have their bile extracted twice a day through a tube implanted in their abdomen. Because of the pain of this barbaric procedure, bears’ torsos are often fitted with a metal encasing so that they cannot rip out the tube jammed inside their gall bladders. Another method of extraction is cutting a permanent hole in a bear’s stomach so that the bile can drip out of the gall bladder. These holes are left constantly open, leading to infection and disease.

Bears used for bile milking spend decades suffering from cruel mental stress along with physical traumas. They often chew on the bars of their cages, breaking and chipping their teeth. They also suffer from malnutrition, infections, dehydration, severe muscle atrophy, and unimaginable mental anguish, leaving them to beat their heads against their cages in frustration and despair.

Despite a global outcry, thousands of illegal and legal farms are continuing to torture these innocent bears—in China and all over Asia. Join Yao Ming, Jackie Chan, and countless others around the world by refusing to use bear bile or any products made from it. Don’t just stop there, though. Share this article, encourage family, talk to friends, and remember: Never be silent.

Posted by Edwina Baier