Santa’s missing reindeer? Beijing club uses live animal for Christmas ‘fun’

A reader sent the following comment about Salsa Caribe, a club on Sanlitun South in Beijing. The comment appeared first on The Beijinger – see this site for a full discussion of the issue. It’s not exactly the most heartwarming Christmas tale, is it?

“Hi, I wanted to pass on something that I noticed this evening at SLT [Sanlitun] that made me incredibly sad and angry. I originally posted this reaction to [a thread called Salsa Caribe Club abuses animals] at the, but since this a bar that you have profiled before, I’d like to bring it to your attention as well. While I am not the most eloquent writer, this is the post from TBJ [The Beijinger]:

“So tonight I was dancing for a bit in Heat club to escape the mob over in Nanjie, and everything was fine, albeit quiet. But, when I went out to the restroom, which shares a hallway/corridor with “Salsa Caribe” I came across a scene that made me red with anger. I guess Salsa was throwing some sort of Christmas Party tonight, and as a decoration they had hired a “reindeer” to stand guard inside the hall, right before the bouncer taking covers. The “reindeer” was an actual deer (albeit no horns) standing on a piece of tarp. Its eyes were bloodshot, and it was visibly scared of the drunk customers coming and leaving, many of whom were compelled to approach the deer, pet it, take pictures of it (with a flash, that the deer tried to avoid by jamming his head into the wall corner), RIDING the deer, simulating sex acts on the deer, making obscene postures with the deer for photographs, customers trying to force the deer’s head out from the corner in order to “pose” for a picture… and I could go on.

“I do not consider myself an animal rights crusader, but this scene made me extremely sad and angry. I realize that the deer probably hadn’t had a good life up until this point, and the owner of the deer probably made a living out of renting the deer out… but Salsa club should have had better judgment than to trap a wild animal indoors, and force it to interact with drunken bar-goers all night.

“This is a case of a Chinese club taking the Xmas exploitation one step too far. It’s one thing to co-opt another culture’s holiday to bring in the clients and the money (I have no problem with this), it’s another thing completely to subject a wild animal to a night of terror inside a music club. There is no way in hell that any American business would consider herding a deer into a concrete mezzanine to be the unsupervised plaything of drunken revelers.

“I had never been to SALSA CARIBE before, but I am certain that I will never in the future. I know it’s ridiculuous to propose a boycott on a message board… but if you just think for a moment about the ethics of the club that you are frequenting, then I am sure that you will make a b-line away from Salsa Caribe.

One thought on “Santa’s missing reindeer? Beijing club uses live animal for Christmas ‘fun’”

  1. That is so disturbing. There has to be a way to educate people about treating animals with respect. I lived in Beijing in the early 90′s…I was hoping that the locals had learned a few things by now. Back then, they were confiscating and dumping “illegal” dogs – alive in bags – into rivers. For all their amazing economic growth they are still mental dwarfs when it comes to animal welfare. Thanks for posting. I for one will be sure to let our fellow China consultants know about this sick place -definitely to be avoided.

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