Sep 04 2007

Midnight Shopping And Animal Cruelty

Category: Kazakhstan,PersonalChrisM @ 2:09 am

OK, so it was not exactly midnight when we decided to finally stock up on some bare essentials, but we hoped that leaving late into the evening would mean it would take less than the two or so hours it took last time we visited this shop. After ploughing through the traffic in a taxi (better, but still pretty bad), we got to Astykjan. This is a really big supermarket, especially compared to the other shops in Astana. Whereas Gros or Ramstore may have a metre or so of shelving for popular items, Astykjan has an entire aisle full of products, normally at lower prices. This is starting to sound like a sponsored post, so I’ll move on, but suffice to say the extra travel time is worth it.

Anyway, when we arrived, we checked out the little mini-shops they had inside, and popped into the pet supply store to see if they had some items we needed for the kittens. When we walked in, the first thing that got our attention was a couple of guinea pigs§ kept in a barren cage that was too small for one animal, let alone two. One was sitting still, the other was trying to strip off some food from a stick. My eyes then glanced up, and I was even more disturbed. In an empty aquarium case, there were 14 turtles§2 in a space that could maybe have held 2 more… with no movement possible. Then to top it all of, there were 15 birds in a cage maybe big enough for one or two.

If this had been Britain, I’d have phoned the authorities then and there, and hopefully the shop would have at least been fined and banned from selling animals. As it is, I do not think anything would happen at all, beyond perhaps the animals being hidden behind a counter. The sad thing is, the shop assistant probably does not see anything wrong with the conditions the animals were being held in. I thought about doing something on the spur of the moment, and buying them all, but there is no way we could care for them all at the flat, the kittens would have thought it was just dinner time, and the shop would have just bought more stock. I could have made a scene in the shop, and felt righteous, but that would have just been some crazy foreigner attempting to impose his country’s methods on their own shops, in the eyes of the people in the shop. So what did I do in the end? Nothing, snapped some shots on my mobile, and walked out a little dazed, and feeling pretty useless.

Cramped Cage 1 Cramped Cage 2 Cramped Cage 3

§ hmmm, or hamsters, or some sort of cute small furry animals. I’m not too good at telling the difference.

§2 ermmm, or terrapins, or whatever animals have shells and don’t live in the water.

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