Target: President of China Xi Jinping
Goal: Stop the killing and consumption of turtles for traditional medicines
In China, turtles are considered a symbol of wealth, fertility, and a happy household. However, because of the country’s powerful economy and the belief that eating turtles will provide medical benefits, some turtle species have become endangered and vulnerable. To keep these animals on our planet, China needs to stop killing and consuming turtles, and instead focus its efforts on conservation.
Turtles have been consumed by the Chinese people for thousands of years for their believed medical benefits. Ailments such as coughs, prolapse of the rectum, cancer, and deafness are believed to be cured by eating the parts of a turtle, but scientific evidence has not been able to back these claims. The Chinese people also believe that turtles sustain a woman’s beauty and increase sexual function in men, but again, these claims are not backed by scientific evidence. All parts of the turtle, including its head, eyes, bones, shell, and eggs are used in traditional medicines, whether it is eaten on its own or fermented in a wine bottle. And because of the fact that turtles are hardy creatures and can survive well in transport, they are highly sought after by suppliers of traditional medicine.
The most common turtle species eaten by the Chinese people include the yellow pond turtle, the Chinese three-striped box turtle, the yellow-margined box turtle, the Chinese big-headed turtle, Reeve’s turtle, the red-eared slider, and the Chinese soft shell turtle. The Chinese three-striped, the yellow-margined box, and the Chinese big-headed turtle are either already extinct or are extremely vulnerable in the wild. Their numbers have decreased significantly over the years because of the demand of traditional medicines. Urge the leader of China to stop the killing and consumption of turtles, otherwise these serene creatures will no longer be seen on the planet.
Dear President Xi Jinping,
As you may well know, several species of turtles in your country are either extinct or critically endangered. This deeply concerns me, as turtles are serene creatures well regarded in your country. Your people associate them with fertility, wealth, and happiness, and yet they are also killing them off in record numbers. This has led to some species becoming endangered.
I urge you to stop the killing and consumption of turtles, especially those killed for medical benefits. Science has not proved that eating turtles will cure ailments such as deafness or cancer, therefore these animals shouldn’t be killed in droves. For the species to survive, conservation must be pursued.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Greg Hume via Wikimedia Commons