Goldfish Keyring with Live Goldfish
June 11, 2008 | by Mui Mui

China doesn’t have the best record when it comes to animal rights and this latest “shocking” abuse further proves the point.

In waterfront Qingdao, vendors were selling heart shaped plastic keychains sealed with a live goldfish inside. Since the keychains are completely sealed there is very little air and no way to feed the fish inside.

“The fish would survive just a few hours, and would be lucky to make it from the manufacturers to the point of sale. We are shocked and appalled. It is a gimmick and shows no respect for the animals at all.”

One of the 2008 Olympics mascot HuanHuan was printed on the bag and although it is not an official Olympic item, it just goes to shows a complete lack of respect for all the fish who will die in these keychains.


Mui Mui
Mui Mui is another of our wonderful, yet weird, editors who also is a well established world traveler. Born in Asia, Mui Mui is our expert on whether the articles we publish remain appropriate and not offensive in nature. Mui Mui’s favorite place is Italy where she spent 4 years and eventually fell in love with.
  • Aww…poor little fish…

    • what to do? chinese ppl is in abundance, even in their own country. because of that, they don’t even have respect for human life, what more do you expect them to take a little gold fish life seriously??!!!

    • this is NOT right and should not be tolerated by the participants of the Beijing Olympics. In fact, what we as a united nation should do is actively protest against such inhumane, disgraceful and outrageous violation of animals rights!! Here is Australia, we take pride in community organisations such as the RSPCA and yet we are merely bystanders in this shameful event.

      It is the time to act!!!!!!

      The Australian Olympics Committe along with the IOC should ban China’s animal rights breach!!!

      • I saw similar things in Australia and some European countries as well. Just because they are not being reported does not mean such things don’t exist in these countries.

      • what have you to say about Australia’s contribution to the attack on sharks? i hear shark fin soup is tastless and nothing more than a stereotype; i would never however taste it, if i saw it i would have to become sick.

      • Animals *have* no rights. I’m sick of hearing “animal rights”, as that isn’t the correct term.

        The term you are all looking for is animal WELFARE. There is a huge difference. Rights means that no one would be allowed to touch the fish in any situation, because it would be something akin to sexual harrassment, or something just as ridiculous.

        Animal Rights = animals have the same rights as human beings
        Animal Welfare = human beings look after animals and make sure they are treated fairly and are not subjected to needless pain or starvation.

  • What will they think of next? Sheesh.

  • wooww…i wanna buy it

  • This practice may not be illegal in China but it’s undoubtedly morally offensive, especially for a society that boasts of being civilized for millennia. How the authorities react to the bad press should be interesting.

    • they are civilize by their own definition. what gives you the right to determine the civilized country for a millenia. clean your backyard first before you criticize a country regarding their status as being civilize.

    • i would rather see goldfish in keychain than being swallowed by varsity games in your area. that is cruelty

  • maybe it was meant to be a temporary storage unit and you open the bag when you get home… in your fish tank

    • I Thought You Bring it Home and cut it open and put it in your fish tank

      • That’s true – but it’s only feeding the company that sells it. They obviously don’t care about the fish, and as long as people purchase the product (regardless of intent) they will continue to make this product. The only way to stop it would be to boycott this.

  • I wonder why would people want to buy that anyway.

    The fish will probably die and then you'll have dead-fish-in-a-keychain that will like rot and smell?

    Dunno what the Chinese Chinese are thinking.

    • if i saw those in a store i would buy them all, just to shave the poor abused fish. i would open it strait when i get home and put them in my little pond.

  • That is cruel … p00r fishies

  • Maybe it’s another facet of China’s population control effort. How d’ya suppose they’ll deal with large barnyard animals?

  • I just shake my head and wonder if this is worse than the atrocities our own government is committing ah water-boarding


  • The Olympics were already retarded but this ………….

  • No kidding, that’s no way to treat a fish! The way to treat a fish is to slice it alive and eat it while it’s gills are still pumping with wasabi and rice. Yum!

  • inhumane, is what it is.

  • I mean Its Neat if a FAKE FISH WERE IN THERE

  • Urgh. Even though I agree that that is inhumane and cruel, maybe the real purpose is to carry the fish back and put it into your fishtank. Why else would you want a dead stinking fish in a keychain?


  • China should have never been chosen as a host for the Olympics. It is a barbaric, backward country — just look at all their interests in the Sudan and how they are furthering the genocide in Darfur…it is a shame on the world to let them host this event.

    • People like you are a prime example of the xenophobia and utter ignorance that plauge the West with your ethnocentric values and misunderstanding of foreigners. Yes, China does some pretty bad things, but you act as though the West is a paragon of justice and civilized living. Anyone who thinks that deserves to be dragged into the streets and shot. Or maybe waterboarded, the same heinous torture technique widely practiced by the AMERICAN government. ;)

      • Lets look at some things here

        In the Beijing open air markets:

        - Snakes are cut open, alive, the blood drained and drunk for the ‘vitality’ it offers, then the still dying snake is cut up for stewing.
        - Live chickens are regularly sold, put into paper bags which are stapled shut, then the paper bag is banged onto a counter hard. This does not neccesarily kill the chicken, which is usually mortally wounded. The bag is then handed over.
        - Turtles (soft shell, generally) are broken open alive to show how fresh and good the meat is. These live turtles are left out for show.

        Now, I know it’s another culture, but I saw the same things over and over again. It’s a common theme in China, especially with pets and food.

        In preparation for the Olympic games, for example, the government is killing all the stray (and some nonstray) cats and dogs in Beijing. Many of these are simply rounded up and dumped (alive but terribly injured, some into compactors at refuse dumps). It has been widely reported in the news.

        Don’t get me wrong. I eat meat, and quite happily so. However, I also believe in a humane and ethical treatment of animals. Especially those we consume.

        My $.02

        • Its funny how all us meat eaters think because we live in a western society, the meat we eat is humane? Have you seen what happens at piggerys and slaughterhouses?

          Have you seen the conditions our chickens live in while producing eggs? Beaks cut off and no room to even stand up?

          Piglets torn from their mothers at birth, genitals cut out with a blade then living in their own filth and other dead pigs until its finally time to die?

          I mean I eat meat too don’t get me wrong. But the shit that goes down over here is pretty sickening too.

        • where as in the west, you inject your livestock with hormones, slaughter them weeks after they are born, and throw away 20% of their edible content for the sake of efficient processing.

        • hey, Im an asian, NOT chinese, and I totally agree with kathy’s original post. just take a look at news from China everyday. no human rights, organ transplants from LIVE condemned criminals,poor food hygiene, weird epidemics.. China shouldnt have been chosen as a host for the Olympics at least 200 more years… seriously.

        • Well that’s too bad, isn’t it? They were chosen. Get over yourselves for being raised in the west and being taught hypocritical thoughts on morality. In a society where it’s all do or die, which would you honestly choose?

        • you know, u people who are saying that ANY one country doesnt deserve or shouldnt have been chosen to host a olympic games…YOU are the peoples who doesnt even deserve the olympics itself…the olympic games are about unity and peace regardless of cultural or racial differences….the games is for the world, for the people…there’s no such thing as deserve it or not

          and it would not be true to say that all other country, past or future host of the olympic games are so much ‘cleaner’ than china…just cos you dont know about it or havent heard about it doesnt mean they are SO much more ethical and humane~~ if you havent ever lived in country china you wouldnt understand the hardship they go through to live and it just so happens that most people in china are these poor country people where they live in an environment that they are not able to obtain necessary education and/or civilisation to grow out of that hardship…poor and marginalise people in other countries have just as sad stories…you think the things they do are bad and YES they are…and a lot of the times they are things that generally are unforgiveable/unacceptable….but maybe trying thinking about that they are driven to survive like that…and hopefully as the people becomes more and more able and with more hope, the government regime improves, they may be able to pick themselves up…and people are trying

          i just feel there’s alot of prejudice…and condemnation is just not gonna help, it would just drive that darkness deeper

    • not everything is bad in china, there is peace and serenity hidden within some of the older ways. same for japan, regardless of their assault on the ocean to creatures like squid and sharks and whales and tuna, etc.

  • bad people….

  • *gasp* can you imagine how much plastic they are going to waste when people don’t recycle that after the fish dies? goodness gracious, that’s irresponsible.

  • idiotdrivingwithcellphone

    The idea is that you take it home, on your keychain, throw it in the microwave & MMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmm! Poached Goldfish!

  • this is probably being misrepresented in order to stir up controversy. the chinese government may make bad choices (like a lot of governments) but chinese people are just human beings like you and i. they are not stupid — and they would not create a product that would not survive shipping to retailers.

    it looks like the pouch was heat sealed at the top with a little handheld sealer. this is probably from a pet shop and it’s probably a new gimmick for quick transport of your small fish purchases to your home aquarium. in that capacity, it might work quite well. the plastic looks sturdy and it will stay close to you until you get home. plus it’s kinda cute for about an hour.

    • I’m afraid not. It’s a toy, somewhat misguided. I wish I could say it was just to transport your cute fishy home…


  • The greek lover

    The photo is a fake.

  • Thinks its a good sales technique for the vendor! All the animal lovers buy them, and let them go! Anything other then that, I think that’s horrible.

  • These are not fake. I saw them in Beijing. And they are not sold by pet stores. They were sold by street vendors, the same kind that sell fake watches and other contraband Olympics merchandise.

  • I think that if it were openable,it would actually be interesting,can’t ALWAYS blame chinese,we in the west got bad stuff too.Scissors would be nice in that package to cut it open and set the fishy free.

  • I want a kitten keychain!

  • The fish dies in a few hours… what have you got in there a few months later?? Somebody call Pam Anderson.

  • What I want to know is: why does the image of “2008 Olympics mascot HuanHuan” remind me of “Hello Kitty Meets Heat Miser?”

  • looks kinda cute, but why dont they use a toy fish instead?

  • This is peanuts compared to the operation of the meat industry in the US. It’s just a goldfish. You can buy them in the USA for like, 25 cents to a dollar a piece.

    This is different, but there are far more cruel things happening out there.

    Stop getting your knickers in a twist.

  • Bill Murray of the Internet

    Goldfish deserve to die a horrible death. They’ve have it easy for way too long. Go China!!!!!!!

    • you are disgusting, what did goldfish ever do to deserve anything, they’re just animals, not parasites like us horrific human beings.

  • next itll be babies in a keychain… they have tons of those too

  • You xenophobic, ignorant, arrogant, oblivious people – how can you compare the Chinese government to the entire population? Surely, some laws are loose and many human and animals rights have been broken, but they’re catching up. The government is trying their best to win your approval – but have you even thought about the faults of your own country? Do you think that the vendors would also let them die maliciously? No – I’ve been to Beijing, they cut open the bags after 3 hours and dump them in a water bowl – they don’t want their own merchandise to perish. Basic Marketing and Logic. Also, how can you refer the whole country as barbaric and backwards when Western countries throw petty fits over some stupid controversy? Shouldn’t you – the bystander – take action? Oh, are you so impaired that you can’t even make a phone call to an animal’s rights watch group – or are you too busy?
    Slanderous fools, I hope you realize the irony in what you say.

  • Oh please. Get off your moral high horse, people. It’s just a stinkin’ stupid little fish. Furthermore, like Mr.B said, people should take a closer look at what is happening at home (USA) before judging others.

    This is what I cannot stand about Americans. We think of ourselves as better than everyone else when we are in fact just as bad. A nation of hypocrites. Though, I suppose this applies to every country as well…

    • just a stupid little fish? it’s a living thing. wow.. just because we dont understand fish and fish arent intelligent in the same way we are, doesnt mean that they are any less of a life form.
      and it certainly doesnt mean that it is okay to torture them, especially for money.

      this is just ridiculous.
      atleast the meat were torturing and killing is going in our stomachs for the most part. its still disgusting how those animals are treated before they die here, but..
      these goldfish keychains are NOT for food. they are for a little toy, to hang on your bag and get tossed around as you walk.

      BTW, goldfish get atleast a foot long when they have adequate space to grow… the species in the keychain atleast.

      this is disgusting.. it gives china an even worse rep with animals and inhumane treatment.

      • yea well if itz a toy i think they would have thot of a way to preserve it…rather than leaving them to die…ok so ur saying they are torturing the animal…but i dont think the whole chinese population are all so stupid that they would spend the money to just let/watch it die…AS IF~!? they are not all dumb~ if u can work out that they will eventually die…ur not the only genius around -.-” u take goldfish home like that in a bag when u buy them in an aquarium store anyway….ok yea in maybe a much bigger bag…but yea i dun think u can label this animal torture until you actually see them keeping the fish like that knowing that its dying/itz about to die/its going to die/etc…there’s just no way here to prove what they are doing with the keychains~~~

    • This is what I cannot stand about Americans. We think of ourselves as better than everyone else when we are in fact just as bad. A nation of hypocrites. Though, I suppose this applies to every country as well…

      I’m sure it does happen in every country to some degree, it is our human nature. But the USA does seem to be particularly good at it.

    • i dunno, i think america could easily be worse. we butt our nose into everything, we came over here to escape english oppression so we could oppress indians, the real americans. we are all foreigners! verry verry BAD foreigners! what is happening to these fish is terrible but there are much more worse things, like environmental pollution, catching tuna before they can even reproduce so their population dwindles to extinct, attacking sharks for fins and stupid hypocritical narrow-minded purposes, chemically forcing cod to grow faster just so they can slice them open for a fish egg treat, killing and starving all the whales and pretending its for their own good in the name of ‘science’. butchering the world for economical progress. this world is falling out of the sky, and i for one hope all the bad humans rot in their cesspools! are we trying to see how much horrific terrors god can forgive?

  • lol this I don’t know whats funnier, the keychains, or the people shedding tears over a goldfish.

  • There is no need to bash China as a nation for being “inhumane,” people. Of course, this act is wrong, but there are many practices elsewhere that may be far worse to animals. For example, there are people who put kittens in jars and have then grow up in them, where they cannot move. You may say, it’s different because this practice is illegal, whereas some “inhumane” act against animals aren’t illegal in China. Well, what about testing animals for cosmetics and other products? That sure is legal. And the companies who do it sure don’t give a damn what happens to animals. If anything, we must blame the individuals or the companies who are selling these fish.

    • Cruelty to animals is terrible, yes. But why aren’t you all crying for the many thousands of babies and children that are tortured, starved to death, allowed to die of curable diseases, and murdered by their own parents every day? Just because you don’t want to think about it? Sad.

  • the US aint perfect. but we’re sure as heck more comfy for than most other countries. Imagine being forced to have an abortion? That’s happening in China’s cities. It’s not just fish and other animals they’re slaughtering.

  • Great Idea !! I want a keychain like that !!

  • Haha…I going to any article that is negative about China and then counting how many crazed Chinese people try to make explanations/fight off everyone else.

  • Lets try one of them in a bag with a key chain – see what they feel like and how long they last – What a shame from one of the so called super powers. I hope people vote with their feet and do not buy any products made by the company. Well that is CHINA for you……

  • koikung (shrimp)

    อีบ้า ชอบทรมานสัตว์ ไม่กลัวบาปกรรมหรือไง you know!

  • dear god that’s wrong. wronger than wrongedy wrong wrong.

  • I saw a guy selling these up here in Harbin, I asked him and asked around and as I hear they live for a few months, something in the water or something, but no idea really.

  • um… sorry but they’re goldfish. they won’t be endangered anytime soon so that’s one lack of cause for worry… another is that caring owners, such as myself, buy these little buggers as feed for our bigger fish. so.. they’re kind of dead anyways.

    find something worthy as a cause for concern!


  • With all the fake stuff being sold in China, I find it incredible that anyone believes these are official government made Olympics memorabilia.
    In fact, I find it incredible that anyone believes these actually exist. Say what you want about China or Chinese people, but they obviously know what they’re doing, business-wise. The Chinese economy is going incredibly strong compared to that of any other country today, probably due to the fact that Chinese businesses aren’t stupid enough to manufacture keychains containing goldfish who might as well be dead. No one’s going to buy a keychain with a dead goldfish in it, so no Chinese business would ever make a keychain with a (soon to be) dead goldfish in it.

  • Your supposed to cut the bag open and let the fish in the fish tank!
    This is just like some messed up story in a celebrity gossip magazine.

  • Oh my god. Who do you pathetic backward Australians think you are. You are a nation of racist criminals – England wanted nothing to do with you. Your culture is the anal spawn of the US and England. Take a look in the mirror. Australia is a large exporter of Shark fin (country is too retarded to make money intellectually ie just farming, mining)

    I think most ppl who who have been unfortunate enough to have met an Australian – hate them. Look at Bali – and you wonder why they wanted to blow you up.

    Australians = gutless, ignorant, inbred, backward. ps learn to speak english properly! (harloow – ima dertay auwstrawwwliaaaaaaan”

  • What the heck how can they do that maby it is temperary but it's unfair i mean it's like putting me in a freak show through me around and put me home then pick me up and do it again. Fish need oxegen how can they get it in there? China i think this is unnesesary. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • sucks for the fishy :P

  • HAhahahahah slice the fich serve with wasabi and eat with lemon joos!!!! YUM :p

  • hijos de perras los que hacen ese negocio, por que no se meten un tubo en el culo y lo usan como llaveros.

  • what they gunna think of next dog as a book bag

  • cruel….. more than monster…….

  • anti chineesssss...

    mooooooonnnnnsssssstttttteeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……… from chinesss

  • if i got one of them keychains i would take it home and realise it in to my fish tank at least that way the poor thing would have a chance..

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