Peruvian officials seize eight million dried seahorses

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The cash was seized at the other end of the transaction, as well. Payment was to be made in 4 million of these:


Is there any folk remedy that’s not “super popular in China”?

I know many ethnic Chinese and none of them have espoused the virtures of things like striped rhino testicles, plaid jaguar penis, gray Zebra nipples, or blue whale horns.

This Chinese folk remedy thing has been so overdone it almost feels like a racist meme versus actual truth.


Please explain, more credibly than NatGeo, what the 8MM dried sea horses were doing enroute to China, if not for folk remedies.

Also, please take the whole quote when leaving things like “Evidently” off.


I was just pointing out the notion that it seems like every “weird” incident of poaching these days seems to be “headed to China” for folk remedy use and whether or not this is truly the case or just veiled racism. I’ve heard so many “LOL Chinese think *endangered animal* *body part* will cure *ailment*” things before it’s hard to separate the truth from reality.

To be completely clear I wasn’t accusing you of racism (or anything else for that matter) so I apologize if it came off this way.

ETA: Wikipedia to the rescue.


The Chinese were the first to discover that everything cures impotence.


Part of the problem is that the political reality is that enforcement of protections for endangered species is still very poor in China and other Asian countries (Thailand and Vietnam get called out by observers frequently). China’s been taking it a little more seriously recently, but it’s a slow process. The illegal ivory trade is still fairly substantial in China. So poachers send goods to China because that’s where there’s a market and lower risk.


For their sea cavalry regiment to use, to expand their control of the South China Sea?


I need a chaser to cheer me up.


No, just everything weird.

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The more endangered the species is, the bigger your boner. That’s just science.


How hard would it be to convince people that some other thing cures impotence? Preferably something we won’t miss very much. Perhaps the ground up bones self-centered, opportunistic assholes looking to make a quick buck no matter the consequences. Something along those lines.


Dude, you realize that there are like 1.38 BILLION Chinese, right?

So even if 1% of the believed in traditional and folk medicine, that is still 13.8 MILLION people.

But I bet the number is much, much higher. In a UK poll, a country one might considered educated and less likely to use “folk” remedies, 39% felt that homeopathy was an effective in treating illness. In another survey I saw 20% had tried it in the last year.

So let’s just assume that translates to China (though it has a MUCH larger rural population that has less access to modern medicine) and that is 276 MILLION people. That’s a pretty damn big market for sea horses, even if a majority of Chinese don’t use traditional/folk medicine.

Combine the traditional medicines with the traditional status symbols of ivory and rhino horns, and the explosion of people able to afford such items, yeah - China is the direct cause for a lot of endangered animals dying.

Nothing racist about that. They also have shit environmental laws. Hopefully they will adjust much faster than it took the US to do things like clean its air and protect species and go even further than they have.

ETA - according to WHO, “In China, traditional herbal preparations account for 30%-50% of the total medicinal consumption.”


*sigh* once again I wasn’t accusing anybody of racism – I was trying to point out that the “LOL, those Chinese use x for y” thing has become memefied to the point of where it’s hard to separate fact from truth. Nonetheless, today I learned a new and horrifying fact that some circles consider Seahorses a cure-all and the world is a worse place for it. Yay.

The only thing undiluted about homeopathy is the amount of bullshit inherent to the practice. No arguments there.


China is ground zero for environmental devastation.

…but is still massively better than the West when it comes to per-capita carbon production.

Glass houses, stones, etc.

Where else are these gonna get made?


Haven’t been to a Chinatown recently, much less China itself eh?

I can guarantee you while there are TONS of ethnic Chinese who don’t eat albino donkey dong, most of them can tell you stories of what their Moms used to feed them when sick etc…, or know some (usually old) person who wholeheartedly believes in some aspect of traditional medicine.

Relatedly, my Japanese grandfather took me to Japan as a teenager, and when we arrived told me that he knew a place where we could try whale. F-ing whale. Which ended up with a polite denial from my Mom, and a rather angry lecture from me. So yeah, probably older generation stuff. Or possibly a more rural area thing.


Or something you know, like sildenafil…

Something with tons of peer reviewed studies…

What is the point of using real seahorses for fake medicine? The end consumer is highly unlikely to have access to DNA analysis to verify the product, so why go to all the trouble of poaching seahorses (or rhinos or tigers or…) when you could sell plain old fish meal or bone meal or something? It’s not as if it’s going to be less effective than the genuine “medicine.”