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The Beat of Gaia's Heart

Almost truth in advertising

What's the latest trend in China? Dog dying. Er, um, it's not spelled that way in the media attention it's getting -- they spell it d-y-e-i-n-g, as in dyeing the dogs' hair so that they look like tigers, or zebras, or pandas, or Bozo the Clown. Really. Apparently they don't think their dogs are cute enough just as they are.

So what's the problem, you may ask. People are always looking for the latest trendy fad. But the hitch is that these expensive dye jobs -- hundreds of dollars -- may cost the dogs' lives as well. Still desperate to transform your pooch into a panda?

Not only is the process time-consuming -- these expensive and often intricate dye jobs take five hours, which puts a LOT of stress on the dogs involved -- but the dyes can kill them, or give them cancer. Chinese vets say that the dyes are both toxic and carcinogenic. Since dogs' skins are thinner than human skin, there's no way there won't be a bad outcome for the dogs from this. Cruel? Certainly. Stupid? Definitely. Sad? Absolutely.

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