Outrage Over Vlogger’s Alligator Preparation Video on Douyin
Chinese food vlogger Chu Niang Xiao He, or “Chef Xiao He”, has found herself under fire after posting a video in which she demonstrated how to butcher a whole, 90kg alligator.
In the video, the vlogger—who was daintily attired in a pink dress and looking ready for a date night—shocked viewers by scrubbing the giant reptile on the floor of her bathroom, then gutting, skinning and deboning it.
She then cooked the animal into a range of dishes, such as braised alligator claw and soup.
The Chongqing resident, who is followed by more than 3.5 million people on Douyin, is (in)famous for her preparations of exotic food.
Hulking seafood that look more like monsters, heads of mammals and ostriches are nothing new to her and her viewers; in fact, they are as orthodox as a cup of Kopi and some kaya toast.
However, even her most dedicated fans were left stunned by the graphic slaughtering of the alligator—with several bringing up the issue of animal cruelty.
Chef Xiao He Compared her Act to Owning a Luxury Bag
Despite the backlash, she is doubling down on her actions.
The vlogger attempted to defend herself by comparing butchering the alligator to owning a luxury bag.
“These alligators are raised specially for the leather and handbag companies,” she responded. “Would you say no to a Hermès alligator bag? We should be more rational.”
Despite her endeavour to call out what she thought was hypocrisy, she only fueled the netizens’ anger.
The Hermès bag in name is the Birkin bag, a jaw-droppingly expensive bag made from the underbelly of a crocodile. It has long infuriated animal activists like the PETA, which called the crocodile skin industry a “bloody and cruel business”.
Her Actions Could be Illegal
Additionally, according to the Wildlife Protection Law in China – it is illegal to hunt, trade, and transport wild animals. China’s wildlife protection law also states that cooking alligator meat is illegal without applying for permits from authorities.
Furthermore, though the species of alligator in her video is unknown, Chinese alligators are protected under a strict Class I in China – being one of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s critically endangered species.
In 2016, headlines were made when six Chinese villagers were arrested for killing and poaching a Chinese alligator that escaped from captivity in a farm.
A number of other China residents, including influencers, were also arrested or fined for consuming protected animals.