Subject: Beijing
From: Lydia Ayers (
Date: Mon Aug 16 1999 - 04:19:46 EDT

I'm also a vegetarian (30 years) and one of the organizers of the ICMC in

Beijing, and I would like to point out a few things in response to this post.

1. The ICMC is a musical, not a political event. It has taken Josef Fung,

the main conference organizer, more than a year of hard work and sacrifice,
to arrange this "first" computer music conference in China. Certainly,
he deserves the support and appreciation of our computer music community.

2. Beijing has the best Chinese vegetarian restaurant I have ever found
anywhere in the world. It is worth visiting Beijing just to eat there.
The mock Beijing duck is unbelievable.

3. The Beijing Zoo is not interested in the Conference, since we are not
holding any activities (concerts, paper sessions or entertainment trips)
at the Zoo. They will not notice the number of people who attend the
conference. Write a letter in Chinese if you want to get their attention.

4. I don't believe that the zoo owners sacrifice live cows to the lions
because "it is entertaining to watch." As milk and beef are fairly rare
in China (beef is much more commonly used in Chinese-American food than it
is in China, it's too expensive to raise cows in such an over-populated
country), I would imagine that the zoo owners are giving the lions cows
(instead of, say, pigs) to make their lives in captivity a little more
bearable. Also considering that many people in China bring home live

animals and kill them just before cooking them because they like FRESH
meat, it may be a cultural thing that they think it better to give the
lions food similar to what they would get in the wild. I don't want to
see this, and I will personally not go to this zoo. But boycotting the
city of Beijing over it seems to be directing attention to the wrong
place. Should we boycott all of Africa because wild lions still kill
live animals to eat? How about sharks, owls, eagles and other predators

(many endangered)? Even my tame, overfed house cats will catch and

kill anything they can if I don't rescue it first -- and when I do rescue
it they sulk about it.

5. What about factory farms in North America? Do North American animals

suffer less than the animals in China (many chickens are running around

free on Chinese family farms instead of standing on wire cages that hurt

their feet). And North American cows certainly don't skip up to the

butcher to be made into hamburgers either. Should we boycott North America?

6. China is a very interesting country, and it is changing very fast.
The best way to find out how it is in China is to visit and see for yourself.
I hope to see a lot of you at the conference.


Lydia Ayers

Begin forwarded message:

Date: Sun, 15 Aug 1999 03:51:16 -0400
From: CNutmanMPS <>
Subject: Beijing
To: "" <>
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I notice that several composers intend to travel to Beijing for certain
musical events.

In my opinion, we musicians from the west should boycott China because of
the dreadful

treatment of cows in Beijing zoo. LIVE COWS ARE FED TO THE LIONS AT

The zoo owners think it is entertaining to watch.

If you travel to Beijing you are spending money in a city that promotes
such horror.

Please do not go.

Carey Nutman ( composer )

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