This is an excerpt from an article published online by WildTrust
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has an ancient and multifaceted heritage that goes back thousands of years and is linked to Taoist and Buddhist philosophies.
Practices such as acupuncture, massage, dietary plans, and breathing and meditation regimes are integral to TCM, and it also comprises over 800 recognised herbal and other medicinal treatments. Based on the holistic notion that humans are intimately linked to their surroundings, these treatments are traditionally mixed from natural components − plant, mineral and animal products.
In many instances, the cures and remedies are made from animal body parts and require that the animal be killed. A number of the species used to make these medicines are now listed as threatened or endangered and, in the case of the most high-profile animals, they have become major international conservation issues.
Rhinos, tigers, sharks, musk deer, bears, buffaloes and seahorses are all well-known examples of animals that are killed for such purposes. It is in this context that TCM has acquired its somewhat tarnished reputation, particularly as the efficacy of many of its treatments is in doubt or has been disproved.
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