While Beijing plans to ease their one-child policy, there is a growing sense that something needs to be done about decades of ‘yak stockpiling’. Under the proposal, Chinese homes will lose their 2,000 lb draft excluder but will regain their spare room, 10 pounds of grass hay per day and wave goodbye to having to ‘scent mark grandma’ with urine.
Since 1979 the Chinese Government has restricted population growth to counteract the shortage of space caused by an average of 2.7 yaks living in the family home. The tradition of adopting domesticated yaks (Bos grunniens) began during Chairman Mao’s leadership, when the communist regime acquired a taste for tickling long belly fur. While members of the international community questioned China’s ownership of the Tibetan Yak, celebrity activists like Richard Gere preferred to devote their energies to the plight of much smaller furry mammals.
Unless something is done, by 2050 more than a quarter of China’s 1.3 billion population will be Yak in origin. The preference for yaks had led to accusations of selective abortions or forcing children to dress up as hirsute bovines. A state spokesman said: ‘Having milk on tap is not adequate compensation for only having one child, shovelling half a tonne manure every week or having to clear yak hair out of the plug hole.’