An elementary school pupil's essay on the killing of stray cats has prompted a group of writers and photographers in the Tokyo area to solicit money via crowd-funding to make a picture book based on it.

The essay, titled "¥78 no Inochi" ("A Life Worth ¥78"), was written by Chika Taniyama in 2012 after the student, then in sixth grade, learned at the time that more than 200,000 animals were being killed annually, and that the cost of putting one down was ¥78.

"It was gut-wrenching to know that a life costs only ¥78," the 14-year-old junior high school student in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, wrote in the essay, which won top prize in an essay contest in her city.