This one really blew me away:
Good job, humans!
Clownfish are going extinct, because Nemo (of ‘Finding Nemo’ fame) was a Clownfish, and now the tropical pet industry is scrambling to supply these fish to the millions of snotty little kids who nagged their parents mercilessly until they finally caved in and agreed to buy one. B.t.w. Clownfish really like sea anemones so make sure that little Nemo has one of those in his six-inch fishbowl, too, Mom.
It’s a good thing that monster don’t exist, otherwise Monsters Inc. would have spelled trouble in for the unsuspecting residents of Monstropolis.
Like some sort of overgrown manchild, who knows not his own strength, and utterly destroys everything he comes in contact with, we have managed, once again, to severely negatively impact the natural world around us. And for what? So we can have a small slice of a coral reef right there in our living rooms … is it not enough to know that such beauty exists out there, somewhere, in the world? Do we live in such a consumer society that ownership is tantamount to existence?
Surely Disney and Pixar never intended this to happen; in fact the incredible irony of this dire situation is that the movie is (I believe) intended to be a strong statement against ownership of an animal that was never intended to be owned. The fact that this message could be so misconstrued, or completely lost on the public, says something very bad about the state of things. It’s like someone watching the ‘Super-Size Me’ documentary about the impact of McDonald’s food on health and saying “Mmmm … McDonalds …. that sounds good, I think I’ll go get some now.”
In addition to how this reflects negatively on any number of values in our society, it also highlights the impact that media can have on consumer behaviors. If it can have such a negative impact, though, why can’t this be turned around to affect some kind of positive change. Sticking in the domain of marine conservation, I would love to see a film like Sharkwater have the same kind of impact in the positive direction, though if there’s nothing to buy, no possibility of commercial success or branding opportunities, I fear that it just won’t.
According to the Wikipedia article on the “Finding Nemo”, “Tourism in Australia strongly increased during the summer and autumn of 2003″ due to Nemo-based marketing campaigns by the Australia Tourism Commission. Impacts of the increased traffic on the Reef notwithstanding, I would hope that one result of such an trend would be increased visibility and respect for the Coral Reef and the species which inhabit it.
At this point, my glass house is pretty shattered, near caving in on me; I distinctly remember, as a child, owning a turtle for the sole purpose of wanting to name him Michelangelo, my favorite of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That red-eared slider of mine actually ran away (that’s right, turtles are actually quite fast on the ground) when he escaped from a laundry basket on the front lawn while I was cleaning out his (or her) cage on the fourth of july a long time ago. I’m sure she (or he) made a nice, if a bit tough, treat for a neighborhood cat or squirrel
**Sigh** I could blame my parents, but that would be too easy, so I take full responsibility for my actions. But until we all take responsibility, as a species, for the devastating effect that we are having on other species ….. until we think about our actions and the full effect that they could potentially have (or better yet, don’t take any actions for which the effect can’t be fully calculated) …. then we will keep on inching closer to a world in which the little Nemos, and the Michelangelos (and Donatellos and Rafaels and Leonardos) exist solely as an animated remnant from a time when such colorful and beautiful creatures actually inhabited the earth.
And that’s a really, really sad thing to think about.
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