Bloodthirsty ‘factual’ TV shows demonise wildlife
"Major US TV channels are promoting hysterical and outdated ideas about wildlife in popular, blood-soaked shows"
My 2¢ and a plea.
When it comes to animals and especially wildlife, we always have to deal with two big groups and the political/economic forces that support them.
Farmers/Hunters seek to protect their livestock and their game clinging, tooth and nail, to the story of the bad wolf (and the like).
Animal "Lovers" choose the beasts to defend (generally, cute, majestic or colorful ones) and, undeterred, they go on and on with their cause, often without the slightest awareness of these animals’ biological cycles and the possible problems that they could cause without a minimum of contrast.
Then, in a world largely disconnected and ignored, there are the scientists, who are trying to produce impartial and legitimate studies — like this one — to be used to develop management plans, where everything is taken into consideration (wildlife, species at risk of extinction, habitat conservation, hunting sustainability) to ensure the precarious balance of an ecosystem of which we are part.
Where are the networks in all this?
The link on top of the post gives us the answer for some of these networks (Discovery, Animal Planet, History Channel). They are widely recognized for their ‘factual’ shows, but essentially they sensationalize facts and notions to capture more audience possible.
I understand this necessity, but the shows mentioned in Adam Welz’s article offer an alarming disinformation service. They excuse the killing of carnivore wildlife (being cruel and vengeful beasts thirsty for human blood) shielded by ambiguous facts, viewpoints of convenience, one-sided argument, and often, as in the case of wolves, taking advantage of old fears: historically terrifying, but now inconsistent for more than 200 years .
Now, I am not here to claim that these networks should broadcast lessons of biology and ecology in place of these shows. However, I wonder if they can attract the same number of viewers by stopping this nonsense and offering an useful service to people. A service that provides a real insight into nature, into mankind, and therefore into man-nature connection and coexistence.
If the answer is “NO”, they turn on and off the switch of science at will and the difference between these networks’ documentaries and, in Welz’s words, the “‘trashy’ material that dominates free-to-air network TV” will be non-existent.
Image credit: Kaya.