Animal Planet's "nature" shows: whistleblowers detail crimes, animal cruelty, fakery




So... this is what Mother Jones has come to. It took them seven months of investigating a reality TV show to discover it was staged and that the actors (in this case animals) were not treated well? What were they doing for the other six and three quarters months?


It is, by the way, generally perfectly legal to kill raccoons.


Maybe they wanted proof before reporting? Access to documents, developing relationships with sources, and whatnot? I get what you are saying, that reality TV is fake. But in the animals' cases, they didn't sign a contract to submit to any abuse or fakery.


I am devastated to learn that Meerkat Storage Unit Wars is faked.


I think it's worth being outraged that animals are being mishandled and criminally treated in the production of faked "reality". There's probably a depressing number of people who watch this shit, think it bears some (albeit produced) relationship to "reality", and think they know things about animals as a result. Animals they might then encounter in their lives. That's not just not-education, it's anti-education- the article describes Animal Planet's descent into craptainment, with all the Mermaids: Actually Real?! bullshit, but pulling real animals into that kind of delusional craptainment is ethically gross. Plus, criminal mishandling of animals? Even the ones you're legally allowed to kill if you find them in your house are generally protected by law from being tortured for your entertainment.


I started having doubts about the show when they found that shroud in the U-Stor-It in Temecula, CA, and then "proved" it had an image of Meerkat Jesus on it.


Your point is? It may be perfectly legal to kill raccoons, but that doesn't make it legal to torture them. Just like it's legal to kill enemy soldiers, but illegal to torture POWs.


Three bats and a raccoon. Wow (fake reaction)


It wasn't just those animals who suffered. What's your threshold for animal cruelty that generates a sincere reaction, anyway?

Fuck Animal Planet and f...... (I'll just go ahead and censor myself)


It's generally perfectly legal to do all kinds of douchebag shit, but decent human beings should know better beyond what's technically legal or not.

There's also a lot of generally perfectly illegal things that are done in the name of morality when laws don't cut it as well, but I guess you wouldn't understand that either.


If you read the credits for a lot of "reality" Animal Planet shows carefully, there is often a disclaimer that some wildlife scenes were recreated under "controlled conditions". I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that reality shows manipulate events to increase drama, but this goes beyond that.


I've never really watched Animal Planet but for a few of those 'Too Cute' shows, that are all puppies and kittens, in obvious set-ups. I do recall hearing very negative things about Steve Whatshisname before his death, (he was the one who ended up being killed by a marine animal).


Feel free to lodge your complaint over at Mother Jones if their investigative journalism displeases you so. They allow comments over there, too.


I was thinking more like, those seven months could have been used investigating something much less obvious and far more important. I love animals and everything, but that amount of effort seems excessive for the results obtained.


I'm guessing someone who was an AP whistle blower dumped it in a reporter's lap. Then you have the ethical dilemma of ignoring it or pursuing the story on abuses. I would go with the reporting. Why ignore something that isn't right?




I don't think that every reporter has to center their attention on the same things at the same time, and yes, much more attention should be paid to that. It doesn't mean that the society should ignore instances where other types of abuses occur.


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