Animal Emotions

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Wicked Tuna: NGS Supports Killing These Majestic Beings

The National Geographic Society glorifies killing these remarkable fish

I just heard about an upcoming National Geographic Series (NGS) called "Wicked Tuna" (see also). In the trailer you can see tuna obviously writhing around in pain as the commentator dispassionately talks about these sentient beings as mere commodities. I was astounded that National Geographic would air such a series given what they have previously written about these majestic fish and also noting that their numbers have been reduced to "critically low levels." For more information about these these amazing animals please click here

The title of the series also is incredibly misleading hype, but this type of sensationalisn sells. Why are the tuna wicked? What did they do to deserve this negative label, suggesting that they're evil? Clearly it's meant to make them seem like the villain in this one-sided slaughter. Why are they the evil ones?

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I encourage you to write to National Geographic to let them know that watching these amazing animals writhing in pain as they're caught and sliced up for unneeded meals is hardly in the spirit of what NGS is supposed to stand for. This comment caught my eye: "How can these people be fishing the Atlantic bluefin tuna and talking about conservation at the same time? Hypocrites. National Geographic has been distancing themselves more and more from conservation for the sake of entertainment." You can sign a pledge to boycott bluefin tuna here

I know that people's livelihood depends on killing these and other animals but that doesn't mean that NGS has to glofify this horrific practice nor that it should continue. 

Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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