Do animals in the wild have an unspoken right to privacy? As much as I enjoy watching wildlife documentaries, I have to admit feeling a bit uncomfortable sometimes, like we’re the unwanted roommate walking in on someone else’s Barry White moment. Dr. Brett Mills of the University of East Anglia explores this and the subject of animal privacy:
Human notions of privacy which rest on ideas of location or activity are ignored in terms of animals. It doesn’t matter what an animal does, or where it does it, it will be deemed fair game for the documentary.
When confronted with such ‘secretive’ behaviour, the response of the wildlife documentary is to read it as a challenge to be overcome with the technologies of television. The question constantly posed by wildlife documentaries is how animals should be filmed: they never ask whether animals should be filmed at all.
Most likely, they don’t care at all, and we’re projecting our own weirdness onto them. Privacy is a nearly dead concept for humans anyway, and perhaps we’re better off understanding more about each other (animals included) than hating/killing/eating each other. Besides, it would mean giving up Life, and how else are we going to get our David Attenborough fix? We’ll just have to figure out a way to translate those release forms into Turtle.
∞ posted at 08:22 by stevesimitzis