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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Spirit of adventure = moral dilemma...

Ok, I'll admit, I was an avid viewer of the latest series of 'The Island' with Bear Grylls, I watched both the men's and the women's islands religiously each week, professing my confidence that I (of course) could do better - all from the comfort of my own dry home and after eating a hearty meal...

However as the series progressed I started to feel a little uncomfortable with the whole thing. Not that I am against killing animals for food, in fact I think we are too far removed from the process to appreciate what we have, if you can't face killing it, then you shouldn't eat it in my view and I say that as a true carnivore (and yes I have). But what really got me is that these people were on an uninhabited island, and for pure entertainment purposes, were killing wildlife that need not otherwise have been killed. For the sake of the academic argument, I can see that series one was an interesting experiment to see if we, as a species, still had it in us to survive, but then is a second series justified? I watched as the guys, very deftly and as humanely as possible killed and ate a crocodile that, if not for the program, would still be just doing its thing out there in the wild... that didn't sit quite right with me. I then watched as the girls set nets out to see and caught what was described at the time as 'stingrays' but were, if I am not mistaken Manta rays, protected, in decline and intelligent. That is of course unless all the stingrays had lost their tails, stings and had deformities on their heads showing dual gill sets... (strange but the YouTube footage of this has been withdrawn by Channel 4...).

It then turns out that the crocodile was in fact an endangered and protected species that was 'overlooked' when the island was researched - big fat oops!

So that's two protected species that have suffered as a direct result of this program, specifically developed for our entertainment  - not good Channel 4!

I am a wannabe adventurer, I love exploring and I love wildlife, so this program ticked all of my boxes and I don't blame any of the participants, they did well and endured extreme conditions - but my conscience is well and truly pricked. Had these people been shipwrecked on the island and been forced to survive I would completely understand, but the ultimate fact is that they were put there, for fun.

This isn't a dig at Bear Grylls, in fact I did thoroughly enjoy 'Survivor' where celebs had to complete specific tasks in order to succeed.  Series one proved a point, series two was a pointless loss of life - enough now, I am hoping that series three will be abandoned...

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