With the exception of our companion animals and a few wild and stray species within our urban environments, we experience animals daily as the food, clothing, animal tested goods and entertainment we make of them.
This moral dilemma is often hidden from our view.

A film by Liz Marshall
An interactive story by The Goggles
Featuring Jo-Anne McArthur
Produced by Nina Beveridge
& Liz Marshall
Broadcaster: documentary

Running Time: 92:00 & 60:00 mins
Release: 2013

For further information about the film and screenings visit:

http://www.theghostsinourmachine.com/

“The last confirmed sighting of a Baiji was in 2002 the same year that the sole surviving captive animal a male called Qi Qi — died. Since then fishermen have reported seeing Yangtze river dolphins on three occasions but scientists says it is impossible to confirm the sightings.”

A scientific expedition in 2006 carried out an extensive survey along Yangtze from Yichang to Shanghai but the team failed to find any evidence that the species survives and concluded that the Yangtze river dolphin is probably extinct a victim of by-catch in local fisheries and the rapid development and degradation of the Yangtze River.

© What is Missing? Foundation
Audio: Baiji.org Foundation
Image: ARKive
Source: New Scientist & NOAA

The Boreal forest. The largest terrestrial ecosystem on earth the Boreal forest covers over 2,539,500 square miles. Though it is the world’s most important carbon storehouse over 90% of the Boreal is unprotected.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Buy FSC certified & recycled paper and wood products.

© What is Missing? Foundation
Audio: Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Video: Conservation International
Source: NRDC & World Wildlife Fund

To whom it may concern,

Last Wednesday at around midday I paid a visit to my local branch of Cex in Lewisham.  The store was busy with teenagers and children, an expected scene what with it being half term. Having finished browsing and with a bus to catch I was about to leave when my attention was drawn to the following poster.

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I must admit what I read left me staggered and not at the fact you recycle digital cameras. Before I go any further into questioning the poor taste and irresponsible content of the poster I want to state that I think I have a good grasp at your company's approach to advertising and branding, simple yet quirky is probably the best way to sum it up. I mean no offence when I say it's also quite dated in its style, I'm sure you'll be the first to admit that your stores haven't changed a great deal over the past decade and why should they? Cex have prospered where many other video game/DVD outlets have failed, I for one have shopped with you guys for years.

Anyway back to your poster and it's poorly thought message. Once again this isn't about the part-exchanging of cameras but the terrible joke that accompanies it. Firstly it's not funny, abusing animals never is. Now the fact I don't find it humourous might just be personal taste or my age, as some one in their early thirties the poster isn't (I'm hoping) aimed at me, so who then is your target audience? I'm guessing the teenagers and children who regularly inhabit your stores nationwide. A majority of whom would never dream of hurting an animal or maybe until seeing such a poster had never had the idea so vividly presented to them? Imagining such a dreadful concept is one thing, but to be given such clear instructions is quite another.

I guess what this all come down to is commonsense and the responsibility you have to your customers. I worry that both have been overlooked with this poster campaign.  I could accompany this letter with some horrific images of animal abuse, similar to those alluded to in your poster,  but I really don't think that's necessary, I'll just leave that part to your imagination.

Yours sincerely,

The Bumblebee.

It is with a heavy heart that I must  inform you that my special screening of 'More Than Honey' that I was organising for the 2nd of June at Clapham Picturehouse will no longer be taking place. I'm genuinely disappointed that the event has been cancelled. Having spent a great deal of time and money promoting the screening I received an email on Monday morning from 'Ourscreen' informing me that the screening would no longer be happening due to me not selling the required quota of tickets.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Friends Of The Earth, Bee Mercy, Kabloom and Seedball for the offer of their time and products. I'm positive the evening would have been a real success and although disappointed it is no longer taking place I have learnt some valuable lessons for my next planned event.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who did buy a ticket, your support is greatly appreciated.

Onwards and upwards! :)

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The Bumblebee is excited to announce that a special screening of 'More Than Honey' will be taking place on the 2nd of June at Clapham Picturehouse at 18:15.

The screening will include an introduction and Q+A session with a representative from 'Friends Of The Earth'.

Beautifully filmed & directed by Markus Imhoof, MORE THAN HONEY is the provocative yet touching tale of what may happen if bees become extinct, featuring a brand new narration from legendary actor John Hurt.

PLEASE NOTE: Tickets for the evening are strictly limited and must be purchased in advance of the event from www.ourscreen.com

 

I recently came across this new US commercial for KFC which informs us that 'Dipping is Fun', I'll have to take their word on this. As someone who has nearly 10 years of experience working in advertising I am left almost dumbfounded by some of the content of this advert.

Now I must start by saying this isn't a personal attack against KFC or fast food outlets in general, I'm just trying to be objective about what they are telling us about the product. I'm also aware that commercial advertising strategy differs greatly from country to country, particularly between the UK and the US. We may share a common language but the comparisons usually end there. American advertising is more confrontational, to the point and with a simple clear message. Whereas the UK style traditionally relies more on a subtle approach, they want to convince us to buy their product. These different approaches are due to a number of historical, social, economic and physiological factors, far too many to bore you with here.

Back to the advert in question. We see a young family gathered around the kitchen table, it's dinnertime and the kids are hungry. The exasperated mother starts by telling us how difficult it is to get her children to sit down for dinner, a common problem for most families with small children. Her answer is simple "KFC", a solution that appears to appease not only the kids but also her husband. The family enjoys their bucket of chicken and dips, we're told it's "delicious", so far so good, the usual approach. This is where the message changes, the mother confesses how she can't get her children to usually eat "anything" , but behold! They are silently devouring their chicken, even confirming their happiness when pressed by mom. Next 5s of product detail before the mother once again highlights the fact that her son is sitting still.  It ends with a burst of music, taglines and hashtags.

Now what have we learned here? That fried chicken is the saviour of family dinnertime? Hyperactivity can only be stemmed by rewarding your offspring with fast food? Fruit and vegetables should be replaced by sugary dips? And finally that a happy family is a silent one? The mind boggles.

It shocks me that a commercial such as this has been cleared to air. Obesity rates in America continue to rise annually, with almost one in every three children now considered to be overweight*.  The implications of all this is well-known and I don't need to discuss it here.

Companies/advertisers should adhere to promoting a clear and honest message when it comes to their products, they owe this to their consumer. If these firms are not held accountable where does the blame lie? Honesty and integrity should be the core values of any business, the responsibility cannot always rest with the consumer.

*http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

If bees were to disappear from the globe mankind would have four years left to live...

Beautifully filmed & directed by Markus Imhoof, MORE THAN HONEY is the provocative yet touching tale of what may happen if bees become extinct, featuring a brand new narration from legendary actor John Hurt.

The Bumblebee is excited to announce a special screening of the film will be taking place on the 2nd of June at Clapham Picturehouse at 18:15.

For further information and to book tickets please visit https://www.ourscreen.com/screening/36764

More details about the event to follow.

Did you manage to catch the latest Hugh's Fish Fight on Channel 4 last Sunday? If you didn't I suggest watching it now on 4od, where you can also find links to the past episodes dating back to 2011.

Three years ago, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall launched the Fish Fight campaign to highlight the problems facing our global fishing industry, focusing on challenging absurd EU quota laws and the importance of  promoting sustainable practices.

Thankfully the campaign has already had some success in helping to reform EU fishing policies, resulting in the implementation of new rulings preventing the dumping of edible fish that would have previously been wasted due to strict fishing quota guidelines. A great success and one that Hugh credits to the online support of the public consumer.

Fish Fight is quick in recognising the importance that social media has in highlighting and rasing awareness for their campaigns, an approach they are now harnessing to great effect in challenging some of Britain's major supermarkets over the quality and sourcing of some of their fish and seafood products.

A fresh investigation into tinned tuna reveals that some supermarkets (in particular Tesco and Asda), which made bold promises about their products in previous episodes of Fish Fight, appear to be introducing tuna back on the shelves that has been caught using huge purse seine nets, an unsustainable method which results in the needless destruction of sharks, turtles and rays. Tesco defends the sale of this (Oriental & Pacific branded) product claiming that they have to offer a cheaper alternative to their customers, a creditable argument but the program is quick to point out that this is done without providing the information about how the fish is sourced on the packaging, thus breaking their recent pledges about honesty and transparency.

“There's no information on Oriental and Pacific tins to tell shoppers how the tuna was caught. If they really care about our oceans then Tesco should take this tuna off the shelves today, and other supermarkets must follow suit.” - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

I greatly admire the work that Fish Fight is doing and in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, they have a figurehead who is both passionate and articulate in helping to raise awareness for their campaigns. If you would like to add your support to help put pressure on the supermarkets to only stock sustainably sourced fish I suggest you email or tweet them directly to voice your concerns about their current products and practices.

* * *

For further information visit:

http://www.fishfight.net

http://www.mcsuk.org

TTleague_web with key_2

Source: www.greenpeace.org.uk

 

 

Blackfish (2013).

Dir. Gabriela Cowperthwaite.

Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity. Along the way, director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry.

This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligent and enormously sentient fellow mammals.

Read the original article that inspired Blackfish director Gabriela Cowperthwaite here

Source: http://blackfishmovie.com/

* * *

Blackfish really is a fascinating documentary.  I struggle to think of another example of a documentary feature film that has received so much global attention in such a short space of time, its estimated that nearly 20 million people have now seen the film, a staggering number considering its limited release. I, like many people in the UK first watched the film when it premiered as part of BBC Four's Storyville season in late November 2013. I must admit (having already seen the trailer) I approached it with a great deal of trepidation, seeing animals needlessly suffer is always heavy going, particularly when it's the key subject matter. Blackfish doesn't pull any punches in that respect, it's a brave piece of filmmaking and I applaud the fact that it doesn't shy away from showing some very harrowing footage, some of which is genuinely heartbreaking, who knew that orca's cry when separated from their offspring!?

Critics have questioned the lack of balance within the film, but in my opinion documentaries by their very nature can never be truly bipartisan. Throughout the film the director informs us that SeaWorld and other dolphinariums where approached for comment but unsurprisingly refused to be involved, I don't blame them, the evidence is pretty damning, particularly when your (former) staff are digging the dirt on you.

Since watching Blackfish I have become fascinated about the plight of captive orcas and dolphins. Through reading a number of articles, online petitions and campaigns it is clear that I'm not the only one who would like to see action taken in closing dolphinariums such as SeaWorld. The forced captivity and displacement of these majestic animals has no place in the modern world.

If you would like to know more about the success of Blackfish and its ongoing battle with SeaWorld over their mistreatment of killer whales may I suggest this recent article by The Dodo's Jason Koebler: https://www.thedodo.com/as-blackfish-soars-will-seawor-387840729.html

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Blackfish: http://blackfishmovie.com/

WDC: http://uk.whales.org/