by James “JB” Bryson
One source of passion and interest in my life has always come from a keen involvement and knowledge of what is happening around me. If you read PNO.com often, you will find that politics provide me with serious interest.
However what affects me the most is what occurs with the many beautiful things that keep leaving us as co-residents of this planet that so many seem to simply not care. This post may not make you an environmentalist like my wife and I. It is unfortunate that back in the US, it has become a literal political apparatus to separate the Republicans and Democrats, when in reality it affects the entire planet.
I am riled up today as one of the creatures added to the list is Spix’s Macaw. (Pictured in La Prensa article). As mentioned in the piece today, this creature was the lead in “Rio” a 2011 animated film that was one of the most successful films of all time. Grossing a staggering $485 Million worldwide at the box office. Of course that does not include post release profits from cross branding, home release video, and otherwise.
This always leads me to the ignorance and greed of humans as it comes to the arrogance of our position on the food chain.
My stance: If someone uses the image of say “Bob Marley, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, even Che’ Guevara”, then humans living today will financially prosper off the use of said image. These are called Privacy and Publicity rights, and they extend posthumously to the estates of these figures to enrich those left behind. This by the way is NOT something I DISAGREE with. I mean if anyone should make money off the image of famous people, it should be that of those they loved. It is a basic right that if someone is taking a picture or marketing an item of YOU, that YOU should decide who is to benefit.
Which brings me back to “Rio”. Here was have a film that made almost HALF A BILLION before home release, and the STAR of the film is about to leave our planet FOREVER if things don’t change. Simply makes me sick and ashamed as a human.
I can provide so many more examples.
How about (15) of the (32) NFL Football Teams are named after animals. 2017 Revenue topped $8.5 BILLION
(7) teams in MLB Baseball, and (6) in the NBA Basketball are less combined than that of the NFL, yet they still don’t contribute squat.
Factor in NCAA teams from FOR PROFIT universities, and the number will make you PUKE!
Additionally, we can merely look across pop culture and big industry. How much has Kellogg’s made with “Frosted Flakes” with Tony the Tiger doing all the heavy lifting essentially selling processed sugar to children? Let’s safely assume it’s quite a large amount. Open your cabinets today and tell me if you can find any on your own. “Snuggle” uses a bear. “Cheetos” uses a Cheetah. Just keep going.
In 2017, some major things happened which would lead people to think that steps are being made in the direction of progress. Ringling Bros. Circus closed it’s dungeon of terror hidden behind peanuts and cotton candy FOREVER. SeaWorld (after the success of “Blackfish” documentary ) has decided to cease it’s sadistic artificial insemination breeding program of captive Orcas. Thus bringing an and to the decades old lie of producing a new “Baby Shamu” every few years. By doing so, leading the ignorant public to think that Mommy and Daddy Orca lovingly produced one of these creatures while in captivity. They usually live in an ocean, who feels sexy living in a broom closet? And perhaps most significantly, was China, by far the largest purchaser of both Ivory and Rhino horn, FINALLY classifying these items as ILLEGAL CONTRABAND and part of ILLEGAL TRADE. Those indeed are positives.
But seeing the Spix on the list has really lit me up again. And I’m pissed once more.
Just so you know, there is precedent here. Just not nearly enough to make a true difference. Pacific Life Insurance and Annuities uses a Blue Whale prominently as it’s logo. Over the last 32 years, they have donated over $100 million to conservation efforts. That is very nice. However in 2017, Pacific Life Insurance and Annuities claimed $157 BILLION in Corporate assets. So $100 million over 32 years and whales are still decreasing seems like a bit on the LOW side to me. But hey, I’m just a guy with a calculator.
A much better example, would be demonstrated by Marc Ecko Co. A small company started by designer Marc Ecko in New Jersey in the 1980’s and has since been taken over by Iconix Brand Group. Ecko has the distinction of using perhaps THE MOST THREATENED animal on the planet as it’s trademark logo, the RHINO. He started a grassroots conservation effort when he led this company, that has carried over to the new owners. While participating with SAVE THE RHINO.org, they are donating 25% of special edition items to keep awareness high on Rhino issues. To be fair, while now part of an Iconix family that features some major revenue producing branded items, I would expect this number to increase…….DRASTICALLY.
So, in reading this article today, ask yourself how many items do you consume, purchase, or use that profit in a very in your face manner with animals, yet do NOTHING to keep them protected for future generations?
Spix made half a BILLION for some people, but he still made that list didn’t he? Just how hard does one fucking bird need to work to be protected?