Target: David Zaslav, CEO of Discovery Communications
Goal: Stop the show Eaten Alive from being aired on television
Animal abuse comes in many forms. Sometimes the abuse is wrongly presented as education or exploration, as is the case with Discovery Channel’s new show Eaten Alive. Paul Rosolie, the star of the show and an amateur naturalist, was followed by a film crew and producers while he searched for and captured the world’s largest species of snake. Once an anaconda was found, Rosolie and the crew captured the snake and carried it to an open area where Rosolie, complete with a safety suit, attempted and succeeded in convincing the snake to swallow him whole. This is an incredibly dangerous activity for the snake.
The Discovery Channel’s primary goal is to elicit shock from viewers in hopes of attaining mass publicity and viewership. The television network is not interested in portraying anacondas in a way that encourages viewers to care about their conservation, or even their fascinating anatomy. Discovery Channel’s skewed and damaging mission was made clear to a biology professor, Dr. Stephen Secor, who was invited to be a part of the show but declined. Secor insisted that the network drop the snake-eating-man act and, instead, focus on the incredible nature of the snakes; Eaten Alive producers were not interested in this angle. Rosolie put on a suit designed to protect him from decomposing acids, fangs, and venom, doused himself in pig’s blood and was eaten.
While this atrocity has already taken place, the show has not yet aired. Understandably, the network has received intense backlash and accusations of animal abuse. This stunt offers nothing but shock value; anacondas will still carry an unfair stigma and will likely become more feared as a result of this broadcast. Anacondas deserve to be respected and studied in educational ways. Eaten Alive does nothing but pose a threat to anacondas. Sign this petition to demand that Eaten Alive not air.
Dear Mr. Zaslav,
I am writing to you today with a concern for the anaconda’s health and reputation. Discovery Channel’s new show Eaten Alive glorifies the predatory nature of anacondas by misrepresenting its aggression towards humans. Mr. Rosolie, as you know, donned an impenetrable suit soaked in pig’s blood and succeeded in getting an anaconda to swallow him whole. This incredible animal abuse has already taken place, so I want to focus on prohibiting the next step.
Mr. Zaslav, I urge you not to air this anaconda-eats-man episode of Eaten Alive. It is a shame that Discovery Communications advocates misunderstanding and abuse of such an incredible beast. Portraying an anaconda in this way is irresponsible; the world’s largest snake deserves positive recognition and respect. I urge you to contact Dr. Stephen Secor again, this time with the goal to educate rather than abuse.
Do not air the anaconda episode of Eaten Alive. Glorifying disrespect of animals is disdainful and grotesque. Please make the right decision.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dave Lonsdale via Wikimedia