by Jennifer Mishler
Categories: Animals, Film/TV.
Photo: Channel 4

Inside Nature’s Giants, a TV show on the United Kingdom’s public service broadcasting network, Channel 4, has become the focus of protests by several animal rights and welfare organizations. Channel 4 claims that their show gets “under the skin” of various wildlife species through dissection so that viewers can better understand these animals.

The latest episode, “The Polar Bear,” has sparked outrage among some viewers and demands for a boycott of the show from animal rights groups in response to a polar bear hunt. Despite the serious threats polar bears are facing due to climate change and hunting, this episode followed a group of Inuit hunters as they kill a polar bear and a group of scientists as they dissect and examine its body.

Like the episode’s description states, “As their habitat melts and their food becomes increasingly contaminated, the polar bears’ future looks precarious. Can they adapt fast enough to survive this rapidly changing world?” It’s difficult to understand why the killing of one of these threatened animals would be allowed for  a TV show, then! Animal Defenders International points out that previous episodes have included dissections of elephants, tigers, and other species, and have asked that viewers both boycott the show and contact Channel 4 to voice their concern.

Given the crisis polar bears face, how do you feel about this?

About Jennifer Mishler

Jennifer Mishler is a writer, and a vegan and animal activist. When she's not writing, you can often find her volunteering or advocating for animal, environmental and human rights causes. Along with writing for Ecorazzi, she has contributed writing for nonprofits like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and enjoys blogging. She resides in the Washington, DC area (and loves all the vegan food it has to offer). Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennygonevegan.

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  • Stacy

    This is just an exhibit of more of man’s idiocy and selfishness. The lives of animals are treated so casually by most people. What a shame and an embarrassment this show and individual are to us all.

    • real human

      What if killing one bear to study it can save thousands or other bears? Is it still wrong? What if it can save millions of humans?
      Are animals more important than humans? Climate change is still a theory and has no proof yet.

      • Janice

        Hey …you should change your tag as it is a misnomer!!

      • don miguelo

        In experimental sciences, a theory can never be “proved”, it can only be “disproved” by experiment. That’s why Gravity is still a theory. No one can disprove it. Can you disprove the climate change theory by offering up a significant sample, objective, and data-based disproval?

        That aside, this article is a little leading in that it asks “Given the crisis polar bears face, how do you feel about this?”. Well any person with a heart, that includes me BTW, would go all out defending a polar bear’s life from TV’s exploitation, I would think! But did they kill this bear for this show alone. No the Inuits were already going to kill it on a traditional allowed quota hunt. Read the description of how they do it before assuming they singled out a bear and killed it for the show (and by deduction- if the show was not there, the bear would not have been killed).

        I don’t support television in general, reality TV, safari’s, using or killing animals anyway, but to be clear this was already happening before the show got involved.

        It’s ok to be against hunting polar bears, traditional or not. It’s ok to be against showing the blood and guts of animals on TV for all to see (hey, it’s crass) and not everyone wants to see it (which is why I avoid the operation channel). That’s all fine, but to put this show on the chopping block because how it seems at 1st glance only makes us look like reactionary, clueless activists to the objective observer. That’s not an image I want to promote.

  • Ben Beaton

    All the other animals dissected for this show died of natural causes and were donated by zoos etc to the show. I assume since the Inuit’s killed it they then ate and used the skin after the dissection. Just like the killing of whales by tribes, allowed under IWC international law, the same is true for Inuits killing endangered polar bears.

  • Vicki

    I am so disgusted by being a human and I am a vegan!

  • robert m

    i think it’s stupid and unfortunate that the rarity of the animal being killed has anything to do with how much people care about that death. What kind of precedent does that line of thinking set for our consideration of the lives of humans? If rarity gauges the degree of caring, we are in a huge mess of trouble since humans are certainly the opposite of rare.

  • Bradford Rand

    This is surely not entertainment – but just evil – we are already killing too many polar bears as it is b/c of what we are doing to the earth – do we need to kill more for television? – no way. Let’s hunt the hunters who killed the bear – that’s entertainment to me !

  • Whoever…

    Why not dessicate a human?

    I would love to see that!!!!

    Humans are the most pathetic, useless, arrogant, cruel species on the planet and they deserve what’s coming to them!!

    I for one am going to love watching millions of humans die/being killed in the next few years…