Right to privacy? - VeggieBoards
View Poll Results: Do wild animals have a right to privacy?
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#1 Old 04-30-2010, 09:04 PM
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If you watch a documentary, are you unwittingly violating an animals rights?



http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0429092934.htm



Quote:
Animals' 'right to privacy' is being denied by makers of television wildlife documentaries, according to a UK academic.



Dr Brett Mills from the University of East Anglia argues that while wildlife programmes can play a vital role in engaging citizens in environmental debates, in order to 'do good' they must inevitably deny many species the right to privacy.



Published in the current issue of Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, Dr Mills' study analyses the 'making of' documentaries that accompanied the BBC wildlife series Nature's Great Events (2009). Exploring the debates on ethics, animal welfare and rights and human rights, Dr Mills suggests that animals have a right to privacy but this is turned into a challenge for the production teams, who use newer forms of technology to overcome species' desire not to be seen.



"The aim of the research is to encourage debate, especially within the contemporary environmental context where it is now commonplace for us to question the impact of human movement and behaviour around the globe," explained Dr Mills, a senior lecturer in the School of Film and Television Studies. "In addition, though, perhaps there is an argument for some species, in some circumstances, not to be filmed. At the moment it seems that such arguments are never put forward."



He added: "This is an important debate for two reasons. Firstly, wildlife documentaries are usually seen as important pieces of public service broadcasting, and it's therefore worth us thinking about the ethical contexts within which such productions exist. Secondly, such documentaries are the key way in which many people 'encounter' a range of species from all over the globe, and so they therefore contribute to how we think about other species and human/animal interactions. By exploring what wildlife documentaries do, and how they do it, I hope to contribute to environmental debates at a time when the global effects of human behaviour are rightly under scrutiny."



... more

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#2 Old 04-30-2010, 09:28 PM
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As long as in the act of watching, the observer doesn't affect the observed reality.
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#3 Old 04-30-2010, 09:29 PM
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Nice.

The Big Bad.
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#4 Old 04-30-2010, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sosoy View Post

As long as in the act of watching, the observer doesn't affect the observed reality.



The Prime Directive!

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
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#5 Old 05-01-2010, 03:24 AM
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I find it hard to equate the right to privacy with anyone or anything that runs around in public places with absolutely no clothes on.
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#6 Old 05-01-2010, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Clueless Git View Post

I find it hard to equate the right to privacy with anyone or anything that runs around in public places with absolutely no clothes on.



you win!
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#7 Old 05-01-2010, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Clueless Git View Post

I find it hard to equate the right to privacy with anyone or anything that runs around in public places with absolutely no clothes on.



Although my cats always act embarrassed when I happen to notice them in the litterbox - I have to studiously avert my eyes.
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#8 Old 05-01-2010, 07:38 PM
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The Prime Directive!



nice! lol
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#9 Old 05-02-2010, 01:26 PM
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I'm surprised how little opposition there is to chasing wild animals around for entertainment purposes.
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#10 Old 05-02-2010, 01:53 PM
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I'm surprised how little opposition there is to chasing wild animals around for entertainment purposes.



Apparently you missed the Prime Directive proviso.
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#11 Old 05-03-2010, 12:49 PM
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no...privacy - unlike freedom, bodily integrity, safety, etc, - is not a human need that has a good analogue in animals because the value of privacy and the violation felt at a loss of privacy is very much dependent on human social norms...social norms that seem basically universal among humans (with some exceptions - people who voluntarily waive their right to privacy are not having it violated but nor do they seem to value it) but are not relevant to animals.
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#12 Old 05-03-2010, 12:51 PM
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I voted yes.
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#13 Old 05-03-2010, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sosoy View Post

As long as in the act of watching, the observer doesn't affect the observed reality.



Not according to Schrödinger.
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#14 Old 05-03-2010, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suchgreatheight View Post

no...privacy - unlike freedom, bodily integrity, safety, etc, - is not a human need that has a good analogue in animals because the value of privacy and the violation felt at a loss of privacy is very much dependent on human social norms...social norms that seem basically universal among humans (with some exceptions - people who voluntarily waive their right to privacy are not having it violated but nor do they seem to value it) but are not relevant to animals.



The argument is that, looking at an animal's behavior, it's blatantly apparent they often don't want to observed. According to the press release from the U -



http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-art042910.php



Quote:
Dr Mills said: "It might at first seem odd to claim that animals might have a right to privacy. Privacy, as it is commonly understood, is a culturally human concept. The key idea is to think about animals in terms of the public/private distinction. We can never really know if animals are giving consent, but they often do engage in forms of behaviour which suggest they'd rather not encounter humans, and we might want to think about equating this with a desire for privacy.



"When confronted with such 'secretive' behaviour the response of the wildlife documentary is to read it as a challenge to be overcome with the technologies of television. The question constantly posed by wildlife documentaries is how animals should be filmed: they never ask whether animals should be filmed at all."



A justification could be made for filming animals as they roam plains and deserts and engage in hunting activities because these are 'public' events, which take place in locations which include many other animals, and in which the animal being filmed makes no explicit attempt to not be seen. Yet animal activities which might equate with human notions of the private are treated in a way which suggests the public/private distinction does not hold. For example, many species could be read as desiring not to be seen - animals in burrows and nests have constructed a living space which equates with the human concept of the home, and commonly do this in locations which are, by their very nature, explicitly hidden, often for practical purposes. "Human notions of privacy which rest on ideas of location or activity are ignored in terms of animals. It doesn't matter what an animal does, or where it does it, it will be deemed fair game for the documentary," said Dr Mills.

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#15 Old 05-03-2010, 09:41 PM
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I noticed dogs give a "what?" sort of embarrassed look when you stare at them pee or lick their privates.
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#16 Old 05-03-2010, 09:58 PM
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They probably do have a right but it's not like they're going to want to exercise that right so I'm not going to waste too much time or effort intellectualising about that one.

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#17 Old 05-03-2010, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelle View Post

They probably do have a right but it's not like they're going to want to exercise that right so I'm not going to waste too much time or effort intellectualising about that one.



I agree with your opinion.
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#18 Old 05-03-2010, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisMTL View Post

I noticed dogs give a "what?" sort of embarrassed look when you stare at them pee or lick their privates.



In etiquette parlance it's known as "polite fiction". When my dog squats I look the other way and pretend not to notice, just as guys will do in a public restroom. She prefers the solitude of our fenced yard where she can have a few moments of solitude. Other than that, she's a dog! Her sense of privacy ends a that point. She thinks we should spend every other moment of our lives together. She acts dejected if I exclude her from even the most intimate moments with another human. So I feel like I'm affording her way more privacy than she does me.
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#19 Old 05-04-2010, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelle View Post

They probably do have a right but it's not like they're going to want to exercise that right so I'm not going to waste too much time or effort intellectualising about that one.



I think the argument is that they do try to exercise that right, but humans are able to overcome those efforts with stealth and technology. I suppose the human equivalent would be your expectation not to have your phone calls monitored or your house bugged, and the CIA doing it anyways simply because they can get away with it.
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#20 Old 05-04-2010, 01:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red View Post

I think the argument is that they do try to exercise that right, but humans are able to overcome those efforts with stealth and technology.



I'm not convinced that animals have the reasoning skills that result in them being bothered by being filmed from a safe distance by legitimate doco crews, but if humans begin to get too close and harass them with their technology, then I think it's more appropriate to make an issue of it.

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#21 Old 05-04-2010, 01:47 AM
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I'm sure PETA's working on a campaign as we speak...

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#22 Old 05-04-2010, 08:49 AM
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I don't know what to think about this.

slops, gloops, and gruels.
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#23 Old 05-05-2010, 01:31 AM
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If the observing were somehow disruptive. This kind of seems far away though. Lots of cows and chickens live out their lives as eating machines crammed into tiny spaces. Destined to be killed brutally. It seems like this is a more debatable an issue, so it probably should be left behind for more pressing ones.
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#24 Old 05-08-2010, 08:10 PM
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Most people who make documentaries are camouflaged and the animals aren't disturbed, so they can catch them doing everyday things.
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#25 Old 05-09-2010, 03:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrieMama View Post

Most people who make documentaries are camouflaged and the animals aren't disturbed, so they can catch them doing everyday things.



That's not really true. That 1 minute of video represents hours and hours of raw footage which got left behind on the cutting room floor. A good deal of it because the animals were disturbed and the shot was spoiled. Remember, you're only seeing the final product.
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