Don’t Find Dory

Image result for finding dory

In class, we talked about several different environmental movies that were discussed in our book. One type of environmental movie is when animals star as humans, such as in Finding Nemo (2003), Bambi (1942), and Antz (1998) just to name a few. However, these movies aren’t really about the animals in them. In these type of movies, the animals are basically humans. Sometimes these movies can have negative impacts on the environment and the animals that star in them though. After Finding Nemo came out in 2003, Clownfish sales increased by 40% and according to the Saving Nemo Conservation Fund, more than 1 million Clownfish are taken from reefs for home aquariums each year. This became a big concern for many animal rights activists and conservationists when Finding Dory (2016) came out earlier this year. Unlike Clownfish, Blue Tangs (a.k.a. Dory) are unable to be bred in captivity. This would devastate the Blue Tang populations even more so than what happened to the Clownfish because all Blue Tangs found in aquariums were taken from the ocean. In some areas, Clownfish are going extinct from over-collection and coral bleaching as well and are close to being endangered. Clownfish breed easily in nurseries however, so it is much easier to increase their population again, unlike the Blue Tangs.

While movies like this are entertaining and fun to watch, you shouldn’t immediately go out and buy a Clownfish or Blue Tang after for your kid because that could spell disaster for the species. The problem with many “nature” movies is that they support the dominant social paradigm that humans are superior to the rest of creation and are necessary to save, manage, or study the natural world. These movies also often put an unrealistic picture of nature in people’s minds. Anthropologist Colin Turnbull found that many American tourists are actually dissappointed by their African safaris becuase they have something like The Lion King (1994) more in mind of what it will be like. Many people just need to realize that the “nature” they see in movies is not the way it is in real life.

Jacob Fischer


10 thoughts on “Don’t Find Dory

  1. I intern at the aquarium and the amount of not just kids but adults ask where they can get a lot of our animals as pets is mind boggling. There is so, so much work that goes along with taking care of wild animals in captivity. For example, our otters, the smallest otter species in the world, can bite through steel toed boots. Thank you for writing about this!

    Victoria Obermeyer


  2. I was shocked to hear that the fish bought after the movie Finding Nemo increased so drastically. Our media industry can play a vital role in endangering species as this example clearly indicates. If only more films were focused on helping the environment, but these films would only be successful if somehow they used emotion to sway an audience.

    Ali Danesh


  3. I really enjoyed reading about this–I struggle with visiting zoos, aquariums, etc. because animals weren’t necessarily meant to be pets in some situations. Of course dogs and cats are an exception, but when you have to remove a fish from the sea, that is unnatural and 100% supports the idea that some animals are not meant to be pets. If you have to physically alter the state of your home (saltwater tank) then it may or may not be worth it.

    Mikayla Hounchell


  4. I definitely agree with Ali when she said that the impact it had on the fish blew her mind when she found out. I was the same way. It wasn’t until they announced that they would be making Finding Dory that I was aware of the impact it had on clown fish. I really enjoyed the topic, great choice!

    -Josie Silvey


  5. Popular pet buying is a serious issue. I volunteered at an exotic pet veterinary clinic in high school. The amount of people who purchase these pets with no idea how to provide proper care is ludicrous. Monkeys, sugar gliders, birds, reptiles, etc. People view animals as a commodity or a luxury. And when they get inconvenienced by their new purchase, they simply donate it or give it up to a rescue because they can’t be bothered to house it anymore. Everything in our lives is designed to become trash, and unfortunately pets have started to fall in that category. The most commonly purchased/disposed of pet was a rabbit. They’re cute and fluffy sitting in the pet store around Easter, but very few people actually know the amount of care, food, and exercise their rabbit requires. Most of these purchased pets are disposed of by the end of the month, if not sooner.

    -Jennifer Brees


    • I work at a pet store, and I agree with you Jennifer! People don’t understand the care and attention that these creatures need. We don’t need all of these inadequate people purchasing these pets and neglecting them or just throwing them out. It’s outrageous.


  6. I agree with Ali. I was also very shocked to hear that purchasing these fish increased so drastically after the movie. The media is truly corrupt and really plays such a powerful role in this, and just everything in general. Wow. Thank you for the insight.


  7. I totally agree with this blog. There are so many people that will get animals that belong in the wild and not realize who much care they need. Such as the finding nemo fish or even a pet sugar glider. Although having these pets can be cool and interesting these animals are not meant to be there just for our enjoyment.
    Lauren Reinhard


  8. I really enjoyed reading this post. The more I read about the topic it really makes me sick. Popular pet buying is becoming harmful and more need to about the issue.


  9. I agree with this blog as well. I honestly was unaware of any of those statistics until reading this and I find it very concerning. I think it’s important that more people are informed with some of the effects buying these animals can have.

    Kelly Woodward


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