I actually started posting this in MPSIMS, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt it should go here! I’m not really mad or pissed or anything-- mainly because I don’t really give a shit. But there’s just something wrong with this, and some of you might agree.
I came across a Pennsylvania plate today. It was one of those specialty plates where people pay extra for a “prettier” plate that shows they care about something or that they’re proud of something, and some of the money is donated to that particular organization. Don’t know about your state, but Florida has hundreds of 'em.
Anyway, this was a “Save Wild Animals plate”. It first drew my attention because it was one I hadn’t seen before. Right away I knew something wasn’t quite right. As I passed the car, I made sure to get a better look at it. It was a Pennsylvania plate with the words “Save Wild Animals” scrolled across the top of it.
But did it have a picture of some wild animal? Was it a picture of one of the hundreds (thousands?) of endangered wild animal species in the US? Maybe even one specific to PA?
Nope. It was a freakin Tiger!! A tiger! …
but ok. Tigers are endangered. And they do need protecting…
But was it a wild tiger? One that was out running around being wild? Maybe doing something that a wild tiger does, or maybe even just hanging out in his wild Natural habitat? Or on a natural wild tiger preserve in India somewhere?
Nope. He was just laying there. Hanging out at some zoo, presumably the Philadelphia Zoo!!!
What do I find wrong with this?
Well for one, it’s idiotic. I don’t think ironic is the right word. This is idiotic. You have a plate that’s preaching, “Save [the] Wild Animals”, but you display an animal in captivity! So what exactly is your goal? Do you mean you wish to save the exotic, non-native, non-wild, caged animals? You want to protect these animals that you have caged up so as to guaruntee their survival and the financial interests of your Zoo??
So which is it exactly? You want to save wild animals? Or you want to protect the exotic animals in captivity? There’s a big difference.
Also, I really think the plate may be taking advantage of ignorant people. Many people will buy this plate simply because they agree with the generic message and they’ll think the animal on it is pretty. But when they are getting it because they think their money is being used to help Save Wild Animals, that’s wrong!! Because it isn’t.
This plate says, “Save Wild Animals”, and has a picture of a damn tiger on it! If that doesn’t imply the donations are going to help Save Wild Tigers, then I don’t know what does! But is the money helping any wild tigers? Are any funds being sent over to the Sunderbans in Bangladesh – you know, a place that might actually have wild tigers in need of protecting!!
So where does the funding go? Where would you guess that funding from a Save Wild Animals plate with a tiger on it goes?
According to the Philly Zoo, “$15 of each purchase will directly support education and conservation programs of zoos and aviaries in Pennsylvania.”
(emphasis added of course)
Well if nothing else, I kinda get a chuckle from the fact that the money donated to Save Wild Animals, is going to all the organizations that keep animals in cages. No preserve, refuge, national park. Nothing like that. Nothing too WILD.
PA could learn a bit from FL here. We have a “Save Wild Dolphins” plate. And guess what-- It’s not a picture of some dolphin at Sea World!!! It’s a picture of a WILD dolphin. In the ocean. You know, it’s natural “wild” habitat…
Oh and the money raised by sales of these plates goes to help fund organizations that are interested in actually “Saving Wild Dolphins”. They’re into programs and studies, and education that promote dolphin safe boating and research that is beneficial to dolphins.
They take-in sick and injured dolphins who beach themselves. They nurse them back to health and RELEASE them. And guess where they’re released? Back to the freakin wild!! Why’s that such a hard concept for PA zoos to grasp?
Anyway… what do you guys think? If nothing else, the idea is pretty silly:
Save Wild Animals (like this one here in one of our cages!!)
Why not just change the slogan to “Support Your Local Zoo” or something…