This poignant look at the black-market trade in animals and animal parts is one of those stories that makes the viewer want to slap poachers upside the head. Photographer Patrick Brown makes viewers realize how frighteningly common these practices are, due to the exploding wealth in Asia, where rare animal parts are consumed and exotic animals are desired for pets. Want to buy a tiger this week? For sufficient cash, it can happen. Every year up to 30,000 primates, 2 to 5 million birds and 10 million reptile skins are traded.
According to ancient Chinese custom, animal parts are imbued with “magical” properties. For the superstitious, eating the flesh of a tiger provides the animal’s strength. Despite scientific studies proving these beliefs wrong, the trade of animals and animal parts continues largely unchecked, fueled by desire, greed and corruption. The problem seems insurmountable; one way of curbing the rampant killing and to decrease the demand for rare animals is by educating future generations and removing antiquated and false beliefs.
An on-camera video interview with photographer Patrick Brown is woven throughout the presentation. In addition, there are 13 short pieces offered as additional material that show more pictures and allow Brown to touch on subjects not necessarily covered in the longer, opening piece. MediaStorm has also listed a variety of groups the audience can contact if they want to become involved in these issues.
Photography: Patrick Brown
Producer: Eric Maierson
Executive Producer: Brian Storm
Graphics: Tim Klimowicz