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Should animals have a right to privacy?

Edited as of 22:14
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A researcher at the University of East Anglia thinks animals should not just be seen as "fair game" for filmmakers, but should be granted similar privacy rights as humans.

Dr. Mills says animals sometimes withdraw from "public" areas, and appear to want 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.

The story came a day before the release of an amateur documentary from a group attending Midwest FurFest in 2008 and 2009, including covert footage of furs in their natural habitat.


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Animals do not want privacy, they want not being disturbed. Of course there are ethical considerations with filming animals, but if the filming is not disturbing or endangering the animal, worrying about the human concept of privacy is absurd.

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This reminds me of a science fiction short story I read a long time ago in which someone wakes up in an alternate reality to discover they now live in a place that superficially resembles a middle-class residence other than the viewing windows into their display at an alien zoo.

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Absolutely. How would you feel if some random filmmaker came to your house without warning and went "HEY BB CAMERA TIME YES?"

Yes, they do. Privacy isn't just a human concept. This one up here is a troll.

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Personally I suspect some furs would jump into suit and get out there.

Conventions do strike a tough balance between being private and public events. The privacy expected in a house or hotel room is not the same as the privacy of a hotel corridor. But I don't support the filming that was done at MFF, not least because they did a worse job by going in without anyone to ask about what they were seeing.

They could have had answers to their questions if they hadn't been so secretive about it – and, perhaps, if they had though to ask before showing up at an event and shoving a videocamera in people's faces.

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Privacy is completely a human concept. Only a human would care about being watched by someone that didn't know about (at the time), and didn't impact their life in any way whatsoever. Animals understand "being disturbed", they don't understand "privacy".

OTOH, judging by some of the responses here, a fair number of humans are unable to make the distinction either.

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Probably because you're treating the "Being Disturbed" and "Privacy" as completely opposite terms.

Humans, when they want privacy, put up "Do Not Disturb" signs.

That's where the confusion is.

It's more like an animal understands the drive to survive and thus hiding and fighting against things which are a threat to them or their offspring. Their survival need for 'space' is more physical, though ours tends to be more social survival related.

If someone found out X about me they wouldn't look at me the same, it would effect my stance in society and for my survival in my social cluster.

That is the essence of human privacy, animals do it to survive, humans do it to 'survive' in their social networks.

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Most people who know me well also know of my disdain for excessive "animal rights." Should animals be protected? Yes. Should we give them every right we give humans? No. It would be absurd to give animals the right to freedom of press, and they certainly have no need of habeas corpus. I do, however, think that we should give a certain amount of respect and, though it puckers my lips to say it, dignity to them. I don't think that we should pull them out of their burrows so we can video-tape them. Rather, let an offering of food be made to persuade them.

Tuyuq Vampram

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It's not that they want 'privacy' as we call it. It's that they typically fear us as predators. You'll note the predators most often don't fear humans as often as a deer or other prey animal. It's not that Lions don't expect as much privacy as a deer, its just deers are typically on the run from creatures that move and are around its size.

If an animal thinks you're not giving it enough space, it's not going to whine and call for a lawyer, it'll cave your skull in with its hooves, bite you with its venomous fangs, tear your organs out with its claws, etc

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There are far more pressing matters then dealing with the "privacy issue" of happening to catch on a film a wolf/deer/lion/horse/african civet/whatever squatting in the bushes. Lets just say my opinions on trash like sarah palin and anyone who considers aerial hunting to be a fun practice would get me locked up.....

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An opinion would get you locked up?

Maybe the actions within your opinion would, but I highly doubt the opinion itself would.
Hell you know how many times I've heard people say some really nasty stuff about the current president, their still around.

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Animals do not want privacy, and if they did, they wouldn't have a hard time finding it, beleive me (have YOU ever tried to find a particular bird in the woods at any given time?) That's absurd. They don't even know what a camera is. I say, stop trying to invent laws where none need to be and get busy enforcing the laws we already have.

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GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a developer, editor and Kai Norn from London, United Kingdom, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.