> I watched Fear Factor as I always do last night. It is a show where 6
> people have to "face their fears" and partake in 3 separate competitions.
> The second competition was that the person had to put their head in a box,
> and the box was 1/4 filled with rats. As they had their head in the box,
> they had to sort rats out of a box on their right, and sort them into white
> and black rats (in boxes) on their left. Whoever sorted the most rats won.
> I was sickened by how the "sorted" rats were treated. They were picked up
> by various body parts, arms, heads, tails, etc. They were tossed around
> like a baseball. Because the people couldn't see the sorting boxes properly
> on their left, they would smash the mouse into the boxes and hit their heads
> everywhere. When they finally reached the opening in the top of the box on
> the left, the mouse would either get thrown in with force, or dropped from
> like a foot in the air... often hitting themselves on the side of the
> opening as they got dropped into the box.
> I was very pissed off by this obvious lack of respect for these animals in
> this game. Like "oh they are just disgusting rats, it doesn't matter".
> I'm trying to figure out how to contact the show and complain, if I find out
> anything I will let you guys know.
> Did anyone see the episode??? Or from the description I gave, would you
> agree that this is indeed animal abuse??
You'd never catch me watching such a dumb idea for a show to find out, but
they do claim no animals are hurt in these things, & a lot of the
purported "fear" is faked for the camera's sake. Someone WOULD get their
head bitten by a rat if they were really hurting the rats. Many rats will
take a lot of abuse without fighting back, but if a leg is really twisted
& the rat feels pain, it will bite reflexively -- the tail they might not
feel, but a twisted leg, you'd hear the leg-injured rat screaming until
let go, & you'd see a bitten human face bleeding. So unless the
heads-in-the-box were dripping *** afterward, I'd hazard the rats felt
no pain & were in fact trained by the ratwranglers to expect this to
happen as a game. Rats can fall from a four-foot height very safely, &
unless you're saying they were being flung in a five-foot-deep box, the
rats were probably having fun.
There is a rat wrangler mere inches off camera to interupt if anything is
going awry. There is also SUBSTANTIAL enforcement of rigid laws that don't
allow for the abuse of animals in movies or television programs made in
the US or Canada; if they go to Italy or Brazil to film it, it may be to
escape prosecution for a harmful stunt. I'm told the Fear Factor stunts
usually last a great deal longer than makes it on the air; they are
condensed to look far worse than is happening. The contestants are also
instructed NOT to harm the animals -- someone with fifty snakes poored
over their body could indeed role over & harm a snake much more easily
than the rats. And that snake could be worth hundreds of dollars or a
thousand -- the wranglers tend to love their animals & have told
contestants what NOT to do in order that the animals are safe.
I also have trouble believing someone with their head in a box picking up
rats with their mouth, even if they got them by the belly-hairs or the
nuts, could actually lift them high enough to risk harming them. And
again, if the rat was hurt by human teeth, the human would risk being hurt
by a ratty's reflexive bite, & then the show would risk getting sued if a
contestant got nipped in the eyeball. They sign wavers not to sue, but
such forms are not binding if actual danger results in actual injury.
But as I am never going to spend any of my life watching such a show, I
will never know definitively if it was or wasn't as disgusting as you
perceived it, if they would really rather pay the stiff fines & risk a
couple nights in jail to condense into six seedy minutes between
commercials. I think you're right to be annoyed by such shows & I'm sure
animals are at some risk despite precautions. But my greater complaint
would be the abject stupidity of such programs that seem to appeal to a
repellant population of couch potatoes.
"Flowers are commonly badly designed, inartistic in
color, & ill-smelling." -Ambrose Bierce
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