Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

No Wiggle Room for Bad Decision.

Australian children’s entertainers the Wiggles may have made the worst business decision of their careers. The recent sacking of yellow Wiggle Sam Moran to make room for his predecessor’s return not only generated their worst ever publicity, they missed out on a perfect opportunity to perpetuate the Wiggle’s brand for years longer.

None of the original members are getting younger – in fact they are noticeably aging, and three of them have experienced serious health issues. Geoff (purple wiggle) and Greg (returning yellow Wiggle) have both had heart problems, while Anthony (blue wiggle) has made no secret about suffering depression. How long can they continue with age and health against them?

Instead of casting Sam aside like a now unneeded maternity-leave relief worker, he could have been the first in an ongoing replacement program. He was well-established and loved by today’s toddling audience, proof that life could go on without the original Wiggle cast, that the brand has grown bigger than its individual (original) cast members.
Recently I read how most of the Wiggles annual multi-million dollar income has little to do with actual performances. Most comes from other sources such as advertising endorsements. With the dismissal of Sam they missed the perfect opportunity to sequentially replace all of the original members, allowing them to move on to other things – or into a comfortably wealthy retirement financed by their shareholdings in the Wiggles brand. They could have left younger men like Sam Moran to continue the hard work of entertaining children.
One thing that seems to have been overlooked with the Yellow Wiggle situation is that Sam seemed to do most of the singing for the group during his time as a wiggle. Whenever I saw them on TV, such as Carols by Candlelight, the other members acted as backing vocalists for Sam the lead singer.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Would Veganism Prevent Animal Suffering?

I’ve just seen a comment on the letters page of the Daily Telegraph suggesting that animal suffering would be alleviated with the widespread adoption of a vegan diet.

I think the comment displays a noble but very naive desire.
The problem of animal suffering is more related to market forces and factory farming practices than by meat eating.

Humanely raised livestock, given an equally humane end to life results in far less suffering than many creatures experience “in the wild” as part of a natural foodchain. Man is only one species of meat eater, and the only one with the potential of reducing the suffering of the animals he eats.

A universal vegan diet would ultimately thrust those creatures currently raised domestically for food into “the wild”. It is unlikely that millions of these animals, no longer required for food, will be kept as pets or in zoos. What kind of habitat would be given over to them to allow them to roam in freedom and could they survive?

What suffering would they endure and for how long, until they slip to endangered status and eventually to probable extinction?

Veganism is NOT the answer to animal suffering, but being more selective with meat: eating less and choosing meat from animals raised and slaughtered humanely is a step in the right direction.

photo credit Black Cow by Petr Kratochvil