Man Tries To Save the Environment by Being Eaten By a Snake

That's quite the Thanksgiving feast.

rosolieIf you’ve seen any commercials on the Discovery Channel lately, you’ve seen the one where a group of people carry a ginormous snake while a man in a Hazmat-looking suit talks about how he’s going to let that snake eat him.

That snake is an anaconda and the man is environmentalist Paul Rosolie. He told Entertainment Weekly (sub req’d) that he’s doing the stunt to raise awareness about environmental degradation.

“People care about animals; they don’t make the jump to caring about the habitat the animals live in… So I wanted to do something that would force a dialogue about what’s going on here – and it’s working,” he told the magazine.

The man has got a point. But when I first saw the ad, I’m thinking, “This can’t be good for the snake.” (Please note: I know nothing about snakes except that they enjoy vacationing on New York City toilets.)

But a lot of others also had that same thought.

PETA wants the show banned. (They also have some strong feelings about the Sea World float in the Macy’s Parade.) And there’s an online petition to keep the show from airing.

“This is animal abuse to the highest degree and absolutely disgusting, and could kill the snake – an adult green anaconda cannot fit the width of an adult man’s shoulders into it’s body,” the petition says.

The organizers also have a problem with the “negative stereotypes” about snakes that the student reinforces. The petition has gotten over 35,000 signatures as of this writing with more than 13,000 left to reach its goal.

Rosolie maintains that this is the best way to get attention and had a special suit made so he doesn’t die by being digested by the anaconda. In fact, he says he’s the one that’s worse for wear and “still recovering” months after the attempt.

For the Discovery Channel, this would be a win if it pulls ratings. (It airs December 7 at 10 pm.) But ultimately, raising awareness and funds and making change will be the true gauge of success. I don’t think many people will make that connection with the stunt alone. But if the program discusses habitat issues in depth, there might be some positive out of that.

via Buzzfeed; image via Twitter