At a gathering of the Children and Nature Network in 2009, Janet Ady of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service held aloft an outsized pharmacy bottle. It contained, reports Richard Louv in Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life, a prescription to be used “daily, outdoors in nature”. The following year, Louv raised the same bottle before the American Academy of Pediatrics and suggested doctors consider prescribing “vitamin N” – “N” for nature – as an antidote to ‘nature-deficit disorder’ (NDD).
In The Washington Post this week:
The osprey cam at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is trained on a nest near the Massachusetts seaside, and the pair that call it home are now waiting for three eggs to hatch. But for the first spring in a decade, the camera is dark, and a note on the institute’s website offers only a two-sentence explanation.
“Regrettably, the cam will not be operating this season due to the increasingly aggressive actions of certain viewers the last two years,” it begins. (Read whole article)
I wrote about this issue two years ago in The Conversation, ‘Webcam bird rescue shows how quickly our attraction to nature can turn sour‘. Then it was bald eagles in Minnesota, now it’s ospreys in Massachusetts. The problem is that people who enjoy watching birds and animals via webcams want to see only cute images.
Last month, according to The Post, “a Pittsburgh cam’s bald eagles made national news when they fed a small cat to their eaglets”. Oh dear, that really doesn’t match audience expectations. It seems that many of us love nature, but only when it’s pretty.