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Willowherb
Sep 1st, 2007, 10:00 AM
There is a magazine being advertised on TV at the moment called Real-Life Bugs and Insects and a real insect is given away with every issue. The insects are encased in plastic and are apparently bred for the purpose. The Natural History Museum are endorsing this piece of nastiness. Obviously many, many thousands of creatures are going to die in the supposed name of education. I really thought that this sort of thing was all in the past and can't believe this magazine is being published and advertised on TV :(

http://www.reallifebugs.co.uk/index.html

I can only see this email address on the site which is for subscription enquiries so this is the one we'll have to use to complain.

enquiries@reallifebugs.co.uk

Contact the The Natural History Museum here:

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/contact-enquiries/forms/

I'm also going to complain at every shop I see the magazine sold in.

Gorilla
Sep 1st, 2007, 10:05 AM
i've seen these TV adverts and was disgusted by the fact that thousands of animals are being killed for the sake of this pointless magazine. thanks for the information, i will complain to them. :mad:

emzy1985
Sep 1st, 2007, 11:05 AM
Complaints sent in! It went a little like this;

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to you to inform you of my disgust at your magazine. I implore you to use humane methods of teaching people about insects. Pictures, plastic models and maybe a free dvd, anything to limit the amount of death in the world. You may think that they are only bugs, but isn't your magazine about informing people of how great they are? Why kill them?
Please reply or refer me to your customer service department!

Emma Attwell

harpy
Sep 1st, 2007, 12:21 PM
:( Thank you Willowherb. I have written as well. Thought the Natural History Museum had given up that sort of thing in the 19th century.

cobweb
Sep 1st, 2007, 12:55 PM
my son showed me this ad, he would have liked to buy the magazine if there was no real insects involved :mad: - stupid assholes, i will complain, too

PinkLogik
Sep 1st, 2007, 01:03 PM
I saw this on TV only last night and questioned whether they were real or not, and then thought of course they are. I mean what is the point of it? It's really, really cruel. Thanks for the info, I am definately going to complain about this. :( :mad:

emmapresley
Sep 2nd, 2007, 12:32 AM
also saw this in disbelief..was intending to find out more and post here..arrrgh..it is outrageous..:mad: :eek:

TY willowherb for all the info..also will be writing

TheAlterEgo
Sep 2nd, 2007, 01:39 AM
I saw the advert the other day and it pissed me off too. When will people stop being such prats and stop using animals! Moreover what kind of creep wants to buy plastic coated dead insects knowing full well that they've been killed solely for that purpose? Ah humans make me sick, if they can think of anyway in which they can incorporate an animal or animal product into something they'll do it!

Complaining now.

Melanie
Sep 2nd, 2007, 02:45 AM
Ughh, for feck sake =/

Complain time =/

Stupid bloody humans.

Melanie
Sep 2nd, 2007, 03:06 AM
"
To whom this letter may concern,
recently upon discovering your magazine I was most shocked to learn of your inclusion of 'real life bugs', thinking it a gimmick of some kind I disregarded it. Upon closer inspection however, I later discovered that it is your company's intentions to include, with every magazine, a dead insect (presumably to illustrate the insect’s true beauty..?). I found this highly insensitive and frankly rather shocking, for surely the inclusion of a murdered creature does not send out a positive message to your young impressionable consumer. I put it to you that a small plastic model would have acted in place of the dead insect, and not life should have been lost (no matter how inconsequential it may seem to be). The small plastic replica would have in fact of been more cost effective than the dead alternative and would have proven a better educational aid, given that vivid coloured could have been hastily applied via the use of a machine. There is really no need for this senseless destruction. I await your reply.

Regards,
Ms Melanie Houghton.
"

TheAlterEgo
Sep 2nd, 2007, 12:19 PM
I was too sleepy to post my complaints last night so here they are now :)

Magazine compliant

I recently saw an advertisement for the 'Real-Life Bugs and Insects Magazine' and was disgusted to discover that real insects are coated in plastic and given away with each magazine. They may 'only' be insects to you and your company but they are also living creatures that should not be mass produced and then killed so that children can 'learn' about insects. It is disgusting, barbarous and is not necessary in the 21st century. There are better and easier ways to educate children and giving them plastic wrapped insects is not one of them. An educational DVD or life-like modal would be more beneficial than a sealed insect. I am outraged that people are actually breeding these insects so that they may be discarded in a child’s toy chest after the novelty has worn off. Life of any form is not meant to be tampered with and it should not be used for commercial gain.

Yours sincerely,

Emma McLaughlin.


Natural History Museum compliant

I recently saw an advertisement for the 'Real-Life Bugs and Insects Magazine' and was disgusted to discover that real insects are coated in plastic and given away with each magazine. I also could not believe that the Natural History Museum endorsed the magazine. Surely there is nothing 'natural' about mass producing insects, killing them and coating them in plastic so that they may be sold along with a magazine? They may 'only' be insects to you but they are also living creatures that should not be mass produced and then killed so that children can 'learn' about insects. It is disgusting, barbarous and is not necessary in the 21st century. There are better and easier ways to educate children and giving them plastic wrapped insects is not one of them. An educational DVD or life-like modal would be more beneficial than a sealed insect. I am outraged that people are actually breeding these insects so that they may be discarded in a child’s toy chest after the novelty has worn off. Life of any form is not meant to be tampered with and it should not be used for commercial gain. I thought that practices such as this were no longer necessary; obviously I was wrong because a dead plastic-wrapped insect is going to teach us so much isn't it?

Yours sincerely,

Emma McLaughlin.

Spud Addict
Sep 2nd, 2007, 09:50 PM
Stupid bloody idiots. Let's just kill everything and shove it in a magazine shall we? :mad:

Sent complaint now -

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to register my disgust at the magazine collection you have recently advertised. I find it quite disturbing that you are choosing to illustrate the beauty of creatures by mass producing them, killing them and encasing them in plastic. There are far better ways to communicate the fascinating lives of these creatures without resorting to such barbarism. A collection of DVDs or synthetic models would have been more than appropriate, and had that been the case, I would have been interested in collecting the series myself.

However, you have chosen to pointlessly destroy these creatures which, I believe, sends completely the wrong message to young people reading your magazines. Life should be admired, not cruelly extinguished for your financial gain.

I would appreciate a response to this matter promptly,

Yours faithfully,

Spud Addict. (Miss)

Also sent this one to Natural History Museum -

Dear Sir/Madam,
I am writing to register my disgust at the magazine collection that has recently been advertised and your endorsement of it.

I find it quite disturbing that you are choosing to support a magazine that illustrates the beauty of creatures by mass producing them, killing them and encasing them in plastic. There are far better ways to communicate the fascinating lives of these creatures without resorting to such barbarism. A collection of DVDs or synthetic models would have been more than appropriate, and had that been the case, I would have been interested in collecting the series myself.

I believe this method sends completely the wrong message to young people reading these magazines. Life should be admired, not cruelly extinguished for financial gain. I had a great amount of respect for the Natural History Museum, and cannot help but think that a move such as this contradicts what the Museum is all about. I am greatly disappointed by your apparent lack of ethics in making this decision.

I would appreciate a response to this matter promptly,

Yours faithfully,

Spud Addict

Willowherb
Sep 3rd, 2007, 10:46 AM
Occording to someone I spoke to yesterday who contacted the magazine the insects aren't killed but die of natural causes. I find that hard to believe but even if it is true it still doesn't excuse breeding thousands of them just to give away with a magazine for so called educational purposes.

Spud Addict
Sep 3rd, 2007, 01:07 PM
Even if that was true, and I have to say it sounds pretty far fetched, it's not really any better than factory farming IMHO.
How stupid do they think we are?

BlackCats
Sep 3rd, 2007, 01:10 PM
I sent a complaint and then one from my husband.

harpy
Sep 3rd, 2007, 01:13 PM
I guess you will all be getting this from the Natural History Museum:


Thank you for your email expressing your views with regard to the Real Life Bugs and Insects magazine.

As you might imagine the Museum has not taken the decision to associate itself with this new magazine series lightly, as with any decision to work in partnership. Our entomology department holds over 28 million insect specimens, which have a high research and educational value. If you have visited the Museum you will know how stimulating real specimens are from a public viewpoint. They also provide a vital resource for scientists around the world researching problems such as disease, climate change and the evolution of life on Earth.

One of the key factors in the decision to take this partnership forward was its educational value. There is a very clear purpose for the specimens in that they add significantly to the high quality educational content of this magazine.

It is true that the quality of imagery and computers has seen vast improvements in recent years, however for the study of insects there is real additional value in actually seeing and handling a specimen. Only then do you get a sense of the scale and the detail of the creature’s shape and form.

Specimens in resin are less fragile than pinned specimens and so are likely to last a long time without damage and be handled by many more people than those who purchase them. Indeed, this means that specimens in resin are used everyday in hands-on learning activities in our galleries. They can also be viewed under a magnifying glass or microscope to reveal more detail at the pace and desired focus of the observer, rather than that of a film, web or book editor.

We make it a strict condition of the Museum association with insects in resin that these are insects genuinely bred in captivity in a sustainable manner without introductions from wild populations. And that they are used for positive educational value. This partnership was considered to be a worthwhile venture to stimulate genuine interest in natural history among young people and, in doing so, encourage and inspire the next generation to study science.

I hope this explains our position clearly.

Yours sincerely,

Lily
Sep 5th, 2007, 11:05 AM
I guess you will all be getting this from the Natural History Museum:

What a pathetic response from them. The fact that they're "genuinely bred in captivity" can't possibly excuse the wanton cruelty and disregard for life involved. Why couldn't they have taken a finely-detailed mould from a dead insect to make an exact replica and then mass-produced them in plastic?

I saw this magazine in my local shop last week, before I'd seen the TV advert. I wondered whether or not they were real insects, and was as disgusted as the rest of you when I realised they were. I will also be writing to complain. :mad:

BTW, thanks for posting that, harpy.

emzy1985
Sep 5th, 2007, 11:09 AM
I also had the same perfectic response and I agree with Lilly that is it still a total disregard for life, which is not only needless but abhorrently cruel. How about we mass produce you and then kill you and coat you in plastic only for you to be thrown to the bottom of the toy box while the kid plays xbox!

Cumin
Sep 5th, 2007, 11:18 AM
I got a reply from the publishers today. Not very useful, and they actually ignored my real point, but here it is if you are interested:

-----

Thank you for your points concerning the recent launch of the REAL-LIFE BUGS
& INSECTS partwork collection. We have received a small number of similar
enquiries (and complaints) and we trust that the following information will
answer both your specific questions and those that might arise from our
answers.

We can confirm that none of the insects in the series are endangered, none
were caught from the wild, and none are treated inhumanely. The fact that
they are bred, farmed and harvested for these purposes mean that the subtle
balance in their natural environment is unaffected in any way: the
combination of educational value, delight in nature and wildlife, and
respect for the natural environment that are implicit in the series are
values of which we are proud. Furthermore, the inclusion of insects in the
series is permitted by the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora (CITES). They are all farmed insects, bred specifically for
purposes such as these and others ­ including nutritional, medicinal,
scientific and educational purposes ­ in approved farms, under regulated
conditions, for generally-accepted commercial reasons. We have merely
adapted the technology and methodology for the purposes of this partwork.

The farms and the farming and harvesting methods employed in the production
were already well established before the development of this highly
educational series. Furthermore, all participating farms have obtained a
certification of Responsible Breeders. Under this certification, the farms
must satisfy criteria for appropriate habitat, reproduction, climate
control, foods and foodstuffs to engender humane breeding, farming and
harvesting. The collection has already satisfied the regulations on import
and export in force in the European Union.

The Natural History Museum endorses and supports the series and approve the
list of insects and their origins. The NHM places a high value on the
educational quality of the collection which further helps to illuminate and
protect the natural world ­ as do we.

The species are encapsulated in a solid plastic resin block which guarantees
their perfect conservation. Before encapsulation, they are hygienically
euthanised in closed spaces to avoid any kind of suffering, then immersed in
alcohol to conserve their exact details. This process is what gives the
collection its unique educational and scientific appeal: collectors are able
to examine the creature up close, in detail, at no risk (whether actual or
imagined) and without affecting the biodiversity of any natural environment
anywhere in the world. Those insects that were poisonous are no longer
harmful: any venom is rendered harmless by the conservation process
described above. Furthermore, the insects cannot be removed from the Lucite
block: it is a solid block of resin not a box.

This series is already on sale in Spain and France and no incidence of
breakage or ill-effects have been reported in either country. Sales in other
countries are also under consideration.

We trust that this information provides the reassurance you need. If you
require any other information, please do feel free to contact us again.

-----

Lily
Sep 5th, 2007, 12:23 PM
I got a reply from the publishers today. Not very useful, and they actually ignored my real point, but here it is if you are interested:

Thanks, Cumin.

-----

(blah...)

"We can confirm that [...] none are treated inhumanely."

(blah blah...)

"Before encapsulation, they are hygienically
euthanised in closed spaces to avoid any kind of suffering, [...]"


So deliberately and needlessly creating and then taking life, on a massive scale at that, (and I notice they fail to include the actual method of death - would this be by gassing, or some kind of bug killer-type spray? Or are they 'just' left to suffocate in "closed spaces"?) is "humane"?!



"We trust that this information provides the reassurance you need. If you
require any other information, please do feel free to contact us again."

Well no, actually. It doesn't. :rolleyes:

Willowherb
Sep 5th, 2007, 01:44 PM
We can also complain to the Advertising Standards Authority

http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/how_to_complain/complaints_form

I've had the same replies as everyone else, no surprise there. I don't know what the person I spoke to who contacted the magazine was on about as the reply we all got said the insects have been 'euthanised', a euphemism for murdered, not died of natural causes. I thought that seemed too far fetched.

Melanie
Sep 8th, 2007, 05:58 PM
I also recieved a response from them today via e-mail =/
Yay for generic responses, eh?

horselesspaul
Oct 3rd, 2007, 01:45 PM
I've had the same replies as everyone else, no surprise there. I don't know what the person I spoke to who contacted the magazine was on about as the reply we all got said the insects have been 'euthanised', a euphemism for murdered, not died of natural causes. I thought that seemed too far fetched.
They'd be following them around waiting otherwise, feeding them on a diet of burgers and chips waiting for them to drop dead.
This is just daft. In my experience, people that are interested in bugs go and collect them/kill and preserve them themselves. It's a part of the experience.
This is just arm's length easy collector handed out for an effect. They need a toy to giveaway as a loss-leader with every one of these magazine strategies.
The first issue was really cheap wasn't it? Only 10 percent of people who bought it signed up for a subscription to a fairly worthy publication ruined to f*ck by some marketing company's big idea. Did it work guys?
Probably, I don't know but I expect they don't care either way just as long as they get paid.
I will write to the Natural History Museum.

Blue moon
Oct 3rd, 2007, 03:30 PM
If this is being advertised on TV, how about complaints to the advertising standards commission?

I would do myself, but not having a telly I've never seen the adverts so I'd be in the dark a bit

twinkle
Oct 3rd, 2007, 03:39 PM
Someone in a different thread said they had written to Advertising Standards about this and they weren't interested, I think.