First let me say I’ve been there many times with my wife and children. When we go, we marvel at the sea otters, jellyfish, and the Mola they had for awhile. When we go to an aquarium, I don’t expect to be seeing land mammals with gas masks on them used as climate propaganda, I expect to see fish, invertebrates, and marine mammals.
And here it is after:
We don’t go there to see cows with political statements. In fact, we won’t be going ever again. Monterey Bay Aquarium used to be a place to enjoy. Now it’s just another political hack.
Fortunately, there’s a Facebook group that got together and put enough pressure on the Aquarium to make them realize just how stupid their cow with a gas mask idea was. The gas mask is gone, but the exhibit remains.
Here’s the “apology” letter from MBA to one of the Facebook group members:
The Monterey Bay Aquarium opened its “Hot Pink Flamingos” exhibit to share stories of the threats facing ocean wildlife – and human society – because of global climate change caused by carbon pollution from human activities.By combining live animal exhibits with stories of individuals and communities taking action to reduce carbon pollution, we’re highlighting a hopeful path forward. Most of our visitors are responding positively to that message.
Unfortunately, one element of the exhibit – a cow wearing a stylized gas mask – has become an unintended source of distress for families involved in the dairy industry. The cow has become not (as we hoped) a creative way to engage visitors in the topic of alternative-energy solutions but an upsetting and negative image about dairy farming.
For some, the mask has been a distraction from the important messages that are central to the exhibit: Carbon pollution from human activities is having dramatic and harmful effects on the oceans; and people around the world are making small individual changes, and larger changes in their communities, to cut our carbon pollution and avert a climate crisis.
We can tell those stories just as effectively without putting a gas mask on a cow. Offending dairy farmers was never our intent and we regret the distress the mask has caused. We’ve removed the mask, and are modifying nearby exhibit graphics so they specifically tell an alternative energy story. Many other engaging elements of Hot Pink Flamingos encourage visitors to think about – and talk about – the many things they can do to make a difference.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
886 Cannery Row
Monterey, CA 93940
Here’s a couple of news stories:
The online exhibit at MBA used to take comments, they are now closed. Gosh, ya think maybe they just got overwhelmed with negative feedback? This comment by Jim Peters pretty well summed up the stupidity of MBA’s cow exhibit:
You lost your credibility over junk science. No people = no need for cows, no people = less carbon footprint,why not just put a giant condom on the roof?
Before man huge herds of Buffalo grazed all over the plains.
Save the earth- do not emit hydro carbons traveling to the Montery Bay Aquarium in your car! Stay home!
And finally, the science of methane emissions as it pertains to bovines portrayed at MBA is a joke. A gas mask won’t do anything to stop emissions from either head or tailpipe, and will kill the cow eventually. Morons.
The MBA has a poll on their online exhibit page about climate change: