Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jessica's Story

This video was a pleasure to make. This is a fiercely scaled down snippet of the awesome interview I did with Jessica in which she recounts the story of how she got to where she is--teaching kids about animals and conservation at the Oakland Zoo.

More videos will be coming soon--including a short video documentary about my Moon Bear Holiday Fundraiser Campaign (inspired by Jessica)!

Hope you all dig this one. I think it would be especially valuable to pass along to anyone you know curious about how to get started helping animals. It takes a lot of hard work, but helping animals and working towards conservation and a better, healthier Earth is some of the most rewarding sort of hard work you can do. Enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Use Your Voice!

Another Public Service Announcement starring me!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jessica Klieman - Public Service Announcement

Just made another video with my friend Jessica Klieman at the Oakland Zoo! Please watch and spread the link!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

WildAid's Inspirational Campaign to Decrease Demand for Wildlife Products Drives the Message Home

It has been quite the year. So much has been happening it's hard to wrap my head around it all. Grad school classes, student teaching, completing my work for the state in order to get my credential, being a supportive husband for my wife as she continues on in her first year teaching high school, and still trying to participate and lend a hand in wildlife has indeed been a roller coaster!

I often think, "I really should write about this in my blog today," but homework inevitably takes over. Well, I recently went to a lecture and learned of an organization about which I have to share, for which my conscience would scream at me if I didn't make every effort to spread the word about their work.

WildAid's mission: "To end the illegal wildlife trade within our lifetimes. To achieve this WildAid uniquely focuses on raising awareness to reduce the demand for threatened and endangered species products and to increase public support for wildlife conservation."

In order to do this, WildAid looked at big business that had success in the art of persuading people to buy, and used the same strategies to deliver their message to stop the buying of wildlife products. As Peter Knights, WildAid's executive director states in their showreel, "The message had to be attractive, concise, and entertaining. We needed to be as good at delivering our message as the world's best business, and we had to do it on a shoestring budget. Delivery, quality, repetition, and saturation. These are the four components that drive every successful campaign."

Their amazing success has been noted statistically in many areas of Asia. After totally bombarding Asia's population with their message (namely in China during the 2008 Beijing Olympics), delivered through video and traditional billboards, taxicab and airplane video screens, and traveling exhibits, WildAid successfully brought down the demand for shark fin soup in many areas, enough so that they were sued by a Thai company for negatively affecting their business (this actually turned out to be wonderful publicity for WildAid).

I remember being hooked to the internet and TV during the Beijing Olympics. I am an Olympics nut, and I remember seeing WildAid's adds with my favorite celebrities: Jackie Chan, Amitabh Bachan, Maurice Green, Amanda Beard, Harrison Ford, Yao Ming, Ganguly and Tendulkar from the Indian cricket team, and others. As soon as I found out more about their organization, I learned that all the star power behind WildAid's campaign was pro bono; these stars had agreed to do their part to help stop the illegal wildlife trade out of goodness of their own hearts, as had the film crews and producers who helped lend their time, equipment, and talents to make the videos.

WildAid has had an overwhelming number of successes in getting the word out. But the most important thing to remember is that you can help. About 20 of their videos are on YouTube. Please help spread the word by posting their videos wherever you can. Post them on facebook or myspace. Email them to your friends and family. Link to them on your blogs and websites. Their message is a great one, and helping them get an even wider audience takes such a small amount of time. Please take action!

Please visit their website: You can find all their videos and a ton of information, sign a pledge, shop their store, and much more. They also have their showreel, which maps out exactly what they do and how they do it, here:

Here are a few of their videos. Enjoy!