Let's face it: If good intentions were all it took to accomplish anything, we'd have fixed the world centuries ago.
But a poorly thought out good idea can do just as much harm as a well-executed terrible one, and if you don't know what we mean, just look at the animal welfare movement. Sometimes, in their single-minded efforts to make the world a better place for animals, self-proclaimed animal-rights activists actually make things a whole lot worse. For example ...
5Dolphin-Safe Tuna Spares Dolphins and Kills Everything Else
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The "dolphin safe" label on tuna cans is so ubiquitous now that you might take it for granted, just like you would a box of "tarantula-free" Fruit Roll-Ups. But several years ago, tuna fishermen would use giant drift nets, near-invisible lengths of netting that ran for miles and trapped anything that happened to run into them. This would invariably include hundreds of dolphins, which would get tangled up in the net and drown, because for some fucking reason dolphins live in the ocean despite their crippling need to breathe air.
A song about the perks of underwater life explains this, but fishermen caught the singer and ate him.
By some estimates, as many as 500,000 dolphins were killed by these nets every year. After a worldwide outcry by environmental groups, the use of drift nets was banned by several countries, and the U.S. banned the sale of any tuna caught using dolphin-slaying methods (including drift nets, purse nets, and the popular shenanigans net, which involved harpooning a bunch of dolphins and hastily stuffing them inside tuna costumes). Thus the "dolphin safe" label was born.
But the tuna industry wasn't about to just stop catching and selling their product, so they needed an equally effective alternative, which they found in the FAD -- the fish aggregation device. FADs are artificial structures that use vibrations and such to attract schools of fish, allowing fishermen to catch massive hauls of tuna. Dolphins aren't attracted to them, so everybody wins!
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Trust us -- you'll have a much better time if dolphins aren't attracted to you.
Well, not quite. While dolphins aren't sucked into FADs, absolutely everything else is. For every 1,000 tons of tuna, more than 100,000 random animals are unintentionally hauled up and killed, including endangered species of sharks, manta rays, and sea turtles. That's roughly 100 times the number of dolphins that were being caught in drift nets. So, in actuality, "dolphin safe" is just a euphemism for "wholesale massacre in a can."
Predictably, groups like Greenpeace are now trying to get rid of FADs, which, judging by the way the whole drift-net outrage went, will probably result in fishermen just blowing up the entire goddamn ocean.