An up and coming show that has recently caught my attention is the show Swamp People. If you are not familiar, it is a feature on the History Channel in which residents of Louisiana participate in “gator season”. The show follows several teams as they line the swamps with baited traps in hopes of coming back to find a hooked gator. The show is of great interest of me because of stark difference between how my life is versus theirs. For instance, I am fortunate enough to be typing on this laptop right now, and for that matter even connecting to the Internet. The swamp people, lead simple and in some cases extreme lifestyles that are tremendously appealing to me, for whatever reason.
I was ecstatic when I read this week’s prompt as Swamp People is a unique and colorful example of the intertwining of Business, Government, and Society. So let’s dive right into the meat of it. The people in this show shoot and kill one of nature’s most respected creatures to make a living by selling their skins to local dealers for very cheap prices. I’m sure that some people will react very negatively to this sort of situation; however, I am from the South and am used to hunting and hunting of all sorts of animals for that matter. From an ethical point of view, is it right for these people bait, trap, and shoot these ferocious, scaly beasts? Keep in mind, they are doing nothing illegal and obtain all of the proper tags and registrations. Personally, I think its excessive to execute alligators. I use excessive because its a passive aggressive term; I am a hunter myself so therefore its not “right” for me to judge others based on what they hunt, as they could be just as unhappy with what I hunt.
On the other hand, it is clear this is these people’s only source of income and this is how they make their living (at least in season). From a business point of view, these men and women are following within the business world of selling skins; a fairly common practice as is evident by the majority of Southern living rooms. As I mentioned above, they acquire the proper licensees and only use the alloted amount of tags. In their eyes, they are using what opportunities are available to them, i.e. gators, just as we are currently taking advantage of our educational opportunity here at Bucknell.
Dun. Dun. Dun. Put your game faces on, here comes social science. Where does the societal view point stand? I’d be willing to bet that most people are disturbed by the content displayed in this show as it shows the that actually shooting of the alligators. In reference to our case studies, I’, surprised that this practice has not been ruled illegal. The two are similar in that both Nike and the swamp people are abiding by the rules, but there is still some displeasure on the part of society. At the same time, this show is being broadcasted nationally and therefore there must be a demand for it. I’d be willing to bet that a few years from now these sorts of practices will catch heavy heat from environmentalist. Check out the trailer below for a little snippet of what its like to be a person of the swamp.