My monthly Netflix bill is mostly spend on watching BBC Planet Earth. I guess I watched all the episodes at least 10 times. And Frozen Planet probably double that amount... It would be cheaper to just buy or download them. But well, I am lazy. It is easier to go to netflix.com and start watching. Especially if your download speed isn't the fastest.
Yesterday I started for the 11th time with the first episode of Planet Earth. The episode that shows multiple spots on earth. The king penguins whom survive 4 months in complete darkness on the Arctic with temperatures of minus 30 degrees celsius, while keeping their precious egg warm between their feet and belly. Polar beers spending a whole winter underneath the snow, feeding their cubs. When light returns, they crawl out of their den in desperate need of food to start hunting seals. In Africa elephants walk hundreds of kilometres for water. Through sandy desserts they travel in a steady pace with little ones that try to keep up and not loose their mothers.
And so the episode moves to the regions around the equator. The rainforests with endless amounts of water and sun. Compared to the icy poles and dry desserts, these regions are full with nourishing foods. Here live the birds of paradise with magnificent colours and shapes. Due to the fact that food is easily gathered, these birds can concentrate on other matters. “Like tidying up its display area”, as David Attenborough narrates in his own beautiful way. Accompanied by David's deep voice, images are shown of this unique bird cleaning up a square meter in the forrest. Picking up and throwing away leaves and sticks and anything else that can be distracting. All to get a clean and clear arena to show off his colourful feathers, while dancing around to attract the ladies. These birds make courtship into a real art.
While watching these birds dancing around and creating the most stunning looks, all to get the attention of the females, I couldn’t help but wonder. Are we, humans, from the western society, not the same like these birds? We live in the luxury of having plenty of food and shelter. Our most basic needs are taken care of. Therefore we have plenty of time to get busy with looking pretty and tidying up the area we live. Are we not just the same as these colourful birds? We might think we are civilised and in that way ’different’ from the animals. But while watching Planet Earth and listening to David’s soothing voice, I couldn’t see the difference…