The Ratatouille effect

I have heard references at various times to the so-called “Bambi Effect”, the supposed effect of the classic Disney animated film, where Bambi’s mother is killed by hunters, as a contributing factor to the decline in hunter numbers across North America in recent decades.

There is no denying that deer are attractive animimals, and people understandably don’t enjoy the thought of them being killed, even if it is for food.

So I’ve been waiting to see if folks are going to start cuddling up to rodents, considering the popular success of the wonderful Pixar animated feature Ratatouille.

Some radical environmentalists are on record as stating that the earth’s population should be reduced by several billion people, perhaps by re-introducing diseases such as the bubonic plague.  Even Prince Philip is quoted as stating, “In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation.“  If they play their cards right, they might be able to use the Ratatouille Effect to ban rodenticides, and they would be well on their way to their goal.

Personally, although I thoroughly enjoyed watching Ratatouille, I still detest rats, and will kill them at any opportunity.

But then, I also hunt deer.

2 Responses to “The Ratatouille effect”

  1. Eric says:

    Hear – hear! Besides, some rodents are pretty darned tasty if correctly prepared with just that amount of spice. But then, I grew up in the jungle so my point of view may be somewhat skewed.

    As an aside, the portrayal of animals on film has certainly contributed to their humanisation. And, I can’t disagree about overpopulation being a global problem…but thought that history showed that education and industrialisation, combined with personal property rights, led to a natural decline in the birth rates, not plagues.

  2. Phil L says:

    Eric, I believe that you are absolutely correct. The best way to reduce a society’s birthrate is to increase its standard of living. That is why most of Europe and North America have birthrates lower than replacement rate, whereas the developing nations continue to have high birthrates.