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Your Big Backyard Magazine Gripe

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National Wildlife Federation

My Recent Gripe About Your Big Backyard Magazine

When my daughter, who is now five, was about a year old she got a subscription to Animal Babies as a gift. The publication is put out by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). We read it for a few years each time it would come in the mail. Not quite a year ago I decided to move up to the next age level and get their publication called Your Big Backyard. So we have been getting it for probably seven months or so now.

Each month when the issue comes I sit on the couch with both kids and we read it cover to cover. They love the magazine and we always enjoy all the great animal photos, as well as the educational info. But I was recently unhappy with the August 2009 issue. Page 11 shows pictures of children holding up fish they have caught/killed. Not my idea of protecting or respecting nature. Then on page 29 they provide a recipe in the "cooking together" section that is called "Tuna Boats." The recipe is not vegetarian, mind you.

I was disturbed by these two pages this month and thought it was a breach of the National Wildlife Federation's mission. It certainly was against my mission. I read that magazine with them to foster a sense of caring about nature, not killing or destroying it, as is being demonstrated on these pages. So I logged onto the NWF Web site to see what their mission is. This is what I found:

"National Wildlife Federation inspires Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future."

What I found is that indeed they had violated their own mission by having such pages in their publication. If you are killing wildlife you are in no way protecting them. A direct breach of their mission. Next, I whipped out a letter to them to explain what I have essentially demonstrated in this blog post. Days go by and I get this stock response on July 29, 2009:

Thank you for contacting Your Big Backyard.

We will forward your inquiry regarding your comments on article to the
appropriate department for handling.

If we can be of further assistance, please let us know. To ensure your
future concerns are handled in a timely fashion, please include all
previous e-mail correspondence.


That's it? That's all I get? I've yet to hear anything else back and I really doubt that I will.

Before people contact me to say that they are not an animal rights group, let me say that I do indeed realize that they don't say they are. But, I would kindly direct you back to reading what their mission is. After reading their mission statement, do you not agree that they went against it? Again, I say that fishing or eating tuna is never protecting wildlife.

Let's hope this isn't a habit, or the subscription won't be renewed, that's for sure.


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