General Question

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Assume you're a nature photographer and you find a turtle on its back struggling to right itself. Do you help it or do you let nature run it's course?

Asked by The_Compassionate_Heretic (14538 points ) June 15th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

54 Answers

augustlan's avatar

Oh, I’d have to help it. No question. I wouldn’t take pictures of it after I did it though… that wouldn’t be accurately portraying nature, would it?

Les's avatar

I’d flip the guy over. It’ll probably happen again when I’m not around, so why should I get upset that I’m interrupting nature’s course? Just flip the guy over. I’d want him to do the same for me someday. ;-)

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

If you just let the turtle struggle on its back, you’d be an asshole. I’m all for letting nature be nature, but come on!

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@augustlan I think of it as us existing with nature the moment we get out there. Even though we’re filming and trying to stay distant, we’re interacting with nature. I’d help the little guy out. Flipping over the turtle isn’t going to destroy nature’s delicate balance and I wouldn’t watch an animal suffer if I could help it.

quasi's avatar

this happened to me once, I found a large fish stuggling to survive in a recently flooded area. I got my footage (video), then pushed it into deeper water. I figured that I had found it for a reason, and decided to help. It was a trade off.

hug_of_war's avatar

I wouldn’t. Humans interfere too much already even when we think we’re doing something helpful. I dislike the helping of some animals that are small and/or cute but not others.

Lupin's avatar

I’d flip the critter over. I’m part of nature too!

Facade's avatar

I’d photograph the little thing on it’s back, then flip it over and photograph it again.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I’d take shots of it on its back, then flip it over. I can’t stand to watch anything suffer.

Jude's avatar

Same as @Lupin. Flip him/her over. Don’t like seeing anything struggle.

loser's avatar

I’d give him a flip. We all need a helping hand from time to time.

Tulsi17's avatar

Absolutely flip the turtle over!!! I do what I can WHEN I can…the rest is up to him…or her…

Bri_L's avatar

I would flip the little guy over. No question.

Harp's avatar

Help him. This seems pretty clear-cut to me. If I saw a little old lady foundering on the sidewalk, I wouldn’t “let nature take its course”, so where would one draw the line in deciding what to help and what not to help? Just listen to the voice of your own compassion, always.

Lightlyseared's avatar

This sounds like a Voight-Kampff question.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@Lightlyseared “Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind about… your mother.”

LostInParadise's avatar

I would not think twice about it. I would turn the guy over.

I once saw a caterpillar trying to cross the road. I turned it around, but the guy insisted on going across the road. I suppose I could have picked it up and moved it to a safer location, but hey it was just a cateripillar.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic Let me tell you about my mother!

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I would also flip it over. Harp summed it up pretty well, in my opinion.

Dog's avatar

Turn it over- one good turn deserved another- Good Karma.

Jayne's avatar

Flip it. Nothing special about nature OR its course.

cak's avatar

Flip him! There’s no way I could pass him without helping him.

jonsblond's avatar

I’d take pictures, flip her over then take more pictures. I’ve also saved bugs from spider webs, but then I wasn’t helping the spider was I? :(

jca's avatar

flip him over.

arnbev959's avatar

How could I leave him there? Of course I would give him a flip.

LC_Beta's avatar

“You see your brother in the gutter, you reach out your hand.” Flip it, no question.

Ivan's avatar

I guess I don’t understand this question. Aren’t I a part of nature?

Darwin's avatar

I would, and actually have, flipped stranded turtles and tortoises over, as well as moved them out of the road and back to a canal or other proper site. I have done the same for snakes, bugs and lizards in the house, and even an occasional mouse (although I am terribly allergic to mice).

But why does being a nature photographer have anything to do with this choice?

brettvdb's avatar

flip that sucka

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@Darwin The idea for nature photographers is to not disturb nature in any way.

Darwin's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic – Well, most of the nature photographers and almost all of the nature videographers do disturb nature simply by being there. We used to say “Take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints,” but we never assumed we couldn’t act as a fortunate event in the life of an individual organism.

Ivan's avatar

I consider myself to be somewhat of an amateur nature photographer and I am struggling to see the other side of this discussion.

Resonantscythe's avatar

Turtles have the ability to flip themselves back over anyway. You’d just be speeding the process up. I say flip.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I’m part of nature so I give myself permission to right the turtle buddy onto his legs again.

mammal's avatar

i would watch blade runner for inspiration

casheroo's avatar

I would definitely help. Just like Bender. (as another user said)

mangeons's avatar

I would take pictures of it on its back (letting nature run its course) but then flip the little guy over. I would be so upset later on if I didn’t.

scamp's avatar

I’ve been a turtle flipper for years!

btko's avatar

We are part of nature and we have the capacity to help; so I would help the turtle.

simpleD's avatar

Compassion is one of our species’ greatest gifts. Ignoring an opportunity to help another creature without any cost to ourselves would be shameful.

And photography is all just a lie anyway. Who really believes we can capture nature in its pure form? As @Darwin said, just by being there we are altering the environment. Choosing a composition, including and excluding objects, setting an exposure and fixing the image on paper are all about us, not about nature.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I will always help a person or animal in need. It’s just my habit to do so and it’s the right course of action to take.

f4a's avatar

definitely flip the turtle over.

danny's avatar

Since we humans are a part of nature… I will use some of my natural abilities and help the poor little guy out.

Jack_Haas's avatar

If you see a turtle on its back and your knee-jerk reaction isn’t to help it, you’re a pathetic excuse for a human being. I found our turtle on its back once and I didn’t even think about what to do, it comes instinctively.

onesecondregrets's avatar

Unless an animal is in danger it is best to let nature run its course. As long as Mr. Turtle had no chance of being harmed, let him flip himself over- builds character, lolz.

rexpresso's avatar

I’d take the picture, turn the turtle back on its feet right after (a friendly gesture, wouldn’t cost me), and move on. I’m thinking of the stories of dolphins that rescue shipwreck victims. What if they’d just keep to their own thing?

Bri_L's avatar

And what about that dolphin in the original Batman movie that dove in front of the penguin’s torpedo at the last moment to save Batman and Robin when they were magnetically held to that ocean buoy?

What about that?

raptorum's avatar

Flip the turtle over.

MsProtoge's avatar

I would take pictures of it, and then create an animation out of it. That would be cool

tiffyandthewall's avatar

why not? you can photograph it before you help it. i agree 100% with @rexpresso. just because a dolphin’s job is to be a dolphin, not to save humans, it doesn’t mean that it won’t.

of course, this is coming from the same person who has made a u-turn and stopped on the side of a busy road to try to save a turtle from wandering into traffic (alas, it was already dead).

Inofaith's avatar

I’d photograph it.
Then help it. Considering that we humans also kill turtles on the other hand, so evening out the equation a bit.
Otherwise if humans had no business with turtles I’d let nature take its coarse.

After helping it I would photograph the happy turtle again.

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