Mixed Messages from the Avatar Project

January 4, 2010 at 2:58 pm 3 comments

By now I am sure almost everyone has seen the movie Avatar. The plot is about a mining company from Earth who wants to exploit a very valuable mineral in the soil of Pandora, a planet yet untouched by humans. They spend millions of dollars to set up an operation on the planet to mine the mineral and sell it on Earth. It was a typical story line; the mining company gets to the point of almost destroying the other plant when the human that has “gone native” saves the indigenous people. As a result, all the humans are sent back to Earth.

The message I believe the movie was trying to communicate is that our Earth’s resources are precious and should be protected for future generations. This is a wonderful message, and I believe that there is no better way to plant the seed in the mind of the general public than through a film. I left the movie with the hope that everyone who saw it would be affected in a way that makes them more conscientious of their behaviors, especially those that will minimize the carbon footprint they leave behind. Even more important, I was hoping that people would become more thoughtful about the businesses they support, because the money they spend is supporting whatever actions the company is taking to manufacture their specific product.

It was after I saw the movie that I happened to be watching television and caught the new McDonald’s commercial. McDonald’s is using images from the movie to sell their hamburgers, along with the tagline “take a bite out of Avatar”. In my mind, this clearly contradicts the culture shift that this movie advocates. We are the primary caretakers of our planet; therefore we need to understand the impact that our actions have on this world. According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, livestock “emissions” are more damaging to the planet than the emissions from every form of transportation on the planet. In addition, the report highlights the primary role that ranching plays in worldwide deforestation. Does anyone else see the mixed message that is being sent by the Avatar project in their advertising affiliation with McDonald’s hamburgers?


Entry filed under: Green Culture. Tags: , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Avatar  |  January 12, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    I also feel that there is another powerful message in the movie, and this is ‘listening’ to the planet, being one with the self and being one with the energies of planet. The people lived in peace on their planet, utilizing resources without even having a ‘need’ for ‘Unobtanium; (ironic name, no?)

    Many whom I’ve talked to see the government angle, however it seems few grasp the spiritual side of being one with the planet and harnassing the energies within.

    It shows many of the ways of many Indian tribes by being thankful for the blessings that the planet supplies without stripping it of its resources….

    As for McDonalds, all they want are kids to buy happy meals and younger kids simply see the movie as a ‘cartoon’ and nothing more, their angle is based on the mind of those 10 and under in most cases.

    I also highly doubt that cow farts are causing more damage than all the vehicles on our Mother Earth, I don’t care what a governmental agency ‘says’. BLAH

    Oh yea, the cow farts are the cause of global warming too. HA

    (as I see it snowing in the desert)

    • 2. Michael Lemons  |  January 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you for the comment! I agree that McDonald’s does market directly to children, although I felt that the commercial specifically targeted adults. I did notice the name of the resource(Unobtanium), and it is very ironic. Listening to the Earth and being thankful for what we have are qualities that would be beneficial for every human to adopt. The more people we have with these qualities, the better the world will be for future generations. Cars are very damaging, and of course, there could (possibly) be some discrepancy in the studies. Although, the methane that is released by cows is 23 times more powerful than CO2 from vehicles. McDonald’s has admitted that cow ’emissions’ are a problem and are looking into ways for the corporation to become a better caretaker of our environment. Best Wishes, Michael

  • […] of my first posts, Mixed Messages from the Avatar Project indicates my confusion about why the Avatar project would want to be affiliated in any way with […]


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Michael Lemons

I will secure sustainability for your business with strategic CSR (corporate social responsibility) by making social impact integral to the unique value proposition of the company.

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