"I think they're really important in connecting heart and head. On the one hand you've got the science out there now that shows that animals do have personalities, minds and feelings; On the other hand you are seeing animals face-to-face in these YouTubes."
From The Dodo:
Animal videos and stories in general tend to go viral online more than any other kind of story. Why do you think that is?
Well, because animals do have a deep and ancient relationship to us. So when you see a baby rhino that's been brought up running around and around in the living room and playing with the dog, that's wonderful … When you see that, people start thinking differently about rhinos.
On one hand a film, a movie, a video or whatever which only shows the wonderful nature — that tends to lull people into thinking there's still a lot of nature left. When you come face-to-face with the individual animal, with the facts about so many rhinos being killed … it makes you angry. When you then relate those numbers to [the baby rhino] running around and around in the living room, you think differently.