A New Comedy Series Advocates for Biodiversity By… Putting Animals in Therapy

An iguana stares into the distance. Illustrated text: "What is my purpose?"

As most of us already know — likely from hours of spiraling about the climate crisis — the state of the environment is enough to send anyone to therapy. 

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with seeking help for our mental health, and climate anxiety is very real — but there is progress happening around us every single day.

One example of this is a new comedy web series from nonprofit media and conservation organization On the Edge

The series, “Animals in Therapy,” uses comedy and connection to advocate for animal conservation. Because who hasn’t felt existential anxiety surrounding the planet? We’re all in this together: even the axolotls. 

A collage of various animals with speech bubbles
Photo courtesy of On The Edge

“Unlike many campaigns which feed eco-anxiety, the new series uses comedy and relativity to deliver a pertinent message that we are all closely aligned to certain endangered species,” a press release from On the Edge shares. 

The series is the second installment following a successful run from last year’s original “Animals in Therapy” project. The organization even recruited some famous faces to chat with endangered and misunderstood species, in a therapy-style video chat setting.

There’s Rhys Darby breaking it down with a kakapo, “White Lotus” and “The Last of Us” star Murray Bartlett connecting with otters, turtles discussing sadness with Jaz Sinclair, and lots more. 

A thumbnail of a video shows two otters and Murray Bartlett. Text: "Do Humans Also Feel Happiness?"
An all-star lineup will have virtual therapy sessions with endangered species in season two of "Animals in Therapy." Photo courtesy of On The Edge

The episodes will roll out once a week through September 12 and will provide humorous and meaningful insights into the lives of animals such as fish, pangolins, and condors. 

“We champion the underdogs and EDGE (Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered) Species. They might not be the cutest or cuddliest of species, and because of this, they often don't get much conservation attention,” On the Edge CEO Beth Blood told Good Good Good in an email.

“They have wonderful traits and characteristics that we draw inspiration from to craft entertaining stories. These entertaining stories are more accessible to wider audiences, raising the species' profile and highlighting the conservation initiatives we help fund amongst a larger portion of society.”

A screenshot of the Kakapo Run game
On The Edge's Kakapo Run game is part of its interactive game series to connect people and animals. Photo courtesy of On The Edge

The web series is not the only way On the Edge connects people to animals. The organization also creates other storytelling media, interactive games, and poetry performances to emotionally connect humans with the natural world. 

In addition, On the Edge partners with Bright Tide to bring research and workshops to private sectors to train corporate leaders on sustainability topics and host “hackathons” to create new technology aimed at solving biodiversity challenges. 

“We are storytellers and scientists working to reconnect people with nature,” On the Edge’s website reads. “For us, an emotional connection means that what we're connected with is seen, acknowledged and respected. We truly believe that only by falling in love with Nature will we truly appreciate its value and do what it takes to save it.”

A fish swims in water. "I've got a brain and I feel pain."
Photo courtesy of On The Edge

That’s the power behind “Animals in Therapy.” Even though we’re vastly different, all of our experiences coalesce in the same place and time: Right here, right now, on planet Earth. 

“In our modern times, lots of people aren't very nature aware. Even if they are aware, they often see themselves as separate from nature, that humans are not a species within the animal kingdom,” Blood said. 

“Season 2 of Animals in Therapy is inspired by the fact that we all have feelings. We might interpret them in different ways or express our emotions through different methods, but animals are experiencing thoughts and feelings, desires and instincts, just like us.” 

Viewers can catch up on Season 1 of “Animals in Therapy,” or view new episodes of Season 2 on the On the Edge YouTube channel.

Header image courtesy of On the Edge

Article Details

August 15, 2023 8:05 AM
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