American Stuffers: Has Reality TV Gone Too Far?
*Content may be too graphic for some. Reader discretion is advised.
Reality TV has become an American past-time. Everywhere families are glued to the tube. TV stations are racing to obtain the most extreme show they can get their hands on. Animal Planet has gone above and beyond, and quite frankly, they’ve made a show that might be too extreme.
If the name American Stuffers doesn’t set your stomach into queasy mode alone, the video clip sure will. Going behind-the-scenes to give you a look at a taxidermy animal manufacturer, the viewer is subject to sights that could result in several bows to the porcelain god (aka the big white toilet in your bathroom).
The gruesome and graphic program highlights the inner workings of taxidermy and pet preservation. Daniel Ross, the owner of Xtreme Taxidermy and star of the show, lives his life every day stuffing animals and maintaining memories for their owners.
The process of pet preservation is one not easily replicated. It takes a specialized machine and specialized skill to naturally pose the deceased pets. One chance is all you get to obtain the perfect pose, because let’s face it, it’s not like Fido is going to come back to life and die all over again.
The process isn’t exactly a pleasant one, and to watch it on TV is even more disturbing. The animal is prepared (basically by removing all the internal organs), stuffed, cleaned, and posed onto a customer made framework. After careful placement in a vacuum chamber, the animal sits in extremely low temperatures. The chamber converts the frozen moisture into a gaseous state, causing the animal to become freeze-dried.
Smaller animals fit perfectly in the chamber. However, no critter is too big or too small for the team members of Xtreme Taxidermy. Episodes range from stuffing dogs, raccoons, chickens, and even a python. American Stuffers takes you inside the process of preserving deceased animals, the joy the owners experience after seeing their pets, and into Daniel’s family life.
The viewer not only experiences extreme heebie-jeebies, but moments of happiness and possibly a few tears. People bring in their loved ones in an effort to keep them forever. Daniel has one shot to fulfill the owner’s wish, if he screws up, it could be traumatizing for the owner. Best friend or not, I know I couldn't place my dead animal in my freezer next to the pizza, and ship him off through the mail, just to get stuffed and gutted into a mantel piece.
Going where no TV show has gone before, Animal Planet isn’t afraid to show the viewer the emotion and the gore behind pet preservation. While I doubt I could watch the show, anyone that can stomach the creepiness and gruesome sights of pet preservation, has my respect.
What do you think about this TV show? Do you think it’s appropriate for TV? Tell us in a comment below or on our Facebook page.