Eco-Campaigns with E.I.A (Environmental Investigation Agency)

`Extinction is Forever’ – a poster I designed for a t-shirt competition (but never entered it). (c)Mani Navasothy 1994.

It is quite amazing that there are so many things that matter to me which I have yet to write or talk about, or share with family & friends. Blogs are wonderful for such sharing.

One such area of my life involved me being a member of the Eco-campaign and activism charity called E.I.A (Environmental Investigation Agency). My involvement dates back to around 1993-94,and am not sure why I picked that one to join and support (I was also a member of Green Peace anyway). Perhaps one of their people stopped me in the street and convinced me to join.

I wasn’t just a `pay and forget’ member of EIA.  I went to events, and did quite a lot of Fundraising for it.  I can’t recall the name of the other friend (a middle aged guy with beard) but partnered with him, I have stood at so many London Tube Stations, and also a special week-long stand at London’s Covent Garden – to do fundraising for EIA.  We would wear  a fluffy full body animal suit –  either a Dolphin or an Elephant – and stand clinking our cans for hours at peak times, with posters behind us.  (It was while doing this one day that I noticed a funny difference of sight between my left and right eye, as each had a separate eye-hole. This lead me to consultation with eye hospital and I learnt I had a slightly asymmetrical curvature of my left eye-ball!)

One friend I had made there was a very young girl (16?) called Harmony, and we all became friends. I even contributed art works for her teen-based eco-Newsletter.  One of our fundraising event was a sponsored run in what I now know as Trent Park (Enfield). I remember walking behind a person who looked very much like a TV soap start from Australia’s `Neighbours’ – and it was her!

At EIA HQ, we once had a big screening of their now famous TV programme, `The Animal Detectives’ – where experienced EIA `operatives’ went under-cover to places of animal cruelty, trafficking etc and filmed matters and exposed them to the world. It was a big hit ITV programme in the UK at the time.

Wikipedia has a full entry for EIA at   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_Investigation_Agency and here is an extract on the TV show:

Animal Detectives TV Series.

In 1995, Independent Television Network (ITV) broadcast a TV series called The Animal Detectives in the UK. The series commissioned by Carlton Television was produced by Goldhawk together with Ecodetectives, a company owned by directors of EIA. The series, based on EIA’s undercover investigation work into the trade in endagered species, showed footage from EIA’s undercover filming. The series had seven episodes, each covering a different group of animals-

Episodes BEARS (01/06/1995) WHALES (25/05/1995) PARROTS (18/05/1995) WALRUS (11/05/1995) RHINOS (04/05/1995) TURTLES (30/03/1995) MONKEYS (23/02/1995)[21]

The series won the Media Natura award for best film, the Brigitte Bardot International Genesis Award (Los Angeles), and the Gold Plaque at the Chicago Documentary Film Festival”

I don’t have any contact with EIA these days, but do check their website from time to time. But They provided me with a channel for my eco-activism at the time. These days I put those eco-activism energies into the online eco-magazine Gaian Times.  I must tell EIA about it one day.

Meanwhile, if I ever find those old photos of me in an Elephant costume, I’ll post it here 🙂

-Mani Navasothy

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