TED talks: how the teddy bear taught us compassion – Jon Mooallem

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The way we tell stories matters and can have very real consequences on the survival of certain wild animals, says writer Jon Mooallem in this week’s featured TED talk.

He opens with the story of Theodore Roosevelt’s encounter with a black bear in 1902. The former US president spared the bear’s life while on a hunting trip – which is how ‘teddy bears’ got their name.

Mooallem says that this story, and others from history, affect the way we look at the natural world and the animals within it.

He says, “I’d argue that the invention of the teddy bear, inside that story is a more important story, a story about how dramatically our ideas about nature can change, and also about how, on the planet right now, the stories that we tell are dramatically changing nature.”

To watch this video on the TED website, click here.