ACTIVISTS BREAK INTO RAYFISH FOOTWEAR AND STEAL 200 LIVING STINGRAYS - CEO RAYMOND ONG RESPONDS
In an unprecedented event in sneaker history, wildlife activists broke into the Rayfish Footwear facility on Sunday and destroyed an undisclosed amount of lab equipment and product, while also stealing over 200 living stingrays. A video of the event shows a group of individuals who seem at first glance to be more interested in the glorification of themselves and their counterculture ideals than in an actual protection of our ecosystem.
The heavy metal soundtrack to this heist, video clips of perpetrators tagging the facility with spraypaint, and shots of lighthouses that give an uncanny representation of search lights seem to indicate a yearning for glory more than a considerate liberation of a wild species in captivity. The shortsighted actions of a group of vandals will have unimaginable consequences, but their reasoning is arguably just. Time will tell if they have actually hurt the animals and potentially an entire species and ecosystem even more, or helped save a few of the doomed fish. Time will also tell if this PR playground will serve as the biggest marketing help in the company’s history.
CEO of the company Raymond Ong takes the argument a step further in his video response, claiming hypocrisy as these animal-product-clad vigilantes break into a lab to save a version of animal about which they know little. As the company creates animals with personalized patterns from commissions by sneaker enthusiasts, the debate will continue as to whether it is more wrong to buy shoes you know were “raised” for your own personal satisfaction, or to buy shoes “raised” for an unknown wearer, potentially arranged by workers in inhumane conditions.
The full press release is below:
CEO RAYMOND ONG PROMISES THAT COMPANY WILL RETURN “STRONGER THAN EVER” AFTER SETBACK Chon Buri (August 15, 2012) This Sunday, August 12, activists broke into the headquarters of Rayfish Footwear, destroying lab equipment and sneakers, and stealing numerous living stingrays. A video on YouTube depicts masked activists removing stingrays from the Rayfish aquaculture facility and releasing the animals into the nearby ocean.
In a video statement, CEO Raymond Ong expressed deep regret over the loss: “Not only is this crime a terrible setback for my company and employees, it is also a personal tragedy.” Ong acknowledged the conflicted public response to Rayfish’s bio-customization technique, but emphasized the company’s commitment to excellent working conditions for its staff and to the humane treatment of its stingrays. “Rest assured that I fully understand that radical technological advances often make us uneasy,” Ong said, adding, “We need to get over our unwillingness to change. We need to learn love the future again.” Ong also noted his concern that the genetically modified stingrays may interbreed with wild populations.
Rayfish Footwear is currently working with local authorities to identify the culprits. A reward of 40,000 THB has been offered to area fishermen for the return of any of the released rays. Despite the damage, Rayfish officials anticipate that the October date for commercial production should be pushed back by no more than two months. The company is suspending its Grow Your Sneaker design contest until further notice, although the online contest page will remain open for entries.
Any information about the identities of the thieves can be sent to email@example.com.
So, what do you think? Who is wrong here? It all seems too crazy to be true, could it all be a hoax?
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