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Tourists Kill More Exotic Animals for Selfies, But It’s No Different From A Burger Selfie

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What won’t we do for a good selfie?

Inquisitr reports that tourists are killing more than just dolphins in an attempt to capture photos of themselves with wild animals. Even after reporting that selfies are causing more deaths than shark attacks this year, there’s no stopping these selfish travellers.

They share news about the death of a peacock plucked of it’s feathers in a zoo, of a shark finding a similar beach-logged fate to the passed around dolphin, and of lion cubs that are featured photo exhibits before being poached. Once again, exotic animals are given an empathy hierarchy in the media, as opposed to animals we’re killing selfishly in our own backyards.

With many organizations taking the time to remind people that killing an animal for Instagram likes is pretty pathetic, they forget that taking a photo of your steak while eating on vacation is basically the same thing. In fact, food tourism is a huge industry, with people leaping at the chance to try meats that aren’t available in their hometowns. Liking someone’s selfie mid-bite on a big, beefy burger is the same thing as liking one of these harmful exotic animal pics. This is something I’ve argued before.

Animal rights groups say “wild animals are not toys or photos props. They should be appreciated, and left alone, in the wild where they belong.” Well, I say that animals are also not steaks, boots, or actors, and they deserve the same freedoms. So, while we spend time reminding people that using animals for instant gratification is wrong in one way, we should really be telling everyone that their use in any way is the problem. 

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  • Jessica Caneal

    While I agree with the sentiment of this post in general, I don’t see how this translates to a problem with the message that disturbing wild animals in anyway can cause them immense harm. Yes, eating animals also causes them harm. So does interfering with them in their natural habitats. We know that having compassion for animals doesn’t diminish one’s compassion for humans. In the same way, spreading a message of concern for wild animals doesn’t limit or inhibit or ability to advocate for farm animals. These are just separate issues/concerns, and both should be acknowledged. Often, getting someone to take steps to change their actions in order to benefit the welfare of one type of animal can be a good first step in getting them to acknowledge the welfare of other types of animals and to change other aspects of their lives as well.

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I’ll take “mycoproteinous food tube” over a tube of dead pig any day.

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Methods of animal conservation that support the exploitation of animals don’t exist for the animals, they exist for human profit.

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The outcry should go further than importation and should be directed at the fact that the animals in question were on their way to slaughter in the first place.