Humans have a bad habit of forgetting that the Earth does not, in fact, belong to us. Some believe that just because we’re intelligent beings, and have opposable thumbs and weapons at our disposal, that we control everything and have the right to do anything with the things around us.
But the fact is, we share the Earth with more than 8 million species, and they outnumber humans by a long shot. (Chickens alone have more than 11 million strong on us.)
That’s why respect for our fellow inhabitants is so important. And yet, it seems every day a news story is released portraying someone with a smartphone showing off how they’ve caught a helpless animal all in the name of social media fame.
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When Alex Winn posted his original video on Instagram, he said it got thousands of views within minutes. And it’s easy to see why: It’s compelling content. But for all the wrong reasons.
It opens with a swirling in some water before Winn dives in.
He surfaces with a small shark that is writhing around in discomfort.
Winn has since removed the video from his Instagram account and says that though the clip doesn’t show it, he threw the shark back into the water and made sure it swam away.
While many say that this is the definition of catch and release, this seems far crueler than simply hooking something and throwing it back in the water.
Not only does Winn toss the shark onto the dock and film it as it struggles to breathe, but this was clearly all done with the goal of getting likes, follows and a few minutes of social media fame.
Hopefully, the college student learns something from his mistake — at the very least, that you should respect all living creatures.
Watch the entire video and some commentary by Winn himself:
A college sophomore did the unthinkable and captured a shark with his bare hands in Washington state. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student Alex Winn, 19, caught the shark in Liberty Bay last Wednesday and video of the incident has gone viral.