Should People Be Allowed To Touch Wild Animals? Was Jumping on a Whale Shark Wrong?
If you haven't seen it yet, then google it, or check it out below, but check out the Florida teen who hitched a ride on a whale shark. The story goes, off the Florida Coast, a teen, jumps off the boat he was on, swims a few feet and then grabs the dorsal fin of a giant whale shark and goes for a ride, albeit short and sweet. In the world of instant media, of course it was videoed. The question is, should this type of behavior be allowed?
The Role of Animals Have Changed
The role of animals in our lives have changed over the decades. We don't need to hunt our dinner or catch our food. You could argue the fishing industry is the only food source that does require some level of hunting, but even then, farmed fisheries have become booming business. As a result of the changes in how we eat and what we eat, we should also consider our interactions and relationships with wild animals. We don't need to kill them. The fact is, there are very few wild animals left, considering their populations a hundred years ago, and then even less than 500 years ago, or a thousand years ago. It won't be long before the only place to see an animal will be in a zoo. In most major cities, the only wildlife you'll see are pigeons and birds that fly overhead. No deer walking gently by or rabbits stopping to munch on some grass. City-folk are very sheltered when it comes to seeing wild animals and even a more "common" animal may be a surprise to them. Consequently, we need to embrace the fact that we are at the top of the food chain, and just because we can, doesn't mean we should disturb what little bit of nature is left.
I would like to have a natural forest still standing, so our children and their children can experience the awe of seeing a wild creature cross your path. This teenagers behavior is nothing shy of ignorant and typical of his generation and the trend of dignity our society holds.
Regulations Do Exist
Regulations do exist to protect species that are endangered. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 makes it illegal to kill, hunt, collect, injure or harass an endangered or threatened species. But this isn't enough to stop people from acting like,well idiots. Take the group of hunters in the Carolina's. A group of people from all over the country, got together to illegally poach bears. I cannot imagine a type of person, who feels that killing a bear makes him a better person, or a person of integrity. They should be ashamed of themselves, but look at how this whale riding video has spread across the internet. People laugh, they joke, and find it amusing to see, which in turn fuels more people to do more stupid idiotic things for attention.
The fact is, regulations do exist, but common sense should be enough to prevail. Unfortunately, as time passes by, such values are falling further by the wayside.
Sense of Entitlement
Talk to a hunter, and they'll tell you, there is nothing wrong with hunting and killing an animal for food. It also wasn't wrong to marry and foster children when you were thirteen, but times have changed. To hold fast to antiquated ways of life is nothing shy of a poor excuse for an ever shrinking way of life. Holding on to the past hunter way of life is not only selfish, but myopic. Because a hunter feels the need to kill his dinner, taking a wild animal, I may not have the opportunity to ever see such an animal.
Take a polar bear for instance, there are literally only thousands of polar bears left in the world spread across land masses larger than North America, which means, they are few and far between (considering that over 300,000,000 people live just in the United States. With such a sparse population, polar bears pose little threat to humans, so why on Earth would anyone need to kill a polar bear? The same reasons a teen in Florida felt the need to jump on the back of a whale shark.
Ignorance Breeds Ignorance
The old argument between nature and nurture will continue as long as we live, but when it comes to treating our environment and other creatures with respect, we tend to follow the lead of our parents. If Dad was a hunter, chances are, you are more inclined to pick up a gun and hunt, just as if your parents taught you to respect living things, you would tend to be more of a conservationist and be against hunting. Whether or not you are for or against hunting is your own personal preference, but to be fair, at some point, there will be no more wild animals. Then what will be left to hunt?
If you can't follow that logic through, then I don't expect you to jump to the conclusion that in order to avoid the disappearance of wild animals, means not purposefully setting out to kill them. It could literally be that simple.
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