The amazing Shark Week is next week! Something I’ve loved since I was a kid (along with most people it seems)! I love sharks and have since I got my very first Shark edition of Zoobooks Magazine in the mail in the 90s. I’ve read that edition so many times that it’s falling apart…anyway…
When I was young, shark week was about learning about sharks and getting more information out to the public in the hopes that if people know about them, they’ll want to save them. The exact opposite of all of the shark attack videos that are constantly being made.
However, Discovery Channel has decided to kick off Shark Week with a show called “Great White Shark Serial Killer Lives”. Sigh. I thought we had gotten past that. Well that’s what puts butts in the seats right? Showing sharks as mindless killing machines.
Sharks don’t kill just to kill…that’s serial killers. They kill because 1. they’re hungry or 2. they bit just to taste to see if humans are food and since we are so fragile, their teeth do major damage and people end up dying from their injuries.
In past Shark Week specials we learned that sharks are playful. We watched as a shark came up to the side of a boat and the researcher was able to touch its nose, push it to the side and the shark came back to do it again. We also learned that sharks don’t have ‘soulless black eyes’. There is actually a ring of blue around the black.
Growing up, I had a friend who lived in the Midwest and had never been to the ocean and her biggest fear was sharks. Where did this come from? From the fear porn surrounding sharks.
The more we learn about animals the more we love them and want to protect them. Shark fins are still a delicacy in (mostly) Asian cultures which to ‘harvest’ consists of cutting off the fins of sharks WHILE THEY’RE STILL ALIVE and throwing the body back into the ocean. If sharks are constantly portrayed as mindless killers, who is going to want to protect them?
Instead of the shark attack shows and movies, let’s learn more about them. They’re fascinating and so many things are still unknown about them. Let’s try to find out more before they disappear all together.
Say it with me:
“I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food.”