Thursday, June 16, 2011

Nighttime Snack: Kill a Shark To Set A Record?

Today, sitting in the airport, I read an article linked on Mel Stewart's website about an open water swimmer killing a shark to set a record. Apparently, the story goes like this: 1) Swimmer Wants Record. 2) Sharks Swim In Ocean, Because Duh, That's Where Sharks Live. 3) Then Swimmer's Crew Kills Sharks. You can read the story here if you want the details. 

The swimmer's husband expresses regret, but you wonder if there was a better alternative? Or maybe just , you know, stop the swim?

Here's an interesting quote from the article:  "Imagine an ultra runner wants to set a new record racing across the bear-infested northern Rockies. Four bears approach her while she’s running along the trail and her support crew uses some manky bilious road kill to lure them away, where they’re shot dead."

If the story is true, and reports are accurate, this is disgusting. Just get out of the water. Don't kill stuff. I'm not a vegan, not an animal rights activist, not a donating member of the Sierra Club, not part of Greenpeace. But there's just some basic things you don't do, and slicing a bunch of sharks to achieve a swimming record is something you do not do. 

It makes me wonder if this type of thing happens often in the open water swimming community. From an outsider's point-of-view, it seems like open water swimming gives humans the ability to connect with nature, to experience that type of freedom. Not to swim around and kill everything that hinders your "experience."

That's 19th century "Americuh!" style. 

I'm not a shark lover. Although I do love "Shark Week." And I just grew up in a community where you just didn't needlessly wreck havoc on beautiful wildlife. Because something tells me they didn't eat these sharks after butchering them with a machete, and they probably didn't cook up some delicious "shark soup" afterwards.

Unless they did.... and I'd love to be proven wrong. 

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