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Shark in a Bottle

Post written by VegBlogger. Follow me on Twitter.

Shark in a Bottle: Blatant Disregard for Life


Is the life of a shark useless? To some it seems so. While I don’t really care for any face-to-face encounters in the wild with sharks, I certainly do not wish them harm. I believe in the motto of live and let live. Therefore, I have a hard time understanding why so many people disregard the life of other living creatures. It saddens me to see a blatant disregard for animals. And I’m not talking about walking past all the meat in the grocery store, that’s a whole other story that is even bigger than this issue.


I’m talking about some of the things I’ve seen in recent months that turn other living species into mere objects. I’m referring to the many things that gift shops sell as souvenirs, which really shouldn’t be considered as such. Walk into many gift shops here in Florida and you are sure to see such things like:

  • Hardened and glazed baby alligator heads or bodies.
  • Insects and butterflies preserved and encased in glass for your long-time viewing pleasure.
  • Live baby turtles you can keep in a tiny plastic carrier and fill with fluorescent colored stones.
  • Beautiful seashells in abundance. Keep in mind that these shells were not found innocently on some beach. The majority of seashells sold in souvenir shops are the result of the marine animals purposely being killed so the suppliers can harvest their shells to sell.
  • A whole array of other animal skins, heads, and pieces.

I bring this up because a few days ago while taking an overnight trip to Amelia Island, Fla. (near Jacksonville), I saw one of these examples. As I was strolling through the gift shops in the downtown area I came across dead baby sharks preserved and encased in glass bottles. They were on display and available for purchase as souvenir. I did a quick search online while writing this and they are readily available online as well. Seeing the baby shark in the bottle stopped me in my Teva’s as I just stared at this wasted life. It made me sad that this life was taken before it ever really had a chance to experience living. What a sad thing it is that these baby sharks made it to birth, only to be killed and placed in jars so that humans could buy one, look at it, set it in their home, maybe give it as a gag gift of sorts, etc.


Shark in a Bottle  

For whatever reason a person would be prompted to buy the dead carcass of a baby marine animal, I cannot find it to be justified. These lives were needlessly taken and I can’t fathom that a non-human species would ever treat another species in such a manner. How would humans feel if another species had the capability of stealing our babies, or mass breading them in captivity, only to kill them, put them in jars and sell them, making it possible for their species to marvel at the human baby?


Why do such things consistently show up in gift shops and other places? My guess is that most people are just apathetic, while many others don’t realize the cruelty to animals that lead to that point. They see a product on a store shelf, and being removed from the process of how it got there, just don’t realize that it is a direct result of needless death, cruelty, the harming of an eco-system, etc. They just don’t get the connection. After all, when I explain to people about the seashells in stores usually being a result of the killing of the animal, that it likely wasn’t a natural occurrence, they are surprised and often “get it.”


So what should we do about it? Get the word out. Let others know about the cruelty to animals involved in such products. There are many ways you can let others know about such things. You can blog about it, write a letter to your editor, post this blog to your Facebook page or send it to friends, write the store, speak with the store manager, and just try to explain to as many people that will listen.


No life should be so disregarded that we take the babies of another species and sell them in jars as a travel token. It’s a disturbing and sad way for any animal to be treated.


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I just saw these for sale in Alvins in Miami Beach and I'm disgusted by this horrible commercial disregard for life.
I will be contacting several people and organizations in an attempt to put a stop to this cruelty: Discovery Channel; Miami Aquarium; Manny Puig etc


Great, Spencer thank you!

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