Filmmaker and shark advocate Skyler Thomas has taken to YouTube to argue that all animals, whether water and land, are worthy of compassion.
In a six-minute video titled Why A Shark Advocate Went Vegan, Thomas says it’s time to change a ‘way of life’ that compromises animal populations, and shares the story of how he became vegan to demonstrate his point.
Having lived most of his life as an omnivore, Thomas explains that the first animal food he removed from his diet was shrimp, after discovering what he calls the ‘horror of bycatch’.
Also included in the video is footage of a day’s catch from a single fishing boat – and the scene which inspired Thomas to remove all sealife from his diet.
He said: “I simply couldn’t get over that the amount of animals I saw being brought in were from a single boat, from a single days catch. Not even a big boat. And there was a long line of boats waiting their turn to unload their catch.
“And this is called sustainable fishing.”
To make matters worse, he explained, a grey seal surfaced to take in ‘the spectacle’ – with fishing line wrapped around his throat.
The documentarian also uses the video as an opportunity to challenge double standards based on culture – including the difference in public conception of shark finning and beef farming.
Thomas told Plant Based News: “The irony of us condemning shark fin soup, which is also considered to be part of a way of life, while refusing to make changes in our own lives, should not be lost on anyone.”
Thomas explained to PBN that he made the video, and shared his story, simply because it was something he needed to ‘get off his chest’ – even if it meant he would lose a number of his shark-loving followers.
He added: “I wasn’t lying when I stated the horrors on land were distracting me from finishing my shark film.
“I guess I just hoped it would plant seeds of reality in people’s minds that might one day take root.”
Thomas’ full video is available for viewing here.