Humanity has reached very high levels of stupidity across the years. But in the past few months, it seems to have reached a whole new level, with a spate of selfies that have left animals dying and injured. Just recently in Macedonia a woman has been caught on camera pulling a swan from the ocean to pose for selfies with the helpless creature. After the interaction, witnesses said the bird lay motionless for a long time, before dying.

That’s not the only case of this happening. Just weeks ago one man (one stupid, stupid man) picked a baby dolphin up out of the sea so that he and others could take photographs with it. By the time they were done with it, the small animal had quickly overheated and died of dehydration. So, in an act that sums up their uncaring natures, they left the dead dolphin discarded on the sand.

Selfies are an unavoidable part of our culture. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with them – I would be a hypocrite if I ever tried to claim that. As an animal lover I have certainly took plenty of ‘animal selfies’ in my time – cats, dogs, chickens, and – weirdly, on more occasions than I can count – goats. But do you see what all of those animals have in common? I didn’t have to pluck any of them out of the ocean to pose with them.


Taking a dolphin out of the water and passing it around for photographs is the equivalent of if I took a picture with a dog, but only if I took said picture by dragging the animal underwater and holding its wriggling, suffocating body there until it died. And I would never do that – because I am not a psychopath. How stupid and selfish do you have to be to value a selfie over the wellbeing and life of an animal?

Sure, you might want to play devil’s advocate and suggest that these people didn’t know that the dolphin was dying. But have you ever seen a fish out of water? They certainly kick up a fuss. A baby dolphin – though comparatively small and helpless compared to the lumbering species of humans – is certainly bigger than a fish, and would definitely show unmistakable signs of distress while in the throes of dehydrated death.


How is it that the same people who felt distress at the numerous whales being washed up onto beaches and dying recently could find entertainment in parading a tiny animal around that needed the water to survive? Why, as humans, do we think we own this planet? Just because we can exert control over the other species we co-exist with doesn’t mean we automatically can claim ownership of this earth.

We’ve already ruined this planet for all the animals living on it by destroying their habitats and ruining their ecosystems. Maybe once in a while we could engage our common sense (and basic decency) by not snatching their babies out of the ocean and leaving the corpse to rot on the sand, just for the sake of a selfie.

Never have the words of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy been more apt:

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