I was privileged to be invited to an exclusive sneak peak to the documentary Racing Extinction. It delves into how human activities, whether covert or out in the open, whether large-scale or minute, affect and even cause the extinction of species.
Sharks, for example, are majestic creatures that survived millennia but are now driven to near extinction because of the culinary and medicinal demand for their fins. They, however, do not evoke warm, protective feelings in me.
Until I saw how one was thrown back into the water with its fins cut off.
Aside from the pain from forcibly severed limbs, that shark will no longer be able to breathe as it respirates through the movement of water through its gills. Imagine someone cutting off your hands and legs then suffocating you with a plastic bag over your face.
Yet, this atrocity is done to thousands of sharks, and now manta rays, just to be able to serve an exotic soup, or to add an ingredient to alternative, non-scientific medicine. Why should species be decimated just because we want our soup? Or because we want something for our aches and pains (even when there are other medicines available).
In my opinion, we should care about the continued survival of other species because we could have been the species on the lower rung of the food chain. And because, the disappearance of one species could have devastating effects globally.
Racing Extinction will have a global TV premiere on Discovery Channel on December 2, 9pm.