Under pressure from animal rights activists, Tinder, the mobile dating app has urged users not to post photographs of themselves posing with tigers. This is a success for animal advocates. It pleases me. If we could only get trophy hunters to stop as well, the world would be a better place.
Peta is also involved. They wrote to Tinder expressing their unhappiness at the large number of photographs of people posing with tigers.
Posing with tigers has become very popular. There are pictures of men cuddling, kissing, stroking, bottlefeeding domesticated or doped up tigers in captivity. There are even sections on Tinder labelled “Tinder Guys” and “Tigers of Tinder”.
A spokesperson for Peta Australia said:
“What might, at first swipe, looked like a harmless picture actually means that [a tiger] was caged, dominated and tied down or drugged before their photo was taken and uploaded online.”
There are also selfies with baby tigers which might mean that they have been taken away from their mothers. It is a form of cat abuse.
Tinder replied in a blog post:
“It’s time for the tiger selfies to go. More often than not these photos take advantage of beautiful creatures that have been torn from their natural environment. Wild animals deserve to live in the wild.”
Tinder said that it would donate $10,000 to Project Cat, the conservation movement.
Critics argue that Tinder should have banned these sorts of photographs rather than urged people not to take them and that $10,000 is a drop in the ocean to such a successful organisation.
The trend in tiger selfies began about three years ago. The idea began with the thought that if a man can tame a tiger then he is worth dating. The idea came from a woman, Patti Stanger. She is an American businesswoman who starred in the dating reality television series The Millionaire Matchmaker.
Social media is being more closely scrutinised nowadays. For example, curbs on the promotion of terrorism on Twitter and Facebook have featured in the news recently.
Tinder’s suggestions for profile photographs of their users include taking photographs which promote conservation of wildlife and the planet in general.
This story comes hot on the heels of the uproar about trophy hunting in Africa. People are becoming more sensitive to conservation issues. This is because iconic species such as the tiger, lion and elephant are still being hunted for pleasure despite dramatic declines in their population numbers leading to genuine endangerment and possible extinction in the wild in the not too distant future. You don’t have to be an animal advocate to pick up on the news that there is a genuine problem regarding the possible extinction of iconic species in the wild.