So what is the reason for this need to capture moments with animals? Why does it need to go so far that the animals are in danger? I think it starts with our natural love of the wild. Studies have indeed shown that spending time outdoors is good for our mental and physical health. We also share a kinship with animals. Not just the ones we choose to share our lives within our homes, but all animals. Our pets were bred to be companions, but we share strong bonds with all animals. In modern times, we are far more sheltered. While many of us have pets, in some ways this is not enough. Humans used to be surrounded by animals at all times, and perhaps our primal selves crave this still, outside of our housemates. I believe that this need, combined with our newer desire to share our lives with everyone else via the internet, has led to these problems. Many people are just happy to take a picture of an animal doing its thing without getting closer, but others feel the need to be as good as say, a National Geographic photographer. I think part of the reason is a lack of empathy with animals, especially those that aren’t what we’re used to. The wild ones, and the not-so-cuddly ones (I plan on exploring the lives and minds of some not-so cuddly animals soon, to hopefully change some minds in this blog). Knowledge is power, and the more people know about how animals live their lives and feel what they feel, the less likely they will be to abuse this close bond we share with them.