1. This is 28-year-old Valentine Thomas. She used to work in finance in the United Kingdom, but in her spare time had a pretty intense hobby.
2. Thomas spends her weekends spearfishing, a hobby she picked up about four years ago. She told BuzzFeed News she was hooked by the experience of being in the ocean and eating what you catch.
“I really encourage sustainable eating and spearfishing is definitely one of its purest forms in my opinion,” she said. “You catch exactly what you want to eat and there is no ‘collateral damages’ to it.”
3. The Canadian is already a world record holder in the sport, having speared the world’s largest Atlantic Jack.
4. Thomas began posting snaps of her fishing to Facebook and Instagram, and has since become a social media sensation. She said the first time she posted a picture with a fish to Facebook, she woke up to one thousand friend requests.
“The first reaction is being flattered…and probably vanity I must admit,” she said. “But then you realize that you are actually able to reach people and that means you might be able to make an actual difference.”
5. Although, her social media fame has come with some negativity. She was featured on an Instagram account called “Spear Sluts,” and says she receives angry messages from vegans calling her a killer.
6. Thomas said she brushes off the comments, and says anyone who trashes her but buys meat at the supermarket is a hypocrite. “It is not that long ago that if you couldn’t kill your own food, you wouldn’t eat,” she said.
“Some people are confusing the fact of getting your own food with taking pride and joy in killing it,” she said.
“I don’t do this because I enjoy killing things and because I enjoy fish suffering. I am just realistic about where food comes from! I have a great respect for my prey and I make sure that it doesn’t suffer.”
7. She said she hopes she can use her platform as a way to spread awareness about conservation.
“[Spearfishers] have the front seat to see how the ocean is degrading, how the population of fish is going down so quickly, and how humans are having a massive negative impact on the ecology,” she said.
“You develop a consciousness and a drive that makes you wan to do more and encourage changes.”
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