This is 28-year-old Canadian Valentine Thomas. She used to work in finance in the United Kingdom, but in her spare time had a pretty intense hobby – open sea spearfishing. And her hobby has people on the internet losing their minds.
Thomas picked up the sport around 4 years ago and was immediately hooked by the experience of being on the open water.
“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.”
She’s also pretty much a badass at the sport, having already caught this world record Atlantic Jack:
Thomas decided to start posting her catches to Instagram and, after the first few picture, woke up to more than 1,000 friend requests overnight.
“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.”
Having a growing social media presence comes with some downsides as well. She’s been featured on an Instagram account called “Spear Sluts,” and says she receives angry messages from vegans calling her a killer.
Thomas brushes off the comments saying anyone who bashes 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.”
And then there are the bad days at the office. Like when it’s “Nope o’ clock”: