Anyone who uses dating apps can reel off a quick list of stereotypical profile pictures. There's the one with the baby (or dog), to make you look sensitive. And what about the group pic, to show you're really popular? Plus don't forget the travel selfies, shirtless selfies and Snapchat filter selfies.
Now, Tinder is cracking down on one of the most popular pictures, which sees users posing with a tiger. While many might think this is a seemingly harmelss picture, it's actually promoting something incredibly cruel. You see, the tiger wouldn't naturally pose like this - it's instincts aren't to lie in your arms. The predator is pliant because it is doped.
It was first brought to the attention of Tinder founder Sean Rad by PETA Australia, who wrote an open letter to the app.
'While most of us are on Tinder to find a soulmate or a date, appearing on the app isn't fun for everyone. What might, at first swipe, look like a harmless picture actually means that someone was caged, dominated, and tied down or drugged before their photo was taken and uploaded online,' the statement reads.
'If this happened to one of your users on a Tinder date, you'd block the profile of the person responsible immediately. Unfortunately, this is the reality for tigers, lions, and other big cats who are featured in an alarming number of Tinder profile photos.
'Baby tigers and other animals used at photo attractions are typically torn away from their distraught mothers when they're just days old and then subjected to extreme stress and physical abuse. Once they've grown larger and are too dangerous to handle, they end up being locked away in cages or heavily sedated.
'Not only are these types of photos cruel to animals, unaware Tinderlings might also mistake them for cute, harmless pictures and be prompted to take part in this abusive industry themselves. The problem is so great that there are entire blogs dedicated to ‘Tigers of Tinder’ and ‘Tinder guys with Tigers.’
Tinder has responded by asking all of its users to remove any tiger pictures immediately. It has also donated $10,000 to Project Cat, a charity that works to protect all big cats in the wild.
With a growing awareness around the realities of animal tourism, it is good to see that the dating app is helping to educate people on the cruelty behind these practices.