Most of us have been exposed to at least one kind of invasive species-related PSA, whether it’s about spotted lanternflies, bullfrogs, or even certain kinds of trees. They often take the form of some kind of call for violence against the offending organism (and deservedly so), but few offer much in the way of utilizing these species after they’ve been caught or killed — unless, of course, you’re Gray Davis.
TikToker Gray Davis (@gray.davis) has amassed a significant following in part by documenting his forays into Florida’s environs to create interesting dinners out of invasive fish and encouraging his viewers to do the same.
In one video, he shows off a meal of foraged food featuring a lionfish he speared himself. He even goes so far as to carefully explain how to trim the lionfish’s venomous spines after catching his prey so his audience can follow in his shoes (or fins?) safely.
@gray.davis Help the environment and eat fresh! #fyp #foryoupage ♬ original sound – Gray Davis
With a pair of scissors, he instructs to “carefully lift up the fins, and just cut the entire fin right off. Now you’ll want to do this for both the side fins, as well as the bottom fins and the top spines, because all of those will get you.”
In another TikTok, he makes a tasty meal out of foraged mangos, coconuts, fiddlehead ferns, and an invasive snakehead fish sourced from one of his friends.
Not only are these fantastic examples of beneficial environmental work, but they also help everyday people transform their perspective on managing invasive species. What may have once been viewed as kind of a vague moral obligation can now be seen as a useful and even fun activity that benefits everyone.
Gray Davis’s videos can also serve as a guide on how to give these animals a somewhat more noble, purposeful death. They are harmful to their environment, yes, but they are also living creatures doing what is in their best interest for survival.
As long as there’s an opportunity to use them as a meal for yourself or your family, there’s no good reason not to take them. It’s certainly the more sustainable choice — and who knows, you may even save some money.
If you intend to follow Gray Davis’s lead to “get outside and see what you can find,” please take all necessary safety precautions so you can participate safely.
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