The Upsetting Thing Bear Grylls Still Regrets Doing On Man Vs. Wild

Bear Grylls, the man who was once the face of survivor reality TV and host of Discovery's hit series "Man vs. Wild" is well-known for his ability to engage viewers by putting himself in dangerous situations with wild animals. Even though "Man vs. Wild" was canceled in 2012 due to a contract dispute, the show's success has launched an entirely new genre of reality TV with shows like "Alone" and "Naked and Afraid" all based on the premise of watching people try to survive with minimal supplies in the wilderness. However, looking back on his TV career, Grylls has admitted that one thing he regrets doing on "Man vs. Wild" was killing so many animals.

According to The Standard, in an interview with BBC Radio 4, Grylls said that "in the early days we were killing way too many snakes and stuff like that" and that he has "moved so far away from that nowadays." This comes as the reality TV star has faced some backlash from animal rights groups and activists, including the legendary Sir David Attenborough, who criticized Grylls for the unnecessary killing of animals "just to get a shot," via The Sun.

What caused this change of heart?

Grylls has long been the target of ire from animal lovers for the killing of wild animals on "Man vs. Wild." There was even a 2013 petition claiming that Grylls has killed bats, capybaras, alligators, monitor lizards, and boas for no other reason than profiting from their deaths. The petition was created to request that Discovery stop showing such gruesome animal shots on TV and gained over 37,000 signatures. So, what suddenly caused Grylls to change his mind and pivot to focusing on foraging more than hunting?

According to Grylls himself in his interview with BBC Radio 4, the change in his viewpoint occurred as he became more exposed to plant-based diets while filming out in the wild with different celebrities who were either vegan or vegetarian. Grylls also noted that in a real survival situation, "you go after the big game and you take too much risk and you burn too much energy" and that "if you look at great survivors historically they were always foragers." Surprisingly enough, for a man who has interacted with so many wild animals, one of Grylls' worst injuries on "Man vs. Wild" came from a collision with a camera.