I've read a few stories, and have seen some proof of people abusing insects and animals to get the photographs they want, and I'd like to talk about this practice for a bit.
Being an insect macro photographer, I spend a lot of time either A.) Trying to get the perfect shot of an insect I've photographed a zillion times, or B.) Trying to, at a minimum document an insect that I've never seen, before it hops or flies away. I do this for two reasons. Hunting and photographing insects is a hobby that I enjoy, even though I'm not all that good at it, and two, I put up all of my insect photos under a Creative Commons license so that educators, and anyone interested in insects can use my photos without worries of copyright infringement.
I go out almost daily on my hunt for new insects, and sometimes lizards and birds. I observe how they behave in nature, and I pretty much know how they behave and interact with other insects. I've often likened hunting insects to being on a mini safari. You have to know your prey, where they live, what they eat, what eats them, when they wake, when they sleep, what seasons they are around etc...
Being an active insect photographer means that I follow other insect photographers online. I actively follow some people online, and I lurk and observe other people's photos of insects.
I am constantly in awe at some of the photos people get of insects, really amazing photos. Thomas Shahan comes to mind. Beautiful photos of jumping spiders taken with a minimal amount of gear. Really great work, respects his subjects, knows his craft, and doesn't harm any spiders. Another widely respected insect macro photographer is known as Lord V. Looking at his photos, he seems much like me. Documenting what he sees in nature. There are thousands of other people who specialize in photographing insects. Flickr groups, forums, subreddits, etc. even though for years and years I thought I was the only one. :-)
Looking at and observing other people's insect photographs for a long while I've often looked at a photo and thought to myself "That's impossible" "That can't be real" or "There's no F-ing way that's not staged". A month or so ago I came across a few articles that proved some of my theories 99% positively correct. These are a few of them.
Looking at these photos, reading the articles and the comments sections gives you the feeling that this isn't an isolated thing, and that when people realize that this is how the photos are obtained, they don't like the photos so much anymore.
Lots of times it's easy to spot photos where insects have been moved, or put into unnatural circumstances or positions because there will be more that one in a photo. A photo of say two skippers mating is a fairly common occurrence in nature. One insect, (predator) on top of another insect (prey) is another image you'll see sometimes. When you see a photographer's gallery and there are lots of combinations of insects, in very close proximity, on top of each other, next to each other, and you've never seen this in nature, the photo has probably been staged. Granted, in nature, nothing's certain, and you see weird critters in weird situations, it doesn't happen all the time, and it's pretty rare. Seeing two completely different species in the same tiny patch of a leaf, one riding on the other's back, mortal enemies just sitting there doing nothing, unnatural poses, etc... very very rare. Those are million to one finds, unless you create it yourself by disturbing, moving and staging the insects together to "Get the shot".
Everyone has their own idea of what's right and what's wrong. Here's a great article or Code of Ethics that explains why manipulating your subjects is a bad idea, and is harmful to them. I've been inadvertently following this same code for years without even knowing it.
The more you look at insect photographs, the more you realize that there are great opportunities to take great photos without bothering, touching, or interfering with the insect's life in any way. Yes there are a gazillion insects on the earth. Who cares about the well being of a few bugs? You should!!! Here's a post about what would happen if insects all decided to kill us......
If you really knew what insects do for humans, you'd treat every single one of them with respect and not harm them for the sake of a "Favorite" or "Like" Think about it...
Some more reading on the subject:
I know this was a rambling post, and I'm not a writer, but I hope you got the message... Thanks for reading.