Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sea World Sucks

 (Artist credit:  Christian Lassen)

Apologies for the lapse in posting.  Life's been busier and my partner just had major surgery.  

Lots has happened since I last posted!

Sea Shepherd had quite the season down there in the Southern Ocean.  Rather than rehash all that went on, I'll just encourage you to check out their website for updates and if you are on Facebook, you can also check them out there.

I'm sure it'll come as no surprise to anyone that I would like to write about the recent events at Sea World Orlando with the trainer being killed by the Orca, Tilly.

I've written not too long ago about my views on marine mammals in captivity.  This latest tragedy only serves to reinforce my views on this issue.  While I am deeply sorry that the trainer was killed and I extend my sympathies to her family and loved ones, it is unfortunate that it takes a tragedy like this for people to start thinking and talking about whether or not it's truly beneficial for these mammals to be held ransom in the manner that they are. 

If you've been keeping up on this story, no doubt you are aware that there is discussion that the trainer is to blame for what happened.  I'm gonna be pissy about this and say this as succinctly as I can ... WTF are they thinking, blaming the trainer??!?!?   It is my ever so humble and passionate opinion that Sea World is to blame for this tragedy, NOT the trainer and more than that, NOT the whale.  Are people truly that thick in the head?    In addition, I find it truly unbelievable that Sea World was considering euthanizing Tilikum for what happened.  Well golly gee whiz, if I had been held captive for 30 years and was living a life of basically forced slavery, I'd be pretty damn frustrated too and likely to snap myself.

These creatures weigh well over 10,000 pounds and belong in the ocean with hundreds and thousands of miles at their disposal to explore.  It is not in their nature to be held captive to satisfy the greed of humanity.   "We have them here for research" is one excuse used.  Research?  What research?  Trainers are surfing on the backs of Orcas and having dolphins fly through hoops and do somersaults in the air.  "People come away with a greater appreciation for our marine species."  Sure, as entertainers, not as species in their natural habitats and on their own terms.   What's wrong with appreciating our non-human friends just as they are, where they are, and who they are on their own terms in their own worlds?  What right do we have to yank them out of their worlds and thrust them into ours and basically say "Jump in the air Tilly!  Do a flip for us and splash the audience!"   How happy can these mammals be being stuck in a perverted and tiny version of what places like Sea World assume to be natural and healthy for them?

It's not natural for people to be enslaved.  What makes us think that it's natural for mammals to be? 

I suppose it would be fun for us to be restricted to say a bathtub .. and in order to receive food, we would be trained and required to do tricks. People will buy tickets and come away feeling like they were really educated on what a human being does in a bathtub.  All the while, someone higher up is getting rich and they only look at you as a commodity.  They also look at you to possibly provide offspring to continue further generations of performing in bathtub captivity and they continue to believe you are actually doing a public service, acting out of the goodness of your heart, doing research on humans in captivity, and providing an educational experience.   But one day you snap and bite the finger off of your "trainer."   The trainer will be blamed for doing something wrong but not the owner of the bathtub park. Things will shut down for a few days out of respect for this amputation'al tragedy and then the show must go on!  And the morons out there who love to watch humans doing tricks in bathtubs will line up to buy more tickets to more shows, all the while simply shaking their heads at the "isolated incident" and yet not learning a damn thing from it.  Yup.  That's the kind of life we'd LOVE to have! 

They show a clear pattern of calculated aggression by confined Orcas toward Humans, whereas, in the wild, you can scuba dive with these predators without ever being in danger of your life. These animals are HIGHLY intelligent. There is no conceivable way that they “mistook” their trainer for a toy, or that they did not comprehend that they were doing her harm. (Source:  A comment left after Killer Whale Tragedy Illustrates Moral Difference Between Humans and Animals article.)
Ric O'Barry wrote this latest posting on Save Japan Dolphins:  Time for a Federal Investigation into Sea World's Negligence 

One writer shares Tilly's perspective:  Tilikum Speaks About Sea World Attack

This bears repeating:

No aquarium, no tank in a marine land, however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea. And no dolphin who inhabits one of those aquariums or one of those marine lands can be considered normal. ~ Jacques Yves Cousteau ~

Captivity is cruel.  Please do not support the likes of Sea World in any way, shape or form.  Money talks and money is a powerful incentive to corporations like Sea World.  If no one supports them financially in any way, then Sea World will be forced to either change their ways for the betterment of our marine friends, or go bankrupt.



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