My Thoughts on Seaworld and Captivity

357717621_c1270f6df2_zI first visited Seaworld when I was seven or eight years old.  This was in the year 2009, and the Believe show was in full swing.  I went to Seaworld San Diego to clarify.  I never went to Seaworld Orlando or Seaworld San Antonio.  I was instantly hooked.  I loved marine life, orcas were my favorite animals, I had Seaworld baby books and countless books on whales and dolphins and I wanted to be a Seaworld trainer or a marine biologist when I grew up.  I never thought about where the orcas came from, and I never knew how small their tank is compared to what they’d do in the wild.  My whale books told me how intelligent dolphins and orcas are, and that they could almost be as smart as we were.

I recently watched a video of the 2009 Believe show at San Diego with the trainers in the water.  The video brought back a lot of memories of my childhood.  I remember being really excited for the show after seeing the underwater viewing area.  I really wanted to be the kid they picked from the audience to meet Shamu.  224240314_e5172a8b87_zThe music, waterworks, and everything else just made the show really magical for me.  I instantly wanted to become a Shamu trainer.  I was hooked.  I also really liked the rapids ride, the Arctic exhibit (with the penguins and helicopter ride)  it was just an incredible experience for me.

The second time I went to Seaworld was when the One Ocean show was going on.  The magic seemed to have faded a bit.  The trainers were no longer in the water with the dolphins (yes, orcas or killer whales are dolphins)  My mom whispered to my aunt, “Look, they just stand there now.”  That was the last time I went to Seaworld.  I will never go back now.452215897_a9c15fe0ab_z

I knew about Blackfish but I never saw it until this year.  After I saw it, I was disgusted with Seaworld, the place responsible for some of my best childhood memories.  How dare they?  And why was I so blind?  Okay, I was a kid, but still.  Why didn’t I think where they got the orcas from?  How were they allowed to operate like that?  I also found videos of other abuse that Seaworld had done too.  All I can say is that I hope Seaworld shuts down soon for the good of the orcas.  They deserve to be in the wild in sanctuaries.  Not in a concrete pool.

Curiosity About the World and Humanity

I have sometimes wondered about the world and why it can be such an awful place.  I wonder this because I’ve seen videos of animal cruelty that is so sickening and horrific and I don’t understand why.  Why do we as humans do these things?  Do we take our anger out on them?

 

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Photo by Josh Hallett taken in 2007. CC By 4.0

Why would we put something that travels thousands of miles everyday in a tiny tank that is just as intelligent as we are?  Why do we think that this is okay?  Why does the food industry keep animals in small cages that are so tiny that they can’t turn around?  Why does the suppliers of Pet Smart and Pet Co. commit acts of animal cruelty when pets are sent back unwanted from the stores?  Why do we not shut down these places?  Why do we still eat the food that died a painful death to feed us?

 

I know that not all people are mean to animals and mistreat them.  There are many people out there in the world who work their whole lives for animals.  That’s why we have movies like Black Fish and Food Inc. and why we have organizations like PETA and the ASPCA and the Humane Society.  These organizations are very brave and even stand in front of moving trucks in protest of animal slaughter.  These brave people stop the trucks and take photos of the frightened animals right before slaughter and also give them cold water, which is something that isn’t available for them on the trucks.  To the pigs, those people were heroes.  pigs-slaughterhouse-1024x734[1]These people and organizations are often called whistle blowers, because they draw attention to issues with videos, photos, and sound clips.  You can say that PETA is a horrible organization or that you don’t like them, but they sure put the truth out there.

I also know that it would be really hard to get people to stop eating steak, pork, chicken, lamb, and fish because people like those foods and so do I.  I plan on going vegetarian in college and slowly transferring over to vegan as I get used to it because even the dairy and egg industry is cruel to animals.  I also know that it would be hard to stop people from eating products that contain dairy and eggs.  Food is just too big of a part in our lives for everyone in the world to make that drastic of a change in their diet, but at least I can do my part and others out there do too.d6dcfb3ea37317e1c23f877be4a4a5b7[1]

I can’t figure out how companies avoid the blame and cameras for these sorts of things though.  Sea World has been making up the stupidest excuses I’ve ever heard as to why they can’t put the remaining orcas in captivity in sea side sanctuaries where they can be in the ocean again and people can still see them in a much larger enclosure.  situationreversed-460x304[1]Blackfish clearly showed how these magnificent creatures act differently in captivity than how they do in the wild. Did you know that orcas don’t attack people in the wild, and they don’t try to drown them? Go figure that at Sea World, the whales do try to do that, and we all know who succeeded. Tillikum.  Tillikum is dead now, and his death shouldn’t be in vain.  Yes, Dawn was a great person and it very sad how she died, but Tillikum was a victim too.  No one can deny that after seeing Blackfish.  Let’s not let him die in vain.

Even so, I will always stand up for those without a voice. Always. The animals of this planet do not need to be pushed aside or killed or enslaved for our needs. How dare we eat the, put them on display, make them do tricks for us?! How dare we?! That is why I will always stand up for animals no matter what. Always. And you can too.e25804f57094f8f72a82d1a907a0210e[1]