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BlackFish, Dawn Brancheau, Orca, tilikum

I just watched Blackfish. You can watch it here. If you haven’t seen it, you need to. It will change the way you view SeaWorld. It will change the way you view all animals in captivity. It will change the way you see the world. It will make you realize that there needs to be ethics and compassion involved when dealing with nature. This has nothing to do with SeaWorld being a fun place to take your children on vacation, or whether or not the trainers there love the Orca, I am sure they do, but it has everything to do with the morals and ethics that you want to instill in your children.

Blackfish only solidified everything I’ve believed since I was 18 and took my first ethics and animals class at college; wild animals do not belong in captivity. It is cruel and unusual and if we want to see animals go see them in the wild; in their natural habitat. We can coexist but animals are not meant to be penned in and locked up because we think we are entitled to be entertained by them on a whim. Zoos, circuses and aquariums they all make me uncomfortable.

There are people , mostly higher ups at Seaworld, who will try to say that captivity is furthering conservation and research but at what price? The Orca have no natural predators they are the top of the food chain, they only thing they need protecting from is us…the humans. We are their only threat.

Would you like to be kept in a cage for the rest of your life? We do keep people in cages, it’s called jails and it’s for punishment. Why are we punishing the animals? What have they done to deserve this treatment? They were just existing in their world when we came in and stole them from their families, frightened them, dislocated them and took them from everything they knew only to punish them for a crime they didn’t commit.

Wild animals are wild and to expect any different from them because we hold them in captivity is ignorant on our part. We are lazy. We want to see these majestic animals but only on our terms; at our convenience. We have no concern for the animals. They are not inanimate objects. They feel and in the case of the more intelligent animals, like Orca whales, elephants and Chimpanzees, they understand family, loss, love and grief. How can we in good conscience treat them like this?

We’ve all seen and heard of animals attacking. We say it was unprovoked. I say it was more of a miracle it didn’t happen earlier or more often. Just because we want to believe that we have tamed a wild animal by stealing a baby Orca, an animal that stays with it’s mother in the wild until death, from it’s mother, stealing the baby from a mother who grieves, holding it in captivity and withholding food and affection as a means of beating it into submission to making it perform for our entertainment, we do not. What we are doing, in the case of the Orca, is taking an animal that has the lifespan of a human being and habitually pissing them off and then letting them live for 30+ years holding a grudge. We are making these animals into ticking time bombs.

We are the idiots for expecting anything different. We are fools for climbing into the pools with an animal that weighs 12000 lbs and not expecting to be in a dangerous situation. I don’t blame the animal. I blame the people who put the animal in these horrible situations. Imagine being stuck in an enclosure the size of your bathtub for the rest of your life, with a bunch of strangers who don’t like you and depending on others to feed you when all you really want is to be with your own family, in your natural habitat swimming all day and eating at your own leisure. That’s enough to make anyone psychotic.

We’re not saving them from anything. We are creating monsters out of animals who would otherwise peacefully coexist with us. We are punishing them by keeping them in captivity for our entertainment. Don’t support captivity.

If we stop going to these places, they will have no reason to keep these animals in captivity. By going, we are all part of the problem. If you want to see Orca whales go to the ocean and see them in their natural habitat, where they are free and happy. I don’t want to teach my children  that it’s okay to support another creatures misery nor do I want them to think it is right or acceptable to play with wild animals. Do you?

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