Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The case against Seaworld.

I've been pretty down lately.  I'm not sure how much of that is Wuthering Heights, how much is the reduction in calories consumed, and how much is the mild seasonal illness I'm experiencing.  Perhaps it's just a mood I'm in, or the weather.  All I know is I've been sad.  And my favored reaction to sadness is distraction.  This time, I'm going to read a book called "Death At SeaWorld."  I've been wanting to read it for a while.

Before I get too far into the reading process, some groundwork.

Hi, I'm Rochelle, and I'm anti-cap.

Captivity is wrong for orcas and dolphins.  They're too large for the tanks their kept in.  They're too intelligent to be happy in captivity.  They are sentient and self aware.  They're social animals that should not be separated from their families.  Imagine having to live with a simi random assortment of strangers.  They have cultures that SeaWorld either doesn't respect or doesn't understand.  Distinctive calls, eating habits, and hunting strategies, all disregarded.  Unimportant.

Their lives are greatly shortened.  Their families are broken apart.  They're forced to live with other whales they hate.

There are a hundred great reasons we shouldn't put orcas and dolphins in captivity and zero reasons it's a good idea to keep them in concrete tanks.

I love orcas.  I will almost certainly never see an orca.  And that's okay.  I don't want to see an orca that has to suffer pain and separation and an early death for me to see it.  I do not need to see one personally to know that they exist out in the ocean somewhere, and to care what happens to them.

Did you know that dolphins have names?  Not names like Takina or Flipper.  Names they came up with themselves.  Names human beings can't pronounce.  Let's study things like that.  Let's send boats out into the wild to record their calls.  Let's not take prisoners.

Did you know dolphins recognize their own faces in a mirror?  They pass the mirror test.  They recognize their own bodies.

Nonhuman persons.  We don't need space aliens, intelligent life is here.  It's in elephants, it's in orcas, it's in dolphins, it's in gorillas, and there are many others.

I'm not a vegetarian.  I know dolphins aren't special magical angels that are only good.  But I do believe it's wrong to eat people.  I do believe it's wrong to keep people against their will.

And so, for my next reading option, I'm reading "Death at SeaWorld."  I'm going into this experience with some background knowledge from various research I've done into orcas and dolphins as well as having seen Blackfish and paid attention to the news during the initial incidents.  More thoughts to come as I take in this particular work on the topic.