By Paul Graham,
SeaWorld is feeling the pressure. Though they continue to speak out against Blackfish, their arguments are shallow at best. They say how would people, especially children, be able to see these wonderful creatures if not in a park like SeaWorld? As Ric O’Barry of the Dolphin Project responded, “Kids love dinosaurs without ever having seen them.”
“The basis of all animal rights should be the Golden Rule:
We should treat them as we would wish them to treat us, were any other
species in our dominant position.”
- Christine Stevens
Slave World. Or SeaWorld if you prefer. They are one in the same for me. SeaWorld has been in the practice for decades of capturing and stealing away dolphins and orcas away from their families and imprisoning them in small, chemically-treated tanks in between training them to perform tricks for human spectators. This has been extremely profitable for SeaWorld and other marine parks like them around the world. Yet there is a rising tide of momentum against SeaWorld and their kind that is coming from every corner of the globe. The documentary Blackfish opened in theaters across the country in late July for a limited run and CNN first aired the documentary on October 24 and it was seen by over a million and a half viewers. They have since aired the documentary a number of times to strong audience response.
SeaWorld is feeling the pressure. Though they continue to speak out against Blackfish, their arguments are shallow at best. They say how would people, especially children, be able to see these wonderful creatures if not in a park like SeaWorld? As Ric O’Barry of the Dolphin Project responded, “Kids love dinosaurs without ever having seen them.” There are amazing movies and documentaries where you can actually see the dolphins and orcas in their natural habitat and learn and appreciate all that you know about them. Go on a boat trip. Taking them away from their family pods, shortening their lifespans, keeping them confined in small areas when they are used to swimming up to a 100 miles a day, and performing tricks for humans is not only un-natural, but it is flagrant cruelty.
People, including celebrities from all over, are speaking out against SeaWorld. Singer Josh Groban says, “Kudos to CNN for airing Blackfish…what amusement parks are doing to our orcas and dolphins is immoral.” Actor Ewan McGregor stated, “Blackfish and The Cove should be watched before deciding to take your kids to any sea life parks.” Sea World in San Diego received so many comments against them that they had to disable their messaging system. Sea World Entertainment’s stock has been declining steadily over the past few months. People are taking to the streets and the parks themselves to protest against the captivity and use of orcas and dolphins. The profit centers of these enterprises are being attacked and it is going to have a definite impact. Social media is being lit up about the plight of these magnificent creatures and it is having an effect.
It is high time that as human individuals and as a civilization begin to
look at our barbaric treatment of the animal species as a whole. From
captivity, cruelty and death in factory farming, animal experimentation in
labs around the world, animal poaching, the fur and animal skin trade, to
the captivity and parading of animals in marine parks and zoos…these are all
things that we need to rise up and do something about. There is no
justification other than profit for taking advantage of these animals in
this way. When we participate in any of this, or even allow it to go on, we
lose some of our humanity. Animal rights are equally as important as human
rights, because if we can’t get our treatment of animals right, we will
never do it with other humans. Let us begin here and work towards where we
live to see the day that our relationships with the animals, other humans
and our planet can truly be cruelty-free, healed and where love and
compassion will reign.
Paul Graham was born and raised in Northern California and has lived in Las Vegas since 2004. He is a top wedding officiate, a green Realtor and writer. He has a daily vegan food blog, Eating Vegan in Vegas which is 365 days and 365 vegan meals in Las Vegas.
Paul’s e-book, Eating Vegan in Vegas: If It Can Happen Here, It Can Happen Anywhere is now available at www.sullivanstpress.com.
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