May 1, 2015

End Dolphin and Orca Captivity

Everyone has heard of SeaWorld and many of you have probably even been to SeaWorld. I've been to Seaworld twice, once when I was around 5-7 years old and another time on a High School band trip.

If I could turn back time after knowing what I know now, I would refuse to go (If you have not seen Blackfish, you need to). I regret going and I regret enjoying the dolphins and orcas perform. Now I'm not just against SeaWorld, I'm against all marine parks that keep dolphins and orcas captive. They are used purely for entertainment. There is no educational value to the animals because if there was, they wouldn't even be in captivity. 

Now I'm not saying all animals should be free and zoos are evil, every animal is different, some are fine in captivity. Orcas and dolphins aren't. They are an animal that needs an ocean to fulfill their needs, not a tiny chlorinated pool.

Dr. Naomi Rose recently did a Ted Talk about orcas that is heartbreaking. Did you know orca pods have their own language/cultures? That they are very family oriented and never leave their pods? That if left in the wild, Orcas can live up to 50 years old, even 100? Yet in captivity, they hardly make it to 30. 

You can watch her presentation here:

Orcas belong in the wild with their families, yet at SeaWorld, calves are often separated from their mothers. SeaWorld recently lied about this, claiming they didn't, but here's a poster revealing the truth:


Then there are dolphins. A lot of people have "to swim with dolphins" on their bucket list, but you know what, by swimming with them, you are hurting them. I won't go into too much detail since I believe this article does a great job revealing how dolphins don't belong in captivity: The Disturbing Truth Behind Your Swim With Dolphins.

So if captivity is so bad, why are they still in captivity, well that would be the consumer's fault. You purchase a ticket to go to SeaWorld to see Shamu. You pay to swim with dolphins. Businesses don't care about the animals, they care about the money. The only way to end this abuse is to educate consumers so they stop going to these places. Boycott SeaWorld. Instead of swimming with dolphins, go on a boat and watch them ride the waves.

If the circus can stop using elephants due to public pressure, then so can SeaWorld and other Marine Parks. It's up to us as the consumers to show them that we don't approve of how they treat animals and refuse to go until dolphins and orcas are no longer forced to live in tiny pools.

It's also up to parents to educate their children that seeing dolphins and orcas in captivity is not right. Instead, take them out to sea to see them in the natural habitat. In some rare cases, you can watch orcas from the shore!

It's up to us to be their voice because unfortunately, they can't speak our language. If they could, I'm sure they would have all been freed by now.

Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on MorgueFile.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting piece... Not sure about other animals being ok w/captivity.
    For years I visit the local zoo (as a child and later in life with my nieces), now I feel ashamed of that.. Animals don't belong in a cage.. They belong in sanctuaries, big open parks or their natural habitat....

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    1. I kind of agree and disagree. There are good and bad zoos. Good zoos are great since it's educational and the animals have plenty of space. The problem with Orcas, dolphins, and whales is that they are big animals and not being given enough space and even with enough space it can't mimic the ocean and there's no way you can keep them together in their pod/families. Those are animals that don't do well in captivity, so they shouldn't be kept captive. Here is an article about why zoos are good: http://www.theguardian.com/science/lost-worlds/2014/aug/19/why-zoos-are-good

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