I can remember a time in my life in which simply the idea of your parks could take me to a place of wonder. A place where our world could live alongside the world of marine animals. We could all laugh and learn while our oceanic counterparts were mere inches away. It all seemed like a perfect idea.
But, this is not the case.
Recently, while watching a documentary titled "Blackfish," my mind was opened to the horrific truth behind your parks. The documentary features first-hand accounts of trainers who have witnessed the brutality and inhumanity that is SeaWorld. It also examines the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was killed by an orca in 2010.
Interviewees in the film testify that, in the wild, orcas are breathtaking animals that have lifespans similar to humans. There are no records of an orca taking the life of a human in the wild. According to neuroscientists, these whales have a part of the brain that humans don't, making them more sensitive and responsive to emotions. They stay with their families, called pods, for their entire life and have developed different languages for each pod.
So, if orcas are generally peaceful in the wild, why are they killing trainers in your parks?
The answer is fairly simple.
In an effort to repair the damage on your reputation caused by "Blackfish," you have invested over $10 million on public relations campaigns. Instead of spending this money on something useful, such as the maintenance of your habitats or the well-being of your captive animals, you have attempted to convince the public that you aren't as evil as the filmmakers said you were.
You claim that, "We do not separate killer whale moms and calves, and in the rare occurrences that we do move whales among our parks, we do so only in order to maintain a healthy social structure."
However, the film explicitly states that orca whales remain with their families for their entire lives. How would separating these animals be maintaining a "healthy social structure," when these whales are clearly not meant to be living together? The tanks that these whales are held in are so small that they have no where to go. You are causing them to break down emotionally, and it's costing lives.
SeaWorld attempts to persuade the public in their direction by reassuring them that, prior to Dawn Brancheau's death, the whale that killed her, Tilikum, had interacted with trainers and veterinarians safely and, "without incident over a period of 18 years." Therefore, you are not denying that Tilikum had previously been involved with incidents, specifically at SeaLand of the Pacific. If Tilikum had expressed aggression at the time of Keltie Byrne's death at SeaLand, why would you think he wouldn't repeat the behavior? The whale was kept in a metal box for a good portion of his life. He has experienced emotional trauma that we cannot even begin to understand. Treatment like that would drive anyone crazy.
There are other ways that you tried to convince us that you're not the bad guy in this situation. But did it work?
According to USA Today, "
These whales are not meant to live in tanks that are 35 feet deep. They are not meant to be moved around at your convenience. They are not meant to be messed with.
It is time to end animal cruelty at SeaWorld. Help fight the battle with SumOfUs, and make it illegal to hold orcas in captivity for performance or entertainment purposes.