Why "Blackfish" Is A Crock: A Bit Of Truth About SeaWorld From A Former Employee

Why "Blackfish" Is A Crock: A Bit Of Truth About SeaWorld From A Former Employee

I'm not an expert on whale psychology, but neither is Gabriela Cowperthwaite.

Disclaimer: I'm not an expert. I didn't personally work with the whales. I worked in attractions.

I am educated enough (and have enough common sense) to realize that a Fortune 500 company (not to mention a much-beloved theme park) could not work "under the radar" and abuse its animals to the degree presented in Gabriela Cowperthwaite's 2013 "documentary," "Blackfish."

It's obvious that an animal living in captivity will be limited in its environment; that's what captivity is. And I don't necessarily believe that Tilikum should be a sperm donor (although I haven't studied the genetic correlation between aggression in Orcinus orca from parent to offspring). Whether or not it's agreed that their captive environments harm the whales, it should be agreed that "Blackfish" is propaganda, and nothing but. The way that this "documentary" was organized was purposeful in its intention to cause the viewer to confuse Sealand and SeaWorld as the same company (when they are in fact a type of polar opposite). With ignorance, "Blackfish" only chooses to reveal the dark past of SeaWorld. For those who think that SeaWorld has tried to hide their past, they haven't. Any simple Google search will bring up the history of the park and the strides that it has taken, along with the acknowledgement of their past mistakes, to preserve and keep their marine animals in greatest comfort (by the way, many of these studies have posted dates before the release of "Blackfish"). The simple fact is that most of the claims in "Blackfish" are blatant lies. To correct a few of these lies:

SeaWorld does not, and has never, blamed trainer Dawn Brancheau for her death.

The park has not collected an orca from the wild in over 35 years.

Tilikum does not spend his days isolated. He performs in shows like One Ocean, is housed with his grandson Trua, and interacts with park guests from his habitat.

SeaWorld's orcas are housed in exterior habitats.

"Blackfish" had access to the truth from SeaWorld. Cowperthwaite asked for interviewers to be sent to SeaWorld to question them. They were presented with the truth about orca care, they just chose not to use it.

While many former trainers have spoken out against SeaWorld, these trainers spent limited time employed at the park for multiple reasons. Other experienced veteran trainers have nothing but praise for SeaWorld and disgust for "Blackfish."

The theme park has a bright future. Before the studies of marine animal psychology, experts had little to no idea how captivity affected these creatures. Now that there are extensive studies on how to keep these performing animals comfortable, don't you think SeaWorld is taking great strides to make sure that the proper care is given to their orcas?

As stated in my disclaimer, I'm not an expert on this subject. I can't dazzle you with statistics, and I can't share insider information on the dimensions of the whales' habitats, or the quality of their diet as compared to the quality of a wild orca's diet. What I can provide you with is the knowledge that SeaWorld does not (and would not ever) secretly abuse their whales. SeaWorld does not actively seek to promote or condone animal abuse. If anything, the company seeks to promote and condone animal preservation. I can't begin to tell you how many formerly injured species have found homes at Turtle Trek or Dolphin Cove.

Let's think logically: do we truly think that a theme park, filled to the brim with families and celebrities seven days a week, nearly every day of the year, could pull off the abuse of their performance animals? These whales (and sea lions, otters and dolphins) are seen by the public each day. Do we not think that the audience would notice an animal in severe distress (I'm not talking about the dorsal fin thing, which even in the wild can be attributed to multiple factors)? As a public audience, let's not give in to the mass hysteria that is "Blackfish." It is propaganda, presented with just enough organization and intelligence to get the American public to buy it.

Cover Image Credit: Ytimg

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18 Realities Only Chihuahua Owners Understand

Tiny tongues, toys and tummy rubs.

Being a Chihuahua owner is a task many are not cut out for. Chihuahua hearts are big but there owners' are bigger. From constant coddling to invasive snuggles, there are some things only a Chihuahua owner understands:

1. Tiny tongue in your nose.

Be wary. Look away for a moment and your Chihuahua's tongue will slide into your nose faster than you can say stop. Just to be clear, this doesn't end at noses. Other body cavities, such as the eyes, ears and mouth are also at risk for Chihuahua infiltration.

2. Cat toys are its toys.

When your dog is tiny, it needs tiny toys.

3. Burying.

If your dog is missing, it's probably at the foot of your bed... under the covers. Oh, your bed is made? You don't think they would have been able to nuzzle down without disturbing your pillows? Wrong.

4. Claw marks halfway to your knee.

Because they want to be picked up and that's as high as they can reach.

5. Belly rubs.

Lots of them.

6. The fact that your dog is basically a cat.

They play with cat toys. They're cat sized.

7. The fact that your dog is more like a baby than a dog, or even a cat.

Okay, scratch that. Owning a chihuahua is more like having an infant that needs constant coddling. If they could talk we'd hear "pick me up, mommy" all day long.

8. The shakes.

Shakes because they're scared. Shakes because they're nervous.

9. Any miniature sized objects become toys.

Wine corks, toilet paper rolls...

10. Constant crying.

They cry when they're too excited, overwhelmed or scared which means it's always eye-wiping time!

11. Snuggles in your body's crevices

Mere cuddling is not enough for these creatures. Snuggling is only adequate when they strategically place themselves into the most irritating curve of your body- like the arch of your back or the back of your knees.

12. Being judged for the type of dog you own.

As if all Chihuahua owners participate in this type of embarrassing behavior... not saying that I don't.

13. Little dog syndrome.

14. Rain is not your friend.

Let's not even talk about thunder. There's no way you're getting your dog out of the house for a of couple hours.

15. You can't count how many times your dog has been called the Taco Bell Dog.

Yes, we get it, it's a Chihuahua. No, it doesn't need a sombrero.

16. You never go anywhere in your house alone.

Going to the kitchen? So are they! Bathroom, no problem, they'll be there to support you!

17. 'Sit' probably took you six months.

Let's just say, at least they've got the cute thing going for them.

18. The stank eye.

Cover Image Credit: Rachel C. Baxter

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15 Productive Activities To Beat The Rainy Day Blues

Rain, you can come again another day.


Chances are that if you live in the state of Virginia, you're experiencing a rather wet start to summer. I could probably count on one hand the number of nice, sunny days we've had since I moved home from college. While some rainy days are nice, it's time for the wetness and the humidity to take a leave, and for the summer heat and sun to take over.

If you're starting to run out of ways to preoccupy yourself during these rainy days, here are some ideas:

Take a few Buzzfeed quizzes, then a few more.

Bake some chocolate chip cookies.

Binge watch your favorite television show or movie series.

Clean your room...or the bathroom...or the kitchen...really the possibilities are endless and you'll feel good afterward.

Take a hot bubble bath.

Read a new book or a favorite book.

Go to the mall.

Try out a new recipe.

Have a game day with friends or family.

Get organized for the remainder of the week/month.

Go through old photos and videos and reminisce.

Browse through Pinterest and do something crafty.

Pamper yourself with face masks, hair masks, a facial, mani-pedis, the possibilities are endless and its the perfect day for it.

Go through your closet and figure out what you still use and what you can give away.

Pretend your still a kid and build a fort to watch movies with friends.

Obviously in summer, most of us would rather be outside soaking in the sun, but hopefully with these ideas your rainy days won't be quite as boring and tedious.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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