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.
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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.
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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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Having A Pet At College Has Been A Huge Blessing

When you come home from a hard test, you can snuggle with a puppy who does not care if you have done well or not.

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Having a pet at school can seem like a huge hassle: walking it, feeding it, taking it back and forth and spending more nights at home than going out. Even though having a pet is a large responsibility, they are very beneficial.

A pet not only teaches basic responsibility like being able to take care of another living thing, but it provides a level of comfort. When you come home from a hard test you can snuggle with a puppy who does not care if you have done well or not, and if you are sick your pet will be by your side watching the newest release on Netflix with you. No matter what you are going through, a pet is there to comfort and console.

Even more so, a pet has the ability to get you out of bed when no one else can. They need you to take care of them and count on you to do so. Having a furry friend aids in socialization too. When you take your puppy out for a walk, the other dog owners will talk to you while your puppy also gets socialized. Inviting people over to meet your new cat can create the perfect situation to hang out with friends and new people.

Mostly, an animal can help improve your mood, which is especially important during finals week! They do silly things like chase their own tail and run to see you when you come home after a long day.

Overall, pets make you feel less lonely, encourage exercise and health, and decrease stress. In some ways, it seems as if there is nothing a pet cannot do for you. However, if you're thinking about bringing a pet on to a college campus, there is still a lot to consider, like the safety of the animal, if you have the ability to properly care for it and if you can afford to take care of it.

Pets are extremely beneficial for emotional help, especially when the stress of college seems overwhelming. Having a dog on campus definitely has its benefits, especially considering you get a best friend for life.

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