I saw the movie Blackfish the other night, and man it was hard to watch. Tears streamed down my face from the get go–every bit as salty as the sea wherefrom the killer whales showcased in this documentary are harvested by Sea World. Commissioned by the mega-marine-park corporation, rogue fishermen herd killer whales into coves by use of speed boats, bombs & nets, drop open ocean barriers into place, and then net the baby killer whales—the babies!!—as so much future revenue for Sea World. Whales die in the process—and it’s illegal, or has been made illegal as a direct counter tactic in many places—but they do it, anyway. Once freed, the pods of mommas and poppas—aka devastated families—stay for the duration in the vicinity, calling to their babies in the most heart wrenching songs of distress, as their progeny is kidnapped, and toted away like cargo.
This movie documents the plight of killer whales kept in captivity as related to trainer deaths at Sea World, and as a person that once worked as a tour guide at the San Diego Sea World, I can tell you the smoke-screens this corporation blows are even more substantial than their nets. I was absolutely instructed to keep an eye out for “dolphin molesters” at the petting pool (I’ll leave you to guess what that is) to say that dorsal fin collapse is entirely natural in killer whales (it isn’t) that animals were simply engaging in “social behavior” when they were patently fighting or having sex (the walruses all the time) and absolutely no animals ever died at Sea World (except they do, and far sooner than their naturally habituated counterparts) they were sent to “our Ohio park.” That, and a host of other half-truths so substantial I took notes.
Because the actual truth didn’t bear scrutiny then, and it doesn’t now. Marine “parks” are barbaric to the animals imprisoned there, worse still than Zoo cages & circus rings combined, and an abomination our species must cease to support in all ways. Confining naturally far-ranging, animals to bathtubs, and a life of imprisoned servitude is as great a moral desecration as the gestational crates for factory farmed sows, the veal crates for factory farmed baby cows, or the killing and caging of people in wartime—and perhaps worse.
Worse because these amazing marine mammals have a more highly developed limbic system than ours. A limbic system is the area of the brain that regulates emotions. Let’s make this even easier to understand. You know how cats lack the necessary cones in their eyeballs to see more than shades of greens and blues when they look at the world, whereas human physiology is such we’re able to see a much broader spectrum of colors that includes a multi-colored rainbow? Like that. We can only feel blue and green, but these animals are feeling a spectrum of emotions the nature of which we lesser developed beings can only imagine.
So in effect, we are caging God.
For 3 shows a day, and a bucket of mackerel…
A whale in captivity will die a full 50 years sooner than his/her wild brethren. Watch the movie and be convinced that these “parks” are anything but a park.