If you are going to reblog any of my seaworld pictures with a “fuck seaworld” or similar can you just…
Don’t do it?
These pictures weren’t posted to share opinions about orcas in captivity. Create your own post or find one to debate.
my friends would best describe my personality as ‘why’
I saw, Paris Hilton support Blackfish.
Does it mean, that her Sex-tape is a documentary film now?
INTELLIGENCE IS NOT MEASURED IN YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF MATH
So today the director of Blackfish published an opinion piece on cnn.com about why she felt the need to create the film. I published the following response, which CNN unfortunately decided to delete. I would definitely like to know what you guys think about it. Please take a look and give me some feedback if you have the chance.
Blackfish has made me upset. But not how you might think. I am sure many people are leaving theatres across the globe on a crusade to free killer whales of captivity, and with a new-found belief that Sea World is the corporate equivalent to Satan. I am upset, because the film isn’t true.
It is a highly polarizing and dramatized opinion. It is just that, nothing more than an opinion. I’m upset because as an animal trainer the film criminalizes my behavior, my co-workers behavior, and the decisions of animal trainers across the country. I don’t work for Sea World. I don’t train killer whales. But this film has attempted to enrage and enflame the public concerning animals and captivity.
For those unaware of this production, the film presents the life story of Tillikum, an orca at Sea World Orlando. It starts with his capture in the 80’s and ends with the tragic death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. The film presents an enraged animal in a “psychosis” developed because of captivity. It criticizes the decisions made concerning this animal and presents Sea World as a corporate entity intent upon the continued exploitation of these amazing creatures. But the film only presents half the facts and attempts to use dramatic music and video clips to make generalizations about the care of these animals in captivity that are far from true.
The film uses footage of killer whales being taken from the wild 40 years ago to strengthen their case against the captivity of these animals and to criminalize Sea World in particular. But the problem is that the Sea World of 1980 is not the Sea World of today. The Sea World of 2000 is not the Sea World of today. Frankly, the Sea World of a week ago isn’t the Sea World of today. The facts are that the animal care and training industry is a constantly evolving thing. Facilities across the globe like Sea World are putting time, money, and energy into the continued exploration of these animals and how we as humans can best take care of them in captivity. Standards and practices are constantly evolving and changing based off of what we known and are learning about the animals as a species and the specific personalities and behaviors of the animals we work with on a daily basis.
Furthermore, the film attempts to blame Sea World for the death of Dawn Brancheau and the death and injury of others in the field. But in reality, no one is to blame. Working with large wild animals is an unpredictable business and every trainer knows that. Every single trainer understands the inherit risks involved in working with animals like this. Furthermore, every trainer understands the unique risks of working with animals in a free contact situation. But we still do it. Are we crazy? Maybe a little, but we also develop bonds and relationships with our animals that are like nothing else in the entire world.
Blackfish says that Tillikum is in a psychosis. That he is emotionally destroyed because of captivity. But if you watch the footage of that animal during a training session, you will realize that those claims are not at all true. The video footage of that animal shows an excited, intelligent animal that wants to work for his trainer. He is 12,000 pounds. If he doesn’t want to do the behavior, he’s not going to do it. You can tell by the training footage included in the film itself that Tillikum is fully engaged, motivated, and by all mean “happy” during training sessions. This is a far off picture from the one that Blackfish attempts to create.
I sat in the theatre for ten minutes after the credits stopped rolling and cried. I was that upset by the twisted image the film had portrayed. The film attempted to question the very nature of animals in captivity. It tried to shake my beliefs… and it failed. Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite can use all of the dramatics she would like to shock her audience into believing that training these animals in captivity is wrong and that these animals serve no purpose in place’s like Sea World other than to make money entertaining. But she is far from the truth.
Sea World is a business that is true. They do have to make money. But they also invest millions in research, conservation, and education. I have been to camp at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (another Sea World Parks and Entertainment attraction), and their animals get the best of everything. They are in a unique situation compared to much of the animal care industry in that they are for-profit and have lots of money to spend on their animals. They spare no expense when it comes to food, veterinary care, enrichment, and training. If their animals need something, they get it. Those animals are lucky to reside at the facilities they do because many other animals don’t have it quiet so perfect.
That does not mean that Sea World hasn’t made mistakes. Everyone takes the information that they have and attempts to make the best decision for their animals, their staff, and their facility. Sometimes it isn’t the easy decision, the fun the decision, or the decision that we emotionally believe is right. It is the best decision that we can make with the information that we have at the time. There isn’t perfect animal care anywhere in the world, but we are working towards that goal. The animal care industry has changed so much in the last fifty years and it would be a shame to let it all go to waste now.
These animals are not in captivity for the simple purpose of the money they bring in. They are ambassadors for their wild counterparts. They are there to educate, motivate, and inspire people to care for the environment around them. Without facilities like Sea World, there would be millions of people that would have never been able to make a connection with an orca. They would have missed the chance to experience the awe and the power of these amazing creatures. They would have never been given a reason to care about animals like these in the wild. Sea World is there to make people care. They are there is impact people in a way that pictures and videos cannot.
I cried in that theatre because there are going to be children across this country that don’t get to go to places like Sea World because their parents have seen the film Blackfish. They are never going to make that connection with the animals and they are never going to care. That thought destroys me.
We are facing an era where words have to become actions. We have to stop idealizing about saving animals on this planet and actually go out and do it. Sea World is doing it. Animal trainers, like myself, are doing it. But people have to care. People have to decide that it is unacceptable that 96 elephants are killed in Africa everyday. They have to decide that it is unacceptable that over one quarter of the world’s coral reefs have been destroyed. People have to decide that these animals are worth saving. Orcas are not endangered at this time, but without our help at some point they will be.
Don’t see this film, but if you do then understand that there is so much more to the picture that what is presented. I urge you to continue to support Sea World, their trainers and more importantly their animals. I urge you to decide to care. I urge you to help us save the animals of this planet and I fervently believe that Dawn Brancheau would have told you to do the same. I didn’t know her, and I don’t pretend to have. But by all accounts she was a damn good trainer and a damn good person. As a fellow animal trainer, she feels almost like family. Although this tragic incident occurred more than three and half years ago, as a community we mourn her loss everyday and fight on to save the animals and the planet we all love so much
Carson Jones (via soulful-kitty)
Very well said.
SHOCKING that CNN would delete that. (not) Doesn’t it baffle the antis who are against exploitation that CNN is exploiting the anti-captivity campaign for their own profit? That they know there are 2 sides to this debate but refuse to let the other side speak? All in an effort to keep the public at the edge of their seat and eating up the drama of the man-eating Shamu? Regardless if the info being publicized is complete BS or not? That’s the news for you.
This is beautifully written.