Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Why I'll never go to SeaWorld:

Hello Lovelies!

Today's post may seem quite controversial to some of you when you read the title but I've been thinking about this post for a while and how to put my feelings into words.

When I was a little girl, I really wanted to swim with the dolphins in Seaworld, and to get a picture of me in a wetsuit pretending to kiss their little beaks. As I grew older the idea didn't really bother me as much and I carried on my daily life, without worrying that my dream would or wouldn't come true. I also held a particular fondness to orca, more commonly known as killer whales, and was so excited that you cold see them close up at Seaworld. Luckily for me, this never happened.

In 2013 at the Sundance Film Festival, a documentary entitled 'Blackfish' was displayed for the first time to the public. It highlighted a male orca named Tilikum, who was caught and brought into captivity and due to his behaviour has caused three deaths over the years, most recently the 2010 death of senior trainer Dawn Brancheau.

When I finally watched the documentary my first reaction was to cry. I had never truly seen the strain that captivity puts on these animals until now. I started to rethink my whole opinion of Seaworld and began my journey of discovery as to why Seaworld is such a terrible place.

Now, my lovely readers, I am going to shed some light on this terrible situation and hopefully you will listen to me.

  • Orca are incredibly intelligent animals who live with their families their entire lives. This does not happen in captivity. The orcas in captivity now are not from family units, and scientists reckon that they can't even understand each other as each pods communication is different. Imagine being stuck in a tiny room with someone who couldn't understand you for your whole life. This has caused many disagreements, some resulting in the death of orcas, due to fights breaking out and having nowhere to run to.
  • The average lifespan of an orca in captivity is significantly lower than lifespan of a wild orca. Seaworld employees are actually trained to lie to the public and say that the average life expectancy is 20-30 years when it's actually 60-80, there has even been a recorded sighting of a 103 year old whale! Explain that Seaworld. 
  • The breeding programme at Seaworld is creating incest within the species. Tilikum (see above) who is known to be an aggressive whale, is bred from constantly using artificial insemination. His sperm is put into his daughters, granddaughters, cousins, and they still continue to do this even though most calves at Seaworld are stillborn or don't last five years. They also use heavily pregnant females in shows, making them slide out on their bellies for the audience. And they wonder why no calves make it.

These are not the only facts out there but they're the ones I find resonate with me the most. The way these animals behave is not natural and their quality of life is so awful in chlorinated pools being fed gelatin and frozen fish. I'm surprised any of them last that long.

Now I bet you're all thinking 'But Joanna, these are KILLER whales. Tilikum killed that woman!'

Yes he did.

Dawn Brancheau's death was a terrible tragedy and my thoughts are still with her family. But again I shall give you another fact: there has never been one human death, caused by a killer whale in the wild, yet there have been several in captivity. These animals are one of the oceans greatest predators, so why are you making them do jumps and splash squealing children?

I do not condone this aquatic circus and can vow I will never visit a Seaworld establishment while they continue to treat animals this way.

What can I do? 

I actively protest the captivity of cetaceans, not just orca but dolphins,beluga, false killer whales etc., These animals are not put on this earth for your entertainment, they are magnificent in their natural setting instead of swimming around a tank. They are not goldfish.

Petitions are constantly appearing on social media and if you feel how I do about this matter, sign it! If you're in America right now, get a sign and rebel! If you're a parent, please do NOT take your children to see these animals bottled up. They are so much more than what they are in captivity. Show compassion and teach it to your children.

Seaworld are currently under a huge amount of stress after a video was realised of a One Direction concert where Harry Styles, an icon to many children today, asked his fans not to go to Seaworld. After this, Seaworld announced they will no longer be accepting stolen whales from the wild - a victory, but it's not over yet.

 If this post spoke to you in any way please don't hesitate to contact me. I love hearing opinions and if you watch blackfish and want to talk about it, I'm all ears!

I just emplore you, as a compassionate human being - don't go to Seaworld.

Thanks for reading!


"If you'd been stuck in a bathtub for thirty years, wouldn't you go a little crazy, a little bit psychotic?!" - Blackfish (2013) 

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