Saturday, February 8, 2014

Don't call them "Killer" whales

I knew the documentary was going to break my heart. I thought all week about whether to go or not to see Blackfish: Sea World of Hurt.  Lili usually doesn't reveal what we'll see in the documentary film class ahead of time but, because there were scenes of the an orca at Sea World attacking trainers she told us and gave us an opportunity to stay away. But I went. The violence done to the whales was light years beyond the violence of one much traumatized orca, Tilikum. He was the one most misused but all were enslaved and treated inhumanely -- especially the mothers whose calves were taken from them.  (Their piercing cries were almost unbearable.) 

Orcas (probably all whales) have much larger limbic systems than humans. This indicates more intense feelings (so far as we know). It's clear from whale behavior that they are deeply, emotionally attached to their families (pods) which lives together  as human tribes once did. Each pod has its own language. To throw unrelated whales together in a place like Sea World is traumatic, disorienting and cruel, as is keeping them in tanks that can never approximate the freedom of the open ocean or the inlets they like in the wild.

The very idea of places like Sea World is entirely for the profit of the owners -- one has only to see the crowds at Sea World to know that those who run the place will do anything to make it profitable. In this case that means not only cruelty to the animals but misinformation to the usually idealistic young "trainers" and to the public. The exposure of their practices has not led to changes for the better and losing court battles has not lead to anything but appeals. The place will do anything to maintain that revenue for Disney.

In the span of human life, so called "civilization" is an immature idea.  Humans have become more in synch with the natural world in a one step forward, two steps back fashion (that is not a typo). As money and greed came into "civilization" wars, torture, slavery of people and animals(and the earth itself/ecology)  has progressed horribly. Yes, I knew this documentary would leave my heart and head bleeding but I gathered some information and I cannot stop believing that information is necessary to balance the bleeding heart with the rational understanding of the world we live in.

1 comment:


June -- After seeing the movie "The Cove," a few years ago about Japan's secret killing of dolphins for food and gathering dolphins for sea world type of organizations, I cannot even imagine how horrible this movie must have been. Sea World and others like it should be outlawed, but of course money talks. Tourists that attend such places should be ashamed of themselves. Hope that lots of folks read your post -- it is telling it like it is. -- 8992325 111