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The fantasy genre is a favorite of mine.
I'm passionate about orcas and cetaceans in general.
Let’s not forget that SeaWorld’s Aquatica has a slide that travels through a tank of commerson’s dolphins.
A thrill ride for humans that goes through a tank of small, shy, easily-spooked animals.
Let that sink in.
tbh i want to read john hargrove’s new book but i have a feeling it’s gonna be extremely self-centered and revolve around him mostly and probably only mention the whales in passing, and i’m not about to pay $20 for that.
Every other sentence is probably like: “Takara was a very special whale to me… ME THE SENIOR WHALE TRAINER FOR 14 YEARS AT SEAWORLD.”
No doubt. But he’s got a wealth of recent dirt on this company that will undoubtedly be in this book. I can’t wait to read it.
"SeaWorld never inspired me to care about animals so they must never inspire anyone"
"SeaWorld inspired me to care about animals so they must inspire everyone"
"I’m extrapolating from a single data point and so my point is invalid"
I have no doubt that some people are inspired when they go to SeaWorld. But having visited these parks many times and watched how people behave during/after shows, I can tell you that those inspired people make up an extreme minority. The vast majority of people are there for entertainment alone. They have fun at the show, check the Shamu Show off their list, and then go ride the roller coaster, not giving another thought to these animals. Or they might be inspired to become a trainer (which isn’t the same thing as inspiring them to care about cetaceans).
People who are inspired to care about wild marine mammals from watching a SeaWorld show will be just as inspired to care (in fact, probably moreso) from watching an animal documentary. Cetaceans are fascinating, intelligent animals, and SeaWorld does them a disservice by watering them down to animals who can perform cool tricks to loud rock music. The cool tricks are what people take away from these shows. They don’t leave respecting these animals as top predators. You learn more about orcas by watching two minutes of a documentary than you do when you spend a day at SeaWorld.
I guess the question is, is it fair to the animals to keep them in captivity because a few people might become inspired to care about them after having seen them? Especially when there are other more effective, non-invasive (and cheaper) alternatives through which to provide this inspiration? The answer is no.