Have I been naive?

naiveamerican

I have always liked killer whales. I dunno why I just have, therefor I watch a lot of killer whale documentaries. One day I was searching for a killer whale documentary and up pops Blackfish. After I watched it I was shocked and devastated. I had no opinion of SeaWorld before this. I went to SeaWorld once when I was eight and got lost looking at dolphins that’s it. After I watched Blackfish I pictured SeaWorld as this major greedy corporation that abuses killer whales for money and I’m not so sure anymore.

I have mentioned Blackfish a lot on this blog and throughout the short time I’ve had this blog you can see my opinion slowly begin to change. After I watched Blackfish the first time I was a wannabe ‘whale activist’ set on freeing these poor abused animals from the evil SeaWorld. I didn’t consider for one minute that my emotions were being manipulated. Looking at Blackfish now my perspective is very different.

There were a few things at the start that begin to tweak my absolute hatred of SeaWorld and adoration of Blackfish. I watch a lot of whale documentaries so one day I watched a documentary called ‘The Whale’, I would advise everyone to watch this. It’s an amazing documentary, it’s not about abused killer whales or anything like that but more about the struggle of friendship between humans and animals like killer whales and how on rare occasions that wall is broken down. Anyway, I was watching The Whale when a few scenes began to look familiar. I realised that Blackfish had taken a few of these scenes then added them in at certain points for dramatic effect. This can be seen quite a lot in Blackfish. The scenes of killer whales being captured at the start comes form a documentary about Lolita and so on.

A few other things began to pop up. Halfway through Blackfish, the former trainers make a point that killer whales are dangerous to humans and at the end there is a close up of a trainer with his face all cut and bloody. This is edited in to make it seem as though a killer whale did this when actually the trainer accidentally ran into a screen and cut himself. Even after seeing this I didn’t want to believe that Blackfish was propaganda against SeaWorld. I was set on trying to make a difference to free these animals and I didn’t want to be swayed from this.

While doing another article on the proposed ban of orca captivity in California I did a bit of research. The idea to release orcas back into the wild or relocate them to sea pens is a very romantic idea. However, that’s the problem, out of all the orcas to be transported either to the wild or sea pens only one orca has a fair chance of survival after this move. That made me think am I just wrapped up in this ‘free the whales’ craze. Is this really what’s best for these animals.

The former trainers in the documentary where trainers decades ago and things change and some of them left SeaWorld in unfavorable terms so obviously they would be willing to bash SeaWorld.

Then I finally did some research into ‘the enemy’ SeaWorld. It turns out that killer whales haven’t been captured for SeaWorld since the late 70s early 80s, nearly all killer whales in SeaWorld have been bred there and the ones that haven’t been bred there were caught decades ago. I’m not saying I’m condoning it but these whales would die if they were released back into the wild. All other marine mammals are rescued with intent to be released back into the wild and so much time and effort goes into care for them.

I started reading posts and watching videos of those against Blackfish and some of the thigns make you question if you’re doing this for the whales or for yourself? Then again the stuff against Blackfish is so one sided I feel like I’m being manipulated all over again. So now I don’t know where I stand on the matter anymore because I don’t have any inside views. I can take one side or the other but really all I know is stuff coming from someone’s biased mouth.

While watching a video with a recent former trainer he made an excellent point. So many other things are happening in the world, illegal pouching, the zoo that killed their animals and that’s only the animal side of it. If this much effort went into these things that are genuinely wrong and not a case of special effects or word of mouth a real difference can be made.

The fact that Richard Bloom is trying to ban orca captivity in California after watching Blackfish shows how powerful this documentary is. However, I think it’s really, really poor of him to make such a major change to so many lives, human and animals, after one documentary.

Currently, I don’t know where to stand on the matter? SeaWorld help so many other animals and when it comes down to it isn’t evil at all but I don’t see why killer whales and other animals have to perform backflips etc. for food. Can’t they just be observed naturally. On the other hand, if you take killer whales out of SeaWorld and into sea pens and the wild the chances are these whales will die and for no other reason than because we thought it was wrong.

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One thought on “Have I been naive?

  1. I agree that Blackfish is a powerful message, and you need only look at the anti-seaworld site(seaworldofhurt.org) to see that they are very against seaworld as a corporation. However, looking up interviews with the documentary’s director(Gabriela Cowperthwaite), you see VERY quickly that she actually knows next to nothing about actual killer whales. She admits that she had maybe been to seaworld one time with her kid, and only latched onto the movement when Dawn Brancheau was killed.

    In saying all this i must emphasize, doing the right thing for the wrong reasons doesn’t necessarily make it the wrong thing. The movement against the captivity of killer whales has grown exponentially since Blackfish aired, and while many people are hoping for things that can’t be(they want release where release can’t happen, and sea pens are the best alternative), when it comes to actual legislation the experts will be there to advise what is best and stop anything too dangerous from happening.

    The problem with orcas is that each family pod basically speaks its own language. there is almost no overlap at all in these “dialects” which means that removing a member of the family and putting them with a whale who speaks a completely different “language” causes problems, like “raking”. But then what do you do when you want to release an orca? It might be unable to communicate with the orca pod it might immediately find, does it get attacked and killed? is that freedom?

    There is no perfect solution for these animals. It is a heartbreaking reality that they can never be properly released. but keeping them in tanks poses as much of a problem as release(hence my stance that seapens are most viable). They should never have been captured in the first place, and we can only hope we as a species learn from this catastrophic mistake.

    (also; if you haven’t i recommend you watch the documentary about the real free willy Keiko, i can’t remember the title but it is on youtube)

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