Blackfish as a Platform for Animal Rights Essay

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The death of Dawn Brancheau made national news back in 2010. Dawn was working as an orca trainer at the SeaWorld of Orlando when the tragic accident occurred. While doing a relationship session with Tilikum, the largest orca in captivity, Dawn was pulled into the water and drowned. It was a story that not only shocked the nation but left people wondering how something so horrible could happen. Gabriela Cowperthwaite‘s use of the accounts of retired SeaWorld trainers exposed the harsh reality of captured animals in her documentary Blackfish. In creating a piece focused on the life of one orca, Cowperthwaite has allowed viewers to look into the lives of captured animals and has shown the greater social issue of animal rights, the treatment …show more content…
This is not how these animals should be living. One of the most startling facts from Blackfish is that one hundred percent of male orcas in captivity have a floppy dorsal fin, but less than one percent of orcas in the wild have a dorsal fin that flops over (Cowperthwaite). This alone proves that the quality of life for the animals in captivity is horrendous. There are physical traits that are being altered by their years of captivity.
The idea of animal rights has been around for centuries. Even decades ago, people were taking action for the welfare of animals. Marc Bekoff and Ned Hettinger share this idea all the way back in 1994 when they said that there is evidence that scientist are concerned with animal welfare by acknowledge that they use the guidelines in place to protect animals during research, in order to have their work published (Bekoff 219). Guidelines are the basis for the moral and ethical treatment of animals. Each person may have his or her own standard, but having a standard among the entire population ensures the welfare of the animals. Unfortunately, these standards are not at a level to where the animals are being protected. Many animals in captivity are treated in ways that would shock the average person. Orcas for example, are starved until they do the desired task (Cowperthwaite). This form of operant condition can lead to success, but often leads to resentment and hostility towards the trainers. SeaWorld is known for their exhilarating

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