In the last decade, society has erupted in controversy over aquariums and it has driven both aquarium workers and consumers to speak up on the issue of the cruelty that animals placed in these situations have faced. Individuals have gone to aquariums as a form of entertainment for decades and they have become a part of American culture. “On average, one aquarium has opened each year for the past 12 years, a 50 percent increase over the 25 ‘accredited’ aquariums that existed prior to 1990” (Savoye). Aquariums such as SeaWorld, which welcomes millions of people each year, allows families to experience the joy of seeing creatures that they normally would not have the chance to see. However, behind this joy is the pain that these marine …show more content…
Killer whales such as Tilikum are intelligent, social animals that need a large space to thrive. However, in aquariums and theme parks like SeaWorld, these marine animals are forced to live in small, unnatural spaces that cause them distress. (See Figure 1). As a result, their personalities and temperaments will change and it can have deadly consequences. When discussing Tilikum, John Jett, a scientist and former SeaWorld trainer says, “There’s no place to swim and not much to do. His teeth cause infections. He 's sunburned. He 's bullied. Given his boring life and ill health, it comes as no surprise that he killed" (Tocco). While SeaWorld workers may claim that the whales that are put into captivity are not subjected to harm and are given plenty of room to roam, there is no justification behind forcing these animals to live in solitude. For such intelligent and social creatures, living this way goes against their very nature.
Additionally, aquariums have adopted many disturbing practices that include tearing calves away from their mothers and transferring them to different theme parks. In the wild, orcas tend to live in pods, which can have up to 30 whales, that will travel together for their entire lives. The experience of having it’s calf taken away is extremely traumatic for both the mother and the calf, given that in the wild the calf rarely leaves its mother’s side. A former diver named Crowe told Cowperthwaite that he “kidnapped baby whales for shipment to
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While Blackfish does not touch upon any of the good that SeaWorld does. Again, this does not mean that the film is unreliable in and of itself. However, it again casts reasonable doubt over the film’s veracity, an issue that the director of a compelling film should strive to avoid. If Cowperthwaite aimed simply to get people thinking, she would have given viewers a positive perspective as well, so as to enable viewers to conduct their own robust cost-benefit analyses of SeaWorld’s business
Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite in the documentary, Blackfish (2013), argues that captivity triggers aggression in killer whales. Cowperthwaite supports her argument by demonstrating shocking footage and emotional interviews to present a convincing case against keeping these animals in captivity and for human entertainment. The author’s purpose is to show the problems that are caused by captivity in order to aware the audience that keeping killer whales in captivity affects their behavior mentally and physically. The author writes in resentful tone to Sea World, the people who visited Sea World, and those who were present during the killer whale incident. Gabriela Cowperthwaite argues that keeping killer whales in captivity at SeaWorld affects their mentality due to how they are being treated. She makes this argument by applying pathos, ethos, and logos.
Captivity Kills The documentary Blackfish reveals the horrifying story of the capture and torture of orca whales at the well-known amusement park, SeaWorld. Blackfish revealed the heartless treatment of the orca whales to the public eye. Tilikum, a featured whale in the documentary, was taken from his family at a young age and forced to live in a small concrete pool for most of his life. His experiences revealed a large part of the problem of placing whales in confinement.
Most people today have visited or at least heard of the popular tourist attraction, Seaworld. These tourists may think of it as a place to see marine animals do trick, like killer whales interacting with humans in a fun and entertaining way- but do we ever stop to think about the treatment or feelings of these creatures? After visiting Seaworld and seeing the famous Shamu, the thought of how living in captivity affects the animal had not crossed my mind. After researching I am now extremely concerned with the way these whales are impacted by spending their lives in bathtubs and forced to do tricks for food, all while humans are blindly funding this billion dollar business.
If you have ever been to Seaworld you would have had to go see the Killer whales in fact its one of the top attractions there. Through the eyes of a child, these gentle giants seem to be happy, healthy, and enjoying a playful game with their trainers. The question is are they really happy, do they get treated the right way, and why have there been deaths and injuries. Many people wonder about these things and after the movie Blackfish came out more and more people began to question how well Seaworld treats their animals. “The truth is that Sea World keeps its animals for entertainment and money and helps no one but themselves.”- Animal Legal Defense Fund
Since 1961, 157 orcas, or killer whales, have been ripped from their homes and shoved into captivity. 127 of these orcas are now dead. With the number of captured orcas plus the number of those born into captivity, The W.D.C. (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) reports that, “At least 162 orcas have died in captivity, not including 30 miscarried or stillborn calves” ( “The Fate”1). Out of the 127 taken into captivity, 44 have died in SeaWorld. There are currently 58 orcas residing in 14 marine parks in eight different countries. 24 of those orcas are held in SeaWorld’s three parks in the United States. Since 2002, 14 have been taken out of the wild and put into these marine parks. (“The Fate”1) It is not fair for these innocent creatures to be physically and mentally manipulated and damaged. Such brutality would not be condoned if it were targeted towards a human, and it should not be condoned when targeted toward an animal. Orca whales should not be held in captivity because they are forced to live in subpar conditions, they are mistreated while in captivity, and they are led to aggressive behavior.
Killer whales, also known as orcas, are the largest member of the oceanic dolphin family. In their natural habitat, killer whales have been described as docile and majestic creatures. Killer whales are known to travel in pods that are composed of matrilines. Matrilines are groups of whales connected by maternal descent. Relationships between killer whale calves and their mother are extremely close knit (“Behavior”). Beginning in 1965, SeaWorld – a marine zoo, began capturing whales from the wild to perform in shows for park visitors’ entertainment (“10 Things You Didn’t Know”). In the documentary Blackfish, director Gabriela Cowperthwaite urges and reassures audience members that keeping these large creatures in captivity is a horrible thing that is dangerous for both the whales as well as the humans that interact with them. To accomplish this persuasion, Cowperthwaite employs the use of rhetorical devices ethos, pathos, and logos to solidify her claims.
Since SeaWorld opened in 1964, the park has encountered harsh criticism from the public. Whether criticized for their ethics or their oblivious harm to animals, the underwater amusement park raises many ethical questions regarding the captivity of sea animals, especially orcas. Most people are uninformed about orcas to begin with, so they do not understand why SeaWorld is such a terrible place. SeaWorld exploits animals in their shows to bring revenue to their company, while disregarding the physical and mental health of the animals. Today, people have begun to see the reasons why SeaWorld should close. SeaWorld should close their doors due to their record of unhealthy orcas, their aggressive killer whale, Tilikum, and their dishonesty to the public.
Blackfish (2013), a mesmerizing, psychological documentary with 7 film awards and 38 nominations, presents an extensive look into the negative effects captivity has on Orca whales. The director and writer Gabriela Cowperthwaite calls her audience to action, similar to documentaries such as Food, Inc., The Cove, and Super Size Me. In all of these documentaries, the director and writers reach out to an audience that is not fully knowledgeable on a certain topic, in order to persuade them into taking a stance on a certain topic. In Gabriela’s film, she illustrates the story of Tilikum, a performing Orca who killed many people while at SeaWorld, Orlando. Though at times graphic, the film investigates the harmful effects captivity has had on these wonderful creatures and their trainers. Blackfish uses credible interviewees, powerful voice-overs, and influential outside evidence to persuade those who are un-informed of the negative effects of captivity on killer whales. The ultimate goal in doing this is to urge these individuals to take a stance against aquatic captivity.
Some people argue that keeping orcas in captivity is not a problem, yet they do not realize some of the limitations and dangers orcas suffer when kept in captivity. One reason is that these unpredictable, thirty-foot long creatures are usually kept in a tank that is too small for them, compared to the ocean where they can swim freely. In captivity, space is limited. According to one expert, “orcas can swim up to 100 miles per day- a phenomenal amount, in comparison to the exercise they receive in captivity” (Cronin). While in captivity, an orca has to keep swimming in circles or float, unable to exercise adequately in a confined space. The small tanks also prevent orcas from living in their natural group sizes, or pods. “In the wild, killer whales typically travel in pods of between five and 30” (Melissa). In captivity, fewer than five whales are kept together, an imbalance that makes the whales more aggressive towards one another. This can lead to dangerous, territorial situations in which captive
Imagine living in a bathtub for your entire life. Imagine never meeting your mother, and living with abusive strangers. Imagine being cut off from the world. Unfortunately, there are creatures that live like this. And they are found, in none other than SeaWorld. SeaWorld provides an unhealthy living environment for its whales, and should be closed down immediately. This particular story revolves around a friend, an outcast, and a killer.
Killer whales are taken from their mothers at young ages to be put inside training facilities such as Seaworld. Many cry to their families as they are hoisted up into trucks and driven away. Whales are said to have a part of the brain that generates emotion that humans do not have. This is why trainers often form deep connections with the whales they train for several years. Many trainers will say that they are kind and companion like mammals that do not deserve to be locked up for
For many years, we’ve been going to such places like, SeaWorld, and Six Flags, to see vast animals, like Orcas, also known as the killer whale, which we wouldn’t normally see out in the wild. Orcas have been around for millions of years; it’s known to be one of the smartest mammals, closest to humans. Since of their friendliness, people have taken advantage of them. For the past sixty years people have brought these massive creatures into their aquariums to make profit out of it, but never thought about their lives. What if you were kept in a cage for years, and was pushed to do such activities, you wouldn’t do in your normal life. While being in captivities, killer whales are forced to do plentiful tricks, which they normally wouldn’t do
This article discuses the documentary film “Blackfish”, and exposes the dangers of having animals in captivity. The documentary unfolds the tragic story of Tilikum, a stress-induced whale who lived in captivity at SeaWorld since 1983. The 23-foot long bull orca drowned SeaWorld trainer, Dawn Brancheau, in 2010. The thesis in this article is “A comparison of their natural behavior patterns, as opposed to the lives they must endure in aquariums and amusement parks, reveal the answer” (Cronin. para. 4). The author Aisling Cronin, poses the question; Why do animals consistently demonstrate greater levels of aggression in captivity, than they do in the wild? The author makes comparisons of their natural behavioral patterns, as opposed to lives in
A type of whale that is generally recognized is the ‘killer whale’ are actually Orcas. According to Marine Bio, “...orca are sometimes called Ballena asesina by the spanish.” This term means assassin whale, not because of their harm towards humans, but whales murdering other whales. At Seaworld whales are sometimes together living or performing, and because of their vicious tactics towards each other that is unsafe and unnecessary for the whales needs. Of course, the whales are trained to interact, but, there is a huge possibility for mishaps in the tank.