The Out Of The Enclosures, Into The Wild : Compromising Animal Rights Essay

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Out of the Enclosures, Into the Wild: Compromising Animal Rights Recently SeaWorld has come under a significant amount of scrutiny in regards to their orca whale program. Their whales have become increasingly aggressive over the years, hurting and even killing their trainers. SeaWorld and other facilities like it claim that they have these programs in order to conserve species and save them from extinction, but is the damage to the mental and physical well-being of these animals worth it? Orcas are considered highly intelligent and social animals. In this paper, I will discuss the problems associated with SeaWorld and why conservation programs are important in order to come to a compromise between freedom and captivity. Orca whales display a wide range of intricate behaviors that indicate a high level of social intelligence (Anderson 1). In the article, Orca Behavior and Subsequent Aggression Associated with Oceanarium Confinement, the authors state, “We observed in the animals what appeared to be pranks, tests of trust, limited use of tactical deception, emotional self-control, and empathetic behaviors” (Anderson 1). This suggests the orcas have human-like tendencies and that they are very bright. These creatures are friendly, naturally happy, understanding, and relatedly seeking companionship (Wise 937). The orca’s brain has an additional part, the para-limbic cleft, that humans do not have; this suggests that whales have a sense of self and have a sense of social
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