Monday, 2 July 2012

Don't visit SeaWorld (or places like it) this summer

Are you going on holiday this year?

This is the most frequently asked question of late (except for "What's the weather going to be like today?") and it has lead me to think about some of the holidays I have been on in the past.  If you go on a package holiday abroad that offers excursions to places of interest, you may notice that there is likely to be an aquarium/aqua park/sea world type of place housing marine animals.  There may be an opportunity to swim alongside these magnificent creatures, as well as watching them perform numerous tricks in return for a treat.  

It all seems innocent enough but in reality the animals are kept captive in tanks, or pools a lot smaller than their natural habitat (imagine being trapped in a bath tub) a million miles away from the vast ocean they belong in.  In the wild, whales and dolphins live in large social groups and are free to swim to their hearts content in the open ocean, using echolocation to navigate.  Keeping these intelligent creatures in a tank for entertainment purposes means that reverberations from their sonar bounce of the walls.  

Renowned oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau compared keeping Orcas in tanks to "a person being blind folded in a jail cell."

It is also reported that marine animals are often violently captured and if they refuse to perform common training methods include withholding food and isolation.

"Marine parks such as SeaWorld teach children the wrong lessons: that it is somehow acceptable to imprison animals, forbid them from experiencing the joy of establishing their natural territory and exploring their world, separate them from loved ones, and force them to perform confusing and unnatural tricks to bring in tourist dollars. Visitors to SeaWorld see mere shadows of what these graceful and awe-inspiring animals are like in nature. Captive dolphins are defeated and depressed beings who cannot engage in natural behavior and cannot live as nature intended."
- Peta

Peta states that the SeaWorld parks have a terrible record of animal deaths from causes relating to living in captivity.  Blackstone, the company that owns SeaWorld, completely ignore the cruelty and unsafe conditions that have caused tragedy for both humans and animals which is unacceptable.

Please sign this petition to help animals imprisoned at Sea World.  You can also help animals at similar marine parks all over the world by refusing to visit and contribute to the industry.  Also it is an idea to spread the word to other tourists who may think it is okay to make ocean dwellers live in small tanks and perform tricks all for the sake of entertainment.

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