There is no question that, in the ordinary sense of the word, a great many non-human animals are slaves, forced to exist in extremely deleterious conditions to fulfill the wishes of their human masters. Most are untroubled by this fact—slavery over animals has been widely accepted in society for a very long time. Last October, in an effort to reverse this norm, PETA made a radical (some say outrageous) move. They filed a lawsuit against SeaWorld on behalf of five orcas, creatures who have been forced to live in highly confined, unnatural environments, to their detriment, all for the purpose of performing cheap tricks. Their decades-long captivity, according to PETA, violates the constitutional prohibition against slavery (aka the Thirteenth Amendment).
While it may be common sense that the orcas are slaves, from a legal standpoint, PETA is asserting a very radical claim. Is it
OMG. I’m preparing for Day Two of Wordcamp Atlanta 2012 (#WCATL). I’m there with my friend @3pupsinapopup. Thank God. Funny how you don’t feel as lost when you share that experience with somebody. As lost.
Cove Blue for Jiyu: In the end, it's about respect. This is how she looks now at .com.
We’re both poised on the precipice of leaving .com and going over to, gulp, .org. I know, I know. I shouldn’t make it sound like a scary thing. If you’ve told me once, you’ve told me a thousand times, it’s easy!
But when you talk about widgets, and plug-ins, and things that aren’t widgets or plug-ins but they’re something else, god knows what; well, let’s just say that I’m feeling a little uneasy about it all. As if I will never know what you guys who know .org know – the plug-in talk was outstanding by the way. Don’t you just get a trillion trillion trillion calls?
I do take some pride at being further along than those who still don’t know the difference between a category and a page.
Anyway. I’m scared. But excited. So that I can select the right plug-ins and put them in the right widgets to create and optimally deliver to you what I would consider to be pretty close to the mark (Miss High Standards, to you) what I want to say and how I want to get it across to you.
I just backed up and extracted my file. For the first time. I’ll have to do it again in about five minutes to catch this post. For the migration. Cool.
Before we get to the dolphin education brought to you by CNN and the Georgia Aquarium, and to a lesser extent the Super Bowl, I’d like you to meet the two dolphins now housed at the Georgia Aquarium, reported by CNN to be Shaka and Lily, who are the subjects of today’s post.
Shaka, a wild-caught dolphin, caught in 1988, estimated birthdate in 1985, Georgia Aquarium. Photo from Ceta-base's Phinventory
Shaka: Shaka was wild-caught. I’m not very good at dolphin research yet, so I can’t tell you precisely where Shaka was taken, or how many dolphins from her pod were taken from the ocean on that memorable day. But thanks to Ceta-base (because the government doesn’t do a very good job of tracking the dolphins in captivity), we know that she was captured on May 27, 1988, and arrived at Dolphin Quest Bermuda on August 20, 1988. Estimated to have been born in 1985, Shaka has been used to breed dolphins for the captive industry. She has lost at least two calves in this effort to supply more captive dolphins, one in 1996 and one in 1997. Dolphins generally breed only every five years, maybe a bit less, because in the wild, the calves stay with their mother continuing to learn how to be a dolphin. So Shaka was busy.
Lily, also at the Georgia Aquarium, born April 9, 2004. Photo from Ceta-base's Phinventory
Lily. Lily, on the other hand, was bred in captivity. She has never lived in the ocean. Born to Cirrus (Circe) with sperm from Khyber (Keebler) on April 4, 2004, she now lives at the Georgia Aquarium.
I’m at a bit of a loss to know what to say next about Shaka and Lily, because I’ve seen the latest installment in what sort of “education” about dolphins the Georgia Aquarium provides that justifies keeping these sentient creatures in a tank, and am left speechless, almost. When I watched the following video, the universe supplied me with words like imbecilic and disrespectful. The word “education” was not found in the parade of words that floated past.
But lest you worry that the video will be shocking, let me assure you, this is just a moronic display of disrespect of the dolphins to sell news over at CNN and get more people to watch the Super Bowl (as if) and come to the Georgia Aquarium. Same old story.
So to the morons and imbeciles, I humbly apologize. I know, I know, labels only label me, not you. Whatever. Just watch this educational spot and see if you don’t agree that, even if you can’t put your finger on precisely what is wrong with this picture, you know that it is wrong.
If you take the pledge, I thank you. And I bet, Shaka and Lily thank you.
If you’d like to let CNN know that this spot makes it clear that two of the four mammals in it appear to be clueless about how off the mark they were on selecting this spot, you can contact them at 404.827.1500. I wonder who thought this one up? CNN? Or the Georgia Aquarium?
For more information, you might want to watch a trailer to The Cove.
Jut a few words, as I swallow just a bit of vomit in my mouth.
“Why did you vomit, Mo?” I can hear you thinking inquisitively. Well, this morning it came to my attention that the World’s Largest Aquarium is screening a movie.
“Why would that make you vomit!!?” you’re continuing to turn over in your laudably open mind.
Well, it’s the comingling of mutually contradictory facts, also known as irony. Sometimes irony is amusing. But sometimes it makes you vomit. Today was a vomit kind of irony. The facts in today’s not so pleasant irony?
Fact 1: The Georgia Aquarium is the World’s Largest Aquarium. It sought and gained that status as a result of having built dolphin tanks – as little as 8 feet deep for a creature that in the wild dives hundreds of feet on a regular basis – and brought dolphins in from where they had been captive bred, well, except for the one dolphin that was caught in the wild.
Now, that’s a video you should watch – of dolphins being wrested from the ocean, trapped in nets, crying, trying not to drown, separated from their family. Sometimes getting free, but because it refuses to leave its family, is recaptured.
It’s also the World’s Largest Aquarium because of having to build a large tank in order to house one of its other attractions, the world’s largest fish, the whale shark, which were, not so incidentally, or coincidentally, caught in the wild.
Fact 2: The World’s Largest Aquarium (built so that it can house lots and lots and lots of animals that should be swimming free in the wild) is screening a movie. I know you’re still not getting why that would make me vomit. Well, the movie is a fictionalized account of an effort in the 1980s by a Greenpeace staffer of rescuing some free and wild grey whales that were trapped in the ice off the coast of Alaska.
Oops. Vomited again.
They’ve included the price of the ticket to the movie – the one about saving the wild humpback whales so they would continue to live free lives – in with the price of seeing dolphins, beluga whales and whale sharks (and the list goes on) that will live in captivity until they die a likely premature death.
Here’s that video that I said you might want to watch:
But it isn’t the irony that gets me; it’s the hypocrisy.
The big miracle is that I didn’t blow chunks.
So, go see the movie if you want. But see it without the hypocrisy. See it at a theater where they don’t at the same time that you’re saying “free the whales” make their living dependent on your thinking that captivity is okay.
There is an epidemic on this planet. Even though we are aware of it. Even though we could stop it from spreading. Even though we could cut out the delusional and disingenuous cancer that it is. Even though we could educate people to its true nature.
Why aren’t we stopping it? Why are we not curing ourselves of something that is infinitely curable?
Ask The Georgia Aquarium. Ask SeaWorld. Ask the Miami Seaquarium. Ask the Shedd Aquarium.
Ask the Indianapolis Zoo. Ask Dolphin Quest. Ask The Mirage. Ask Dolphin Cove. Ask Theater of the Sea. Ask the National Aquarium. Ask Dolphins Plus.
Ask Florida’s Gulfarium. Ask to see their living versus their deceased dolphins list.
So, why aren’t we ending this epidemic? This epidemic of dolphin and whale captivity?
Ask to see their door receipts.
If you watched the video, you know that’s a lot of door receipts. A lot of hot dogs. A lot of cola. A lot of really bad reasons not to end dolphin and whale captivity.
Thanks to TheComanchewolf for the video on Youtube.