Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sea World Ban

Remember the movie the Matrix? Morpheous offered Neo two pills. If he took the red pill, he would realize what the Matrix was, and he would be pulled from it. He would know the truth. If he took the blue pill, life would go on as before. Nothing would change. Before Neo reached for the red pill, Morpheous said, " Remember, all I am offering is the truth...nothing more."

So, this week, I decided to choose the red pill. I wanted to know the truth.

Yeah, I know this sounds dramatic, but let me explain myself.

I have always loved sea life. Specifically dolphins. My room was decorated in dolphin decor throughout my childhood. I started college with a minor in marine biology so I could become a dolphin trainer at Sea World. (Yeah, that obviously did not work out.) I go to Sea World, and I cry at the mere beauty of these beautiful creatures. I LOVE DOLPHINS.

Perhaps you remember this little documentary called, "The Cove". It came out last year, and it won the OSCAR this year. I knew it was about dolphins. I knew it frowned upon captivity, and so I put off watching it because I didn't want to feel guilty about going to Sea World.

Turns out, everything I predicted turned out to be true. Time to cancel my Sea World Annual Pass.

Here's the story behind the movie...

Ric O'Berry who was the dolphin trainer in the old TV show, FLIPPER, is the man basically behind the idea of dolphins in captivity...and invented techniques used to train dolphins. He grew to realize that he had made a critical mistake in putting dolphins in captivity and has spent the past 30 years trying to undo the damage he created.

In this movie, he focuses on a small, coastal town in Taiji, Japan. A town that hunts bottlenosed dolphins. Why? It all comes down to money. Zoos and Aquariums are willing to pay top dollar for beautiful, bottlenosed dolphins that can be trained and used commercially... i.e, in Sea World shows. These dolphins will sell for an average of $150,000. The dolphins that are not selected are massacred. Literally, trapped in a cove. Left overnight. And then stabbed with spears the next morning. Leaving the ocean stained red with their blood. It is a horrifying image.

These massacres will continue to happen as long as people are paying for tickets and supporting aquariums/zoos who offer shows that feature dolphins or offer swim with dolphin programs.

The movie goes into greater detail of why dolphins do not belong in captivity. And you can also read more about it at:

As much as it pains me to know I may never again experience an interaction with a dolphin, I just can't support these animals in captivity anymore. I encourage you to watch the move and/or read these websites for more information.