SeaWorld’s shameful treatment of animals

Cat Ardes
Staff Writer

Every single one of us have something we would like to do at least once in our lives. Some may want to sky dive, travel the world, speak a new language, or meet someone famous; all of which are pretty great things and could be a rewarding experience. But one thing I hear the most is that many people want to visit SeaWorld or swim with dolphins before they die and I automatically cringe at the thought when I hear it.
Most people probably think it’s a rare and cool experience and I’m sure it is. But it should stay rare or not happen at all. Now before you assume I’m a crazy lunatic ranting about experiences that should be enjoyable, hear me out and then judge.
Large mammals such as whales and dolphins can swim up to one hundred miles a day, communicating with each other, hunting for their own food, and taking care of their young; all of their natural instincts. They communicate through sounds and whistles letting other dolphins or whales hear them a few miles away.
sea_world1Captive whales and dolphins cannot satisfy any of their natural every day instincts due to many barriers. First, it’s obvious they are not able to swim the amount of miles they could be due to their tiny tanks ranging between seventy thousand or two million gallons, some may be even smaller, depending what tank they are in and where they are in the world.
Second, they cannot communicate with one another, and if they do, their sound waves literally bounce off the surrounding walls around them affecting their senses; probably very similar to listening to your own echo over and over.
Finally, they cannot satisfy their natural instinct to hunt for food. They are hand-fed fish that have daily supplement pills inserted into the lungs that are supposed to give them all of their necessary vitamins. Though these are only 3 examples, I would like the think they’re enough to not let these types of captivity exist but they still do.
As part of their marketing, SeaWorld loves to point out that they have a conservation program supporting wildlife research, habitat protection, animal rescue, and conservation education all over the US. I find this great, but how is it that a corporation that loves to claim this great program can still keep whales, dolphins, and small sea mammals captivated to do tricks that are unnatural to their behavior and only to please the human eye? It’s hypocritical and doesn’t make sense to me.
I find it to be a way to cover up their greedy behavior by doing “good” things just like a lot of the corporations in America. Although I find any resort or park hypocritical for their actions, I find SeaWorld particularly hypocritical in what they do.
Over the past several years there have been incidents where “trainers” or audience members are attacked, harmed, or even killed by dolphins and whales in captivity during the show or training. As always, the media quickly grab a hold of the story and make it look as if these animals are out of control and need to be tamed or killed due to their actions. But what the media will glorify and what they will not tell you are obviously on two opposite ends of the spectrum.
What they don’t tell you is that these whales and dolphins are acting out of pure natural behavior when they feel isolated. I’m not a marine biologist, zoologist, or animal behavior expert but it’s quite obvious these large mammals should not be in the small tanks they live in for their entire lives.
I don’t know why our society is always making everything so convenient and pleasing for us but it’s ruining our natural senses into something that will have negative outcomes in the future. We are not supposed see large mammals in tanks doing flips just because we want to see it, it’s not natural and it only adds to our ignorance.