Every time I bring up how touched I was by the CNN aired documentary I’m always confronted with the same question: “have you really listened to the Sea World vs. OSHA trial?”  My answer every time since the first night I was captivated by the Blackfish documentary is an enthusiastic yes! The representatives on Sea World’s side of the jurisdiction’s relaxed and passive attitude regarding animal neglect made me only more passionate about the issue! Although this of course is an emotional conflict, I feel as though laying down cold, hard facts is the most effective way to get the point across to those who have been visiting Sea World since they were toddlers and can’t possibly imagine an organization dedicated to “fun” is mistreating  creatures who could possibly be smarter than humans. I personally don’t see Sea World being centered around family fun as an excuse for humanity, considering they are a profit making machine. I believe if anyone was in the position of a Sea World corporate decision maker, they would probably do anything to make a dollar. Sea World has sacrificed many aspects of their moral code, but isn’t that what consumerism in America is all about? I, on the other hand, think there are other alternatives and can’t imagine that an amusement park has as much of a symbiotic relationship with earth as the orcas do! The captive orca issues do not only stem from Sea World, though they are the most recognized. The Miami SeaQuarium is home to a 45 year old killer whale named Lolita. She calls the smallest killer whale pool in the world home. Her childhood story is not the type of fun loving memoir amusement parks seem to promote and portray in their commercial advertisements and overall ethos. She was captured from The Puget Sound, perhaps the most beautiful and orca concentrated environment in North America, and separated from her family in 1970. Lolita continues to live in a habitat equivalent to a human bathtub, while her family swims hundreds of thousands of miles daily. People tend to discount human emotional attachments vs. animal emotional attachments. Why are whales like Lolita at Miami SeaQuarium and Tilikum at SeaWorld’s stories so tragic? Organizations proactive to marine life and animal safety research like The Occupational Safety and Health Administration have began conducting research on the brains, habits, and social interactions of killer whales, since they seem to be the center of the most animal on trainer accidents of any organism in the world. I could go on and on with validation for why orcas act how they do considering their conditions in captivity, though it seems to be redundant. What these scientists are beginning to uncover in a normal brain scan of killer whales was shocking, and also horrifying considering the conditions and neglect these intelligent animals have been facing. See: the Frontal Cortex of the brain. This sector of the brain hold the social interactions and familial bonds portions of an organisms reactive system. The human race was thought to have the strongest social bonds considering our ability to have platonic and romantic relationships, as well as our tendency to communicate on advanced levels with language, etc. To some individual’s dismay, we could be quickly outdone with more biological testing of orcas and their brains. It’s interesting to think we’ve learned all of this critical information about these important creatures within the last few years. Overall education and uncensored information on animal rights campaigns like those of the orcas are critical. Please seek for more information on easy platforms like social media and actively look at and use tags like #BoycottSeaWorld #NotOurs2Use #EmptyTheTanks

Emily Blake