When whales are kept captive, they aren't 'living.' They're merely existing. Understand, SeaWorld?

killer whales

Southern resident killer whale and her calf, in the North Pacific Ocean, being truly alive.

Credit: NOAA's National Ocean Service's photostream

SeaWorld's PR counter-offensive against claims that it abuses its killer whales and trainers went positive this week as the sea park rolled out television and Internet ads assuring the public that its giant captive animals are happy, healthy and well-treated.

The tone of the ads is markedly different than the recent smear campaign against former SeaWorld trainer John Hargrove, who is being vilified by the entertainment organization in response to his book slamming the park's treatment of the killer whales and his participation in the 2013 critical documentary Blackfish.

But just as allegations that Hargrove is racist are irrelevant to the larger issue, so too are the major claims made in these feel-good promos. Here's the first one:

Claim No. 1: "We don't collect killer whales from the wild, and haven't for 35 years."

Well, guess what, the killer whales born in captivity aren't domesticated. They're still whales, and they were intended to live in the ocean -- not be kept in the equivalent of a bathtub and made to do tricks for our cheap amusement and SeaWorld's lucrative business.

Claim No. 2: "Government research shows they live just as long as whales in the wild."

Those killer whales that SeaWorld breeds in captivity? They don't live as long as whales in the ocean. In fact, they don't live at all. These beautiful sea animals trapped in SeaWorld's minuscule tanks merely exist.

And that's the real abuse, isn't it? 

This story, "When whales are kept captive, they aren't 'living.' They're merely existing. Understand, SeaWorld?" was originally published by Fritterati.

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