You know what really helps a random and weird bout of depression/whatever-it-was? Finding a good book. Even better, finding a good book paired with a good documentary and lots of news articles and youtube videos. I watched Blackfish for the first time last week, and couldn’t get it out of my mind. Then the news came that SeaWorld is officially ending the breeding of its captive killer whales, and I felt the need to delve deeper into the topic. I ended up reading Beneath the Surface by John Hargrove, former senior trainer of orcas at SeaWorld, and I just really couldn’t get over the personalities, magnificent intelligence, and plights of the killer whales in SeaWorld and other amusement parks. And also very worth watching, the documentary about the rehabilitation and re-release of the star whale Keiko (of Free Willy) back into the ocean with his family.
And bam, I stopped thinking about my weird feelings so much, and started looking forward to reading and watching more about Tilikum, Kasatka, Takara, and the other whales. Then I started getting excited about someday going whale watching with M.
So if you haven’t seen Blackfish, which is an award-winning documentary about the life of captive killer whales and the deaths of three trainers when they became aggressive, please watch it. It’s on netflix, and youtube (for a fee). And if it touches you, which it should if you have any heart at all, read the really excellent book by John Hargrove. And after that, commit to never supporting marine parks that capture, breed, or keep orcas and dolphins in captivity, and make it known to them that you would only support their efforts to transition them to open ocean pens where they can live out their days in the real ocean, without pressure to perform or live life in a cramped and sterile tank. Spend your dollars on whale or dolphin watching tourism that supports their protection in the wild, or rehabilitation and conservation centers that only focus on keeping their dolphins or whales in natural habitats, without performance shows.
Links to check out:
International Marine Mammal Project– They rescued Keiko from a tank in Mexico, recovered him in a state-of-the-art whale environment built just for him, transferred him to a sea pen in his native Iceland, and released him into the open ocean successfully where he lived out his days with his family
The Orca Network
The Orca Research Trust
Now that I’ve read and googled and youtubed everything I could find on these killer whales, I’m moving on to learning about quantum physics, quantum mechanics, and quantum entanglement. Another passion I’m developing!