Many people have probably seen “Free Willy” and “Flipper”. The moral lesson mostly will agree with is that we need to be kind to animals. It makes sense so they can be kind to us in return as well. But is that the real truth why such movies were released? You may not know the real essence behind those films until you see “The Cove” or “Blackfish”.
I’ve watched “Flipper” and “Free Willy” when I was younger. It was fun to watch because it starred both young kids, too. Other than that, I was fascinated with the sea animals. Hey, they’re not like dogs that you normally see anywhere.
Those shows are undeniably friendly and entertaining. But “The Cove” is much different. It shows a non-scripted hunting of dolphins in Japan. You’ll find this documentary film very disturbing. It will surely open your eyes to what is really happening behind aquarium shows.
It can be enjoyable to watch dolphins flip and whales dive. A lot of people, not only kids, can have fun seeing them live. It’s on my bucket list to see a real and touch dolphin, and to swim with sperm whales.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Everybody has the right to see and swim with these adorable creatures. But is it right to go to a local aquarium show and watch them?
There are many reasons why aquarium shows are not ethical. Once you read this, you will be disgusted, and you won’t tolerate this kind of entertainment shows.
• Dolphins and whales or orcas need exercise.
In an aquarium, it is a confinement for these animals. They are given food regularly, but swimming in a limited space does not make them happy or satisfied. Remember how huge these fishes are and they need many kilometers to swim. Plus, experts believe that improvement of their physiology requires enormous exercise.
• Dolphins and orcas suffer from some injuries.
If you’ve gone to this kind of show, you may think that these animals are happy. They do give a great show most of the time because of training (this is another issue, which will be discussed later). Yet, they undergo accidents behind the curtain.
Dolphins can have sunburns due to confinement. Why not all people get to see dolphins when swimming in the beach? Why it is rare to see dolphins flipping in the sea? The only answer to that is because they like to swim in the deep most of the time. If they are in tanks or aquariums, which are filled with shallow water, they are likely exposed to the sun.
On the other hand, orcas usually develops droopy dorsal fin syndrome. This is when the fin is right tilted and swims clockwise. It is possible from happening because of the limited space in the tank where they are swimming.
• Dolphins and orcas are emotionally restrained.
The industry of hunting sea animals is selective and random. They do not just catch dolphins by group or in families. Who will ever know that this is the father and the other one is the son? So when they are caught, they can just be any member that is separated from their family. Like humans, these creatures need some loving from their own as well. Sadly, people take this right away from them.
• Sea animals undergo excessive training.
Animals are not that easy to train for a performance and entertainment show. You may be clapping your hands and enjoying the show because of a fantastic performance and crazy tricks. You can ask “how do they do that?”
The training of these sea living creatures is extreme and crucial. They won’t be fed when they are hungry. They are given foods as a reward for doing a great trick. That can serve as motivation for these animals. If not food deprivation, it can be beating. They can feel pain and can get sick over time.
• Sea animals are excruciatingly caught.
The hunt for dolphins, for instance, is horrendous. In Japan, they are caught without being injured. Hunters use nets and spears, which can be very dangerous to these animals. This can make the sea water turn into red due to blood when dolphins are speared. There is no hunt wherein dolphins do not die. A lot of the hunting involves death of dolphins. This is not what most people know, but in the film “The Cove”, this is boldly shown.
Also, the hunting of animals affects our ecosystem. The water of the sea is also damaged.
So is an aquarium show ethical or not? From the points listed above, you certainly know the answer. So the next time you buy tickets, think this through.
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