A website recently published an article 8 Reason Orcas Don’t Belong At Seaworld. PETA is a campaign against SeaWorld, which owns most of the orcas held in captivity here in the US. Seaworld has had a reputation for mistreating animals but was was only recently brought to public attention. If anyone has seen the Netflix documentary Blackfish I’m sure you’re aware of the ethical dilemma involved with keeping Orca’s in captivity as merely as a means to generate economic revenue. The 2013 film was an instant hit, prompting Celebrities to speak out against the entertainment empire, schools to cancel field trips, and ultimately resulted in an attendance decline. The film depicts yet exposes Seaworld’s mortifying enslavement of these intelligent orcas. From their captures at such young ages from the wild to the misery of their lifetime confinement to tiny tanks, and how this cruelty has led the frustrated orca Tilikum—who has worn his teeth to the nubs from chewing on the underwater bars of his cement prison—to kill three human beings, although orcas in the wild have never hurt a human. Here are some of the reasons as to why Orcas should not be held captive:
1. Premature Deaths
Orcas in the wild have an average life expectancy of 30 to 50 years—their estimated maximum lifespan is 60 to 70 years for males and 80 to over 100 for females. The average age of death for orcas who have died at SeaWorld is 13 years old.
2. Lean, Mean Killing Machines—or Not?
In the wild, despite centuries of sharing the ocean, there has been only a single reliable report of an orca harming a human being. Because of the stress involved in being deprived of everything that is natural and important to orcas in captivity, orcas have attacked and killed three humans just since 1991 and many others have been injured.
3. Collapsed Dorsal Fins
All captive adult male orcas have collapsed dorsal fins, likely because they have no space in which to swim freely and are fed an unnatural diet of thawed dead fish. SeaWorld claims that this condition is common—however, in the wild, it rarely ever happens and is a sign of an injured or unhealthy orca.
SeaWorld confines orcas, who could swim up to 100 miles a day in the wild, to tanks that, to them, are the size of a bathtub. They would need to swim 1,208 laps (around the perimeter of the tank) or 3,105 lengths (back and forth at the longest part of the tank) in the park’s largest tank to equal what they’d swim in the wild.
5. Breaking Their Teeth to Escape
Orcas in captivity gnaw at iron bars and concrete from stress, anxiety, and boredom, sometimes breaking their teeth and resulting in painful dental drilling without anesthesia.
Miraculously, all hope is not lost. Just this past week announced they will be ending Orca shows in wake of mourning protests. SeaWorld’s decision comes just days after congressman Adam Schiff said he would introduce legislation forcing SeaWorld to end the captivity of orcas. “The decision by SeaWorld to phase out killer whale shows in San Diego is a welcome step along the path towards ending the captivity of these magnificent creatures,” Schiff said on Monday after SeaWorld’s announcement. “Much more needs to be done, however, and I would urge the company to curtail the breeding of their orcas and partner in the creation of ocean sanctuaries. The fact still remains that as long as SeaWorld holds orcas in captivity, the physical and psychological problems associated with their captivity will persist.”
Collectively, we as an ethical human race can further restore the Animal Rights in such an admirable species of animal. Together we can make this world a richer place by recognizing the oppressive roles we have in the lives of others and further restoring the value we take away from animals, for our own greed/pleasure.