It’s sad but it’s true: money is an insanely effective driver for change in our society. If something doesn’t sell, why bother? If the public no longer wants something, businesses are forced to change their policies.
This photo of an empty stadium at SeaWorld perfectly illustrates that reality.
Driven by consumer demand for entertainment, these extremely intelligent and powerful beings are torn from their natural habitat and forced to live in a tank. However, over time, it has become ever more clear to the public that a tank is no place for a wild orca.
With complex familial and social relationships, we can gather that orcas are highly self-aware, adaptable, and intelligent. In captivity, however, they receive none of the stimulation or interaction they so rightly deserve. In the wild, these whales live in tight matrilineal pods, composed of grandmothers, mothers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins. They typically choose to remain with their immediate family group for the rest of their lives. So you can imagine the damage done to orcas when they’re cruelly torn from their natural habitat and forced to spend a life in captivity and isolation. Throughout their sad existence, orcas display zoochotic (psychotic) behaviors, similar to symptoms of prison neurosis. Some stereotypic behaviors include swimming in circles repetitively, establishing pecking orders, and lying motionless at the surface or on the aquarium floor for relatively long periods of time.
But times are a-changin’. This photo proves that it’s time to release the orcas back to their natural home, and the public wants it! Sometimes, it can feel like our individual actions don’t make a difference. But it’s important to remember our power in numbers. While Sea World has taken measures to end captive orca breeding, there is still a way to go at SeaWorld and beyond! If, together, we refuse to contribute to inhumane practices and speak out against injustice, companies will have no choice but to change!
Feeling empowered to save captive orcas? Here’s how you can help!
- If you want to see orcas, the best way to do so is to witness them in their wild, natural habitat.
- Educate yourself. If you want to be a more outspoken advocate for captive whales, make an effort to find out more about the complex legal, political, and financial factors at play in the whale captivity industry. “Death at SeaWorld,” David Kirby’s disturbing exposé of the industry, is a good place to start.
- Share this post and help spread the word!
All Image Source: Boycott SeaWorld/Facebook