Originally posted in 2012 under the title “Celebrating Shark Week by going to an aquarium is, well, abhorrent.” Reposted to correct for some unknown server error that only my site host can fix.
Yesterday, I finished watching the award-winning (31 International awards) Sharkwater again, this time via the nine 10-minute segments that are on YouTube. And then gobbled up more shark and whale news at The Cyber Whale Warrior Daily Paperli.
I noticed that fellow blogger and publisher of the paper, Holise Cleveland, had posted something I said last year about Shark Week:
Celebrating Shark Week at the Georgia Aquarium is like celebrating Dog Week at an animal shelter.
I think I later added a “dog pound” to the “animal shelter” version because I felt that was a more apt comparison. But it got me to thinking about that analogy, and I came up with a slightly different version; but one that’s getting even closer to how I see it. See what you think:
Celebrating Shark Week at the Georgia Aquarium is like celebrating dog week by going to look at, but not trying to rescue, the dogs living their lives out in cages at a puppy mill. And saying, “How cute!” as you walk to the next crate.
I know. It’s longer, and not so clever or quotable, but more accurate. Having re-watched Sharkwater, another Shark Week simile variant came to me that I feel is even closer to how I see it. Maybe some people won’t like this version as much as the shorter dog comparison – in fact, it may seem a bit harsh:
How is keeping a child locked up in a basement qualitatively different from keeping a shark or whale in a tank?
Celebrating Shark Week at the Georgia Aquarium is like celebrating Children’s Week by looking into the basement window of your new neighbor and discovering a child being held against its will, having been torn away from its mother, its family and everyone it knew.
Even though held in a 10′ by 10′ room, with only electrical lighting, you notice that the child seems happy when the caregivers come to feed it. And even laughs when one of the adults teaches it how to cartwheel in that small space.
Then you notice that there are people coming to the house, and you see that they are standing outside a door in the basement looking into the 10-by-10 room, at the child. And you see the people paying the caregiver money to come look at the child.
You overhear an inquiry about paying a little bit more money for cartwheels. And maybe paying a little more for an interactive program, like a swim-with.
Now, that’s what celebrating Shark Week by going to the Georgia Aquarium is like to me. Pity I can’t tweet that one.
So I thought I’d put the question to you: What is Celebrating Shark Week at the Georgia Aquarium – or any aquarium – like for you?
How to Celebrate Shark Week this year? We’re a couple of months out from Shark Week, and I have no idea what is planned for this year. One idea for celebrating Shark Week would be to write our favorite “Celebrating Shark Week” sayings on a poster board, and pay a visit to our local aquariums during Shark Week (in July) to share our message. No doubt the aquariums will have some promotion. Let’s have one of our own. I, for one, plan to go with a few copies of Sharkwater.
Celebrating Shark Week at an aquarium isn’t celebrating sharks at all; it’s really celebrating People Can Do Whatever They Feel Like to Sharks Week.