This Holiday season, when you receive that solicitation from Sea World, the Georgia Aquarium or another aquarium or swim-with enterprise to buy your family a few minutes in the presence of captive dolphins or whales, just say no.
No matter how “cute” and friendly or massive and majestic they are, when you buy a ticket to the show, you are purchasing cetacean slaughter as well as capture and captive breeding.
Whatever their origin, this captive life is characterized by housing in a morbidly small tank, or occasionally more than one tank, away from the communal and familial groups with whom they live in the wild, with insufficient quality of life, unable to display the behaviors that they have for more than 30,000,000 years.
When you buy that ticket, you are purchasing force-feeding to train them that dead-fish-in-the-hands-of-humans is food. You are buying a ticket in a crap shoot that the next dolphin or orca will adjust to captivity. Or will survive captivity. And the stake for each captive is her life.
For a gift this year, why not try spreading the message of freedom and respect for these naturally peace-loving marine animals? Buy a copy of The Cove for someone who does not yet know of the horrors occurring right now in Taiji, Japan. Donate to Save Japan Dolphins or buy apparel that saves dolphins. [Someone in my life is getting a Save Japan Dolphins bracelet and maybe a sweatshirt and a hat or two. Wonder who?] Watch the free documentary A Fall from Freedom with your friends and family. Contribute to the ongoing legal efforts to free Morgan and Tokitai (Lolita).
So push “play” and watch this marvelous video by Gudrun Wiesflecker, if you haven’t already, as you read these last few words.
While the story of captivity is not a pleasant one, the story of willful blindness isn’t either. The lasting reward of contributing to cetacean freedom, on the other hand, is a gift worthy of any holiday, but especially these now upon us.
It probably will not be the last time I say this to you, but Happy Holidays. Peace and freedom to you and to all cetaceans, now and forever.
Cove Blue for Jiyu