What the Aquariums taught you while you weren’t looking

With the awesome release of Misha and Tom to the wild, due to the most absolutely awesome work by the Born Free Foundation [jumping up and down and laughing and crying and screaming and clapping. . .], I found myself reflecting on how it could possibly be that everyone wouldn’t celebrate their release and the news of Tom’s and Misha’s having outdistanced the tracking boats



within a very short time, as they literally sped toward their home waters [freaking painful facial smile muscles], with the jumping and clapping, if not the squealing and face-cramping.

Seriously, or not seriously.  Picture this.  These two free dolphins, having been held in captivity for years, are now swimming their asses off, on their own volition, to get home.  No one is pulling them.  No one is prodding them with dead fish.  No one told them where to go and gave them a map.  No one could tell them where to go.  We don’t know how to do that.  They knew and they freaking went!!!

So in this celebratory time, I was remembering a post I wrote a few months ago about the fact that aquariums, like the Georgia Aquarium, teach your kids that humans “owning” dolphins is okay.

Yep, they literally teach your kids – and you and us all – that wanting to own a dolphin is okay.

I’m gonna repeat a little.  Again, consider ownership of dolphins in the context of the release of Misha and Tom.  How did it happen that we thought it was okay that these two dolphins who are now swimming madly for home should be held in captivity?  How did the concept that it was okay to own them come to us?

Well, I say, we were taught.  Not by our parents.  Not by our schools.

You and I weren’t born “knowing” that it was okay to own a dolphin.  None of us were.  None of us thought much about dolphins at all, until we gained access to nature via a pair of nature-show-freak parents, or cool nature-book-reading parents, or unless we grew up with access to a shoreline and parents who would take us where dolphins can be seen.

Those shows, books and shorelines surely didn’t teach us that dolphin captivity was okay.  Or ownership of them.  We were not taught about dolphin captivity and ownership other than by the very institutions that stand to benefit financially if we believe that story.  We were taught by The Georgia Aquariums of this world.  The SeaWorlds.  And more recently, Mattel and Playmobil – no strangers to forming young minds – joined the cartel.  We were taught, in kindler and gentler terms, that ripping an animal out of its natural habitat just because you want to is okay.  Okay.  Okay to own another intelligent, independent being.  To assume full control and domination over their very survival.  And we didn’t even notice that they were teaching us that.

They have distorted what you and I collectively consider acceptable treatment of wild marine creatures.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, manipulating your views about dolphin captivity

And we didn’t even notice.  We didn’t notice that we were learning this warped keeping-of-dolphins-in-small-concrete-tanks-is-acceptable lesson.  The lesson that obscured that it is an abhorrent manipulation of both nature and how we perceive nature.  Geez.  That was pretty slick.

So, let’s just track back through this:  those folks managed to rip dolphins out of their native habitat and have taught us to think that it is FOR ONE SECOND okay.  And they managed to get you to pay to see these beings who were ripped from their natural home and their natural community and family structures.

Without your catching on.  Wow.  Pretttttty slick.

Well, now you’ve thought.  You’ve caught the distorters in the act.

You have seen Misha and Tom, swimming free, racing home, without our “help”.  Look at the picture of Tom catching a fish in the wild for the first time in years [more squeals and shrieks], as noted in the article.  Know that all dolphins deserve to have freedom restored to them, like Tom and Misha.  All of them deserve to go home.

Clap and pledge never to go to the dolphin show.  And never again think that healthy dolphins can’t be rehabilitated for their very own trip home.

Cheers to the Born Free Foundation, Jeff Foster (who “trained” Tom and Misha to catch their own food again) and everyone involved in the effort.


4 responses to “What the Aquariums taught you while you weren’t looking

  1. Isn’t this just so awesome!! If this doesn’t prove family bonds, I don’t know what does! Actually swimming as fast as they can to get back to the place where they last saw and swam with their family! What a freakin’ Happy Mother’s Day that would be for their Mom! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Tom and Misha! GOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  2. And by the way Martha, have I mentioned how awesome you are?!!

  3. This is so awesome that it’s hard for any of us to contain ourselves (I can hear you jumping for joy right now!). We must let everyone know the false hype by the captors that releasing dolphins to the wild is impossible or even, gulp, cruel. Yayyyyy!

  4. And thank you. : )

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