SeaWorld is coming for your children

SeaWorld is coming for your children.

SeaWorld's Fairy Kingdom

SeaWorld uses cute pictures to create a happy sea wonderland. Who could resist? Hmm. How about YOU!

It will use pop music and pretty, clapping, spandex-clad youths riding and standing on captive wild creatures to create a living fairy tale that only a few of your children will understand is actually a lie.

Don’t let your children become a trussed up Hansel & Gretel to a dressed up, but very hungry, witch.

And lest one imagine that it is any better at other aquariums with captive marine mammals, stop it.  You’re about to enter the fairy tale again. Which is exactly what they want.  The Georgia Aquarium expressly entices you with the promise of magic:

It’s Broadway theater. With dolphin stars! Original music! Amazing choreography! And soaring action!

Be part of something magical.

Only at the world’s largest, most magical aquarium. Georgia Aquarium, where imaginations go to play.

I might have added, “And belugas go to die” if I didn’t want to extract you from that “most magical” wonderland of dolphin domination and alternating cycles of sensory deprivation/sensory overload. Take a moment to think about that. Just a moment.  You can handle it.

Dolphins in barren concrete tanks, where they have ceased using much of their echolocation because it bounces around the concrete in a confusing manner that does not occur in nature.  Alternate that with the aquariums’ cueing their horrific music. Every day. A never-ending cycle of silence-loud-silence-loud-silence-loud. “Three shows daily!” For the rest of the dolphins’ restricted and unimaginably empty lives.

At the risk of losing you to the “most magical” kingdom, here is the Georgia Aquarium’s ad to lure us in with our children, not to mention our secret and just-as-innocent inner child.  Remember, it is not true. It is a constructed, “most magical” facade of domination and deprivation.  Deep breath – now go on in.

Ugh. I suspect that you can see that it is hype, very well-made hype.  But please, see behind that hype to the horrid existence for captive dolphins and whales and know that you’ve been had for your entire life if you thought that dolphin shows were okay. Had. Conned. By hype. To believe that you were doing something good for dolphins if you went to their show. Guess again.  You weren’t. You were had.  We were all had.

Georgia Aquarium Dolphin Tales

There are so many things wrong with this picture. How many can you find?

But don’t let them have your children.  Take a pledge that you will not go to the dolphin show.

And if you see this post in time, watch Blackfish on CNN this Sunday, February 9, at 9pm and 11pm ET.

17 responses to “SeaWorld is coming for your children

  1. The most magical place to see dolphins and whales is in the ocean!

  2. Brilliant, thank you! Wild animals belong in the wild, not in captivity, no matter what lies the aquariums ( and even some researchers) feed us.

  3. The American people are animal lovers, generally speaking, but they tend to dislike animal rights activists. Why is that?

    I think that when most people visit a theme park or aquarium they do have doubt in their minds. They don’t know if a killer whale really is happy living in a concrete pool at a theme park, or not.

    Yet, the benefit of the doubt in that moment so many times tips in favor of the park . They won’t even give the activists a hearing.

    Why is that?

    • Thanx for your post, Rob. My only answer would be because it is fear driven. Fear begats Ignorance. Apathy and like Ostrichs, they do not want to admit responsibility. It really is a shame. Perhaps they only love them in captivity.

    • Why does anyone do anything that may not be in their self-interest or the interest of others? I do not know the answer to that. But we all know that marketing of anything is a tool upon which all corporations rely to sell their wares. I have written about the marketing tactics or transference (although I’m not certain that I’ve ever called it that) that aquariums use: they mention dogs when they speak about dolphins, and we often “transfer” the love we have for our dogs and the desire to given them shelter and to protect them – a domesticated animal – to the dolphins.

  4. Ms. Brock…as always, love your writings. To my shame I have been to one $eaworld show in my late twenties. I don’t remember being that particularly excited. I remember wanting to get close to the Orca for some reason. That was it. It is a fairy tell. One best not to allow your children to watch. Take them to the Ice Capades Show, where it truly is a magical place. Empty The tanks…these beauties belong in the ocean!

  5. Just contacted AT&T they claim they know nothing about this partnership/endorsement can you tell me more about this relationship?

    • I only know that AT&T’s is noted in the name of Georgia Aquarium’s “Dolphin Tales” dolphin “extravaganza” and as a corporate sponsor on the Georgia Aquarium’s website. If there is any doubt about AT&T corporate sponsorship of the Georgia Aquarium, the question should, perhaps, be put to the Georgia Aquarium about your contact with AT&T. If you learn anything that would put this sponsorship into doubt, please let us know.

  6. Captivity kills and  is immensely cruel. Sea Worlds imprison cetaceans in tiny tanks that acoustically blind them, and shorten their lives. Instead of swimming 40-100km per day and living 50-100 years, they are force-fed and drugged, or ripped from their mothers early and live only 9 years on average. 

    Why would anyone decide to go to a Sea World? From the glossy surface of SeaWorld’s PR machine, parents are offered a pinnacle experience with a chance to connect with nature, a guaranteed feel good factor

    Yet under the glossy facade there lies a horrifying tale of kidnappings murders and unbelievable cruelty. Started in 1970’s SeaWorld ripped hundreds of Orcas from their families, many died. After weighted bodies washed up the outcry led to legislation that forbade US Orca captures. Despite the no captured policy many SeaWorld dolphins have Taiji DNA. 17 dolphins die per one kidnapped, the $160,000 or so paid for a “trained” dolphin underwrites this  barbaric genocidal slaughter, with agonising 10-20 minute deaths. The kidnapped dolphins are starved then force-fed with a mixture of drugs and dead fish, an then conditioned to do tricks with food deprivation. Many of these dolphins, or their offspring, find their way back to Western countries.

    SeaWorlds demands sexual services from its  highly intelligent cetaceans, infamously inbreeding direct kin; and the sad results include stillbirths and maternal deaths, and SeaWorld pools echo with the long sad cries of mothers when their babies are taken away from them.

    SeaWorld have never released an Orca back to the wild.

SeaWorld pay for severed Beluga male organs, thus funding Beluga slaughter, for their inbreeding program.

    Dolphins and whales are highly intelligent and call each other by name. Captive cetaceans have remembered their family members names even after twenty years. Their language is so complexly structured that we may have difficulty in deciphering it for quite some time, and it appears that they use non-linear maths everyday in acquiring food.

    It is so wrong to imprison such powerful magnificent sea beings in tiny reflective tanks that effectively blind them. Being ripped from your family and being forced to swim in tiny circles rather in the open ocean just to do tricks for our entertainment, and for huge profits for SeaWorld owners directors and shareholders could be only be described as modern day slavery.

    Going to SeaWorld is as educational about cetaceans as a visitor from Mars looking at humans in solitary confinement, or asking the Kings College Choir to sing Three Blind Mice. SeaWorld cites their “conservation efforts and research” but they spend much less than 1% of their gross on conservation, and paid part owners Blackstone 657 Million dollars in less than one year. The directors have been dumping stock and SEAS is on the nose, as the general public wakes up to the awful cruelty at SeaWorld. Where else do animals have to perform mindless tricks to even get fed except at a circus. This is not conservation, but exploitation.

  7. All I have to say can mostly be summed up here…

  8. What about SeaWorld’s claim that they have spent $7 million on their killer whale habitats in the past three years? It seems to me their pools and tanks are the same size they were in the 1980’s.

    Where did the money go?

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