Friday, November 29, 2013

Saying Things I Shouldn't: On BLACKFISH

First of all, right off the bat, I would like to openly state that all opinions expressed in all posts on this blog are my own. But especially this post. I would also like to state that while I have researched the film thoroughly, I have not watched it. 

Now. I know what you're thinking. But I don't want to spend an hour and a half of my time pissed off, so there's that. It's my choice.

I also don't have network television and refuse to support the filmmakers by seeking other avenues. 

Being a zookeeper myself as well as a former employee of a large, well-known aquarium (in fact an aquarium that is EXTREMELY relevant to this topic), I have a lot that I WANT to say about BLACKFISH, and a lot that I won't. I also want to say that I don't personally, on a moral level, 100% support SeaWorld. But I have come to terms with it because of what I'll say below.

I will say that every documentary has an agenda, and this one is no different. This documentary's agenda is an attack on SeaWorld and all aquariums that keep cetaceans in their pools. BUT.

You would probably not even know what a killer whale was if SeaWorld didn't exist.

Our ocean, our planet, is changing at an alarming rate. Since I'm already being controversial I'll just go ahead and close the soap box loop and say that climate change is a really big freaking deal, whether we want to admit it or not. Without zoos and aquariums it would be so much easier to not care about these animals, about what we as humans are doing and have done to them and their homes. 

If you didn't know what a killer whale was, you probably wouldn't have bothered to watch BLACKFISH. 

Zoos and aquariums do a lot of good. We expose people to new things, educate them about things they thought they already knew, get them to care. And it's so, so important that you care MORE about the animals in the wild than the ones in the zoo.

Animals living in responsible, accredited zoos have it made-- they live longer, are healthier, and suffer less than their wild counterparts. They have a steady food source, plenty of mental stimulation, lots of personal space and choices, and, in a good zoo, are never "forced" to do anything. They also have personal nutritionists and doctors, something that most humans don't even have. 

I'm keeping comments closed on this post. No offense, my lovely Google visitors. But I don't want this to turn into a debate. These are my thoughts, take them or leave them.