Blackfish

Watched the CNN documentary Blackfish via Netflix which slams Seaworld for their unethical practices towards both their whales and employees.

It made me think: some ways we treat animals reminds me how the colonies, non-whites, women etc…have been treated. We fear the different so we control, break, and make small – attack, weaken, objectify or make cute, a source of entertainment – so the seemingly intimidating and threatening become manageable. That is, until they naturally rebel and go “crazy”. Then we slap the word “psychotic”, “criminal”, “savages” and inflict other labels onto them. But that is another story…

A neuroscientist from the documentary said whales and dolphins have more complex brains than us with a very developed sense of self, intelligence and family bond. The part of the brain that controls sensitivity and emotions in them is actually more developed than it is in us!

So when you think of the implications of that – that they are psychologically in some ways more sensitive than we are – us throwing them into tiny tubs for our amusement, making these very strong predatory but also very social creatures our little cute toys and clowns, completely isolated….well, it makes sense the creatures held captive have attacked and killed trainers.

I highly recommend this film to all and encourage my friends to never go to Seaworld again. I am re-thinking zoos too and want to learn more about these kind of issues.

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