research–todayistheday

Family Fun and the Feeding Frenzy

It’s a very unnatural occurrence when the predator becomes the prey. The hunter becoming the hunted, the victim stalking the killer. It crams individuals into a category they don’t fit into, they are forced to adjust or else they die.

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are one of the most powerful predators in our ocean. NECSI describes predator/prey relationships, “Predator and prey evolve together. The prey is part of the predators environment, and the predator dies if it does not get food, so it evolves whatever is necessary in order to eat the prey.” Orcas have evolved to be sophisticated strategists and dedicated hunters. Orcas stick together in pods, consisting of up to 40 killer whales. They communicate with each other when prey is spotted, detecting the prey with echolocation, determining the size and location. Depending on the prey, they deploy intelligent designs of tactic based on species, their strategy is effective and deadly. With razor sharp teeth and dozens of killer whales, the odds are in the orcas favor.

Predators, such as orcas, in an ecological sense are defined as being larger than their prey and killing their prey. Predators and prey are a part of the same environment and evolve together.  The predator evolves to kill the prey; meanwhile the prey evolves to avoid being killed by the predator. Both are key to each other for survival. The categorizing of predator and prey relationships is defined by consumption, who is eating who.

Predators rise to the top of the food chain because of certain skills or characteristics they maintain.  Most predators are stealthy, they approach an attack with careful precision.  Predators have dominating physical features, their size is typically larger than their prey along with their sense of sight, smell, and taste that must be greater than their prey. Bradford in her Live Science article establishes,”They weigh up to 6 tons (5,443 kilograms) and grow to 23 to 32 feet (7 to 9.7 meters). That is almost as long as a school bus.”

But outside of the animal kingdom, predators are still lurking in the shadows waiting for the right moment to pounce on unsuspecting prey. In society we categorize pedophiles as child predators.  They are larger individuals waiting to feed off a child’s innocence, killing their purity. We can see government as a dangerous predator with all the power.  The citizens are the pawns, individuals are so easy to sweep away and stomp out.  Predators are killers, feeding off the prey.

When a pedophile is arrested and locked away in prison they are no longer a predator.  They are confined behind concrete walls and shackled; they are cast away from their community.  They were caught and imprisoned; the predator then becomes the prey.  The predator than becomes the prison guards or the criminal justice system or their fellow inmates.  The pedophile’s fate is determined by the criminal justice system that sends him to prison.  The pedophile’s fellow inmates could have a distaste for perverts and beat him until he dies; he came the prey.

So, when orcas are captured and locked within concrete enclosures they are no longer the predator.  They’re ripped away from their food chain and placed in an entirely different environment.  Once at the top of the food chain, they plummeted to the bottom.  Their fate lies in the hands of SeaWorld.  They rely on their kidnappers for their survival.

But SeaWorld doesn’t become the predator.  SeaWorld is something different entirely.  SeaWorld wouldn’t benefit from killing their prey. SeaWorld needs to feed off their prey and reap the benefits for as long as possible.  SeaWorld is a parasite.

Parasites leech onto their host, either clinging to the body or digging their way inside. They feed off their host, stealing from them. NECSI explains to us the parasite and host balance, “A parasite and its host evolve together. The parasite adapts to its environment by living in and using the host in ways that harm it.” Parasites harm their hosts, or prey, but rarely kill them.  And if they do kill them it wasn’t intentional. They can cause sickness in their hosts that can ultimately lead to their death.  Tapeworms, for example, live within the intestines of their host.  They feed off the partially digested food, robbing the host of that nutrients. Ticks dig their heads into their host and stuff themselves full of blood.

The Toxoplasma gondii, also known as the mind control bug, infects, most commonly, rodents.  It infiltrates the brain, erasing the fear of cats from the rodent’s brain.  This then causes the rodent to be captured and killed by the cat.  Toxoplasma godnii can also infect humans.  In severe cases, brain and organ damage occur.

SeaWorld leeches onto the orcas and refuses to let go.  True to parasite nature they cling onto their hosts until they, themselves, are exterminated or until their host dies.  SeaWorld, the ultimate parasite, opts for the latter. They ignore any suggestions of seaside sanctuaries where the orcas can live free.  Because without their host, they wouldn’t survive.

Like Toxoplasma, SeaWorld, slithers into the host’s brain and takes control.  It overrides the hosts natural instincts, instead, they insist on unnatural performances.

Parasites can cause several alarming symptoms in their host.  They can cause abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dysentery and weight loss.   Parasite’s are detrimental in the health of their host.

Orcas suffer from poor dental health from chewing on cement walls and metal gates.  Closed quarters lead to fighting among the orcas , which can cause raking (teeth on skin) marks.  They offer suffer from poor eyesight, due to increased light sensitivity. Collapsed Dorsal fins due to restricted diving capabilities. And to their demise orcas easily develop pneumonia in their lungs due to their chemically treated water and insufficient diet.  Orcas suffer greatly as the parasite continues to gnaw on their cash “cow”.

SeaWorld digs into the orcas, draining them of any nutrients they can.  The only nutrients SeaWorld needs are the crisp dollar bills lining their pockets. They push the orcas to perform tricks for audience members. They even force conception so that more baby orcas can be apart of the SeaWorld cult. SeaWorld’s best interest is to keep the orcas alive so that they can benefit from them.  They showcase the orcas and open their parks so that people can witness the blood sucking frenzy disguised as a family friendly marine park.

There is a player we didn’t factor into the game; the audience. The killer whales once predators now the prey. SeaWorld, a monstrous company, is the parasite feeding off the prey.  When factoring in the new addition the roles change slightly.  The orcas become bait to us.  We see happy faces on SeaWorld commercials as Shamu swims joyful laps.  We watch as children hug fluffy Shamu’s to their chests, holding it close to their heart.  That is when we bite down onto the brilliantly appealing bait.  We are hooked. SeaWorld begins reeling us in, slowly with stealth so they don’t alarm us to their trickery. Their lure is embedded into our mouth, pulling us closer toward their greedy gates, like open arms waiting for an embrace. We, the audience, buy tickets to walk through the gates of the park.  Wonder filled eyes gaze at tanks filled with animals more majestic than we could ever dream of. We clap, cheer and laugh as we watch the orcas flip out of the water and wave their fins. Behind closed doors SeaWorld counts their cash and smiles knowing their hook is sliced into our mouths, holding us tight.

SeaWorld continues to be the parasite feeding off any entertainment drained out of their hosts and from the audiences gullibleness. They rely off of the orcas helplessness and the audience’s blindness. Without the orcas, there is no audience, and vice versa.  Seaworld chomps down onto any vulnerable flesh, and they suck, until their pockets stuff themselves with crisp dollar bills and coins with a distinctive iron smell.

The 1993 Warner Bros film, Free Willy, sparked a national outrage over the injustice of keeping orcas captive. Free Willy is the reason the fight for captive orcas was acknowldeged.  The film continues to be a push to open our eyes to the compassion and magic of orcas.  The family friendly film highlighted the special bond between a teenage boy, Jesse, and a young majestic orca named Willy. Audience’s hearts warmed and they rooted for a happy ending for both Jesse and Willy.  The movie ends in bitter happiness, Jesse succeeds in freeing Willy to reunite with his family. As much as Jesse loved Willy it was only right for Willy to return home.

When released the film inspired thousands of people to strike against marine parks that keep orcas captive. In his article describing the impact of Free Willy, Dylan Powell states, “Having a massive corporate media outlet behind the film, and providing coverage for much of this ‘effect’, has made all of this advocacy impossible to ignore.” A letter campaign, Free Willy-Keiko Foundation, succeeded in freeing Keiko, the whale that ‘played’ Willy. Keiko was taken out of a marine park in Mexico and first brought to Oregon to be treated for health problems.  Once in the clear, Willy was flown to Iceland to be kept in a seaside sanctuary where he could relearn his natural instincts and environment. Keiko was released into the wild, and thrived until he died of pneumonia not long after his release.  Regardless of his sudden death, Keiko was 27 years old when he died, still living longer than SeaWorld’s average.

The film made over 100 million dollars, some of which was donated to releasing Keiko. Schellenberg in her article informs us, “As the credits appear in front of a video of whales frolicking in the wild, a note says, ‘You can personally help save the whales of the world by calling 1-800-4-WHALES.’ This number was called by millions who wanted the real-life Willy to be freed, and a plethora of donations were collected.” Keiko, along with other captive orcas, had a similar story line to Willy. In 1961, the first captive orca was brought to a marine park. Orcas were hunted and surrounded, the youngest orca ripped away from its family.  The orca’s pod has been known to follow the boats as long as they can.  I’m sure that if we could understand their cries, we wouldn’t rip them away from their home and force them to live inside a concrete prison.

Willy was ripped away from his family and placed in a marine park.  His cries were heartbreaking and lonely.  He refused to perform and was stubborn to eat. Willy would cry long high pitched vocals, the Washington state waters cast in the background. Kasatka and Katara are a mother daughter pair of orcas that were inseparable. Katara wouldn’t leave her mothers side and Kasatka protected and loved Katara unconditionally.  Katara was sold to a park in Florida, they loaded her onto a shipping truck. Kasatka was left in the pool, crying high pitched vocals.  They were never heard before.  A specialist was brought in and revealed that Kasatka was crying long range vocals.  She was trying to locate her daughter.

SeaWorld rips family units apart like they are simply plastic pieces in a game of Life.  We must come to understand that humans are not the only individuals on Earth that feel emotions.  Orcas have strong family ties, they continue to be with their family units their whole lives.

They have a part of the brain, humans are deprived of.  It is believed to be the center for their strong love and devotion to their family.  The thought of ripping a human child away from her mother and tossing her into a cage is repulsive.  Replacing the word human with orca does not make that statement any less horrifying.

Free Willy sparked a movement to free orcas from captivity that lead to the first orca release. SeaWorld and other parks like it, announced they wouldn’t capture orcas from the wild any longer. The Free Willy movement lead to Blackfish which fueled another generation.  Blackfish shocked people across the globe and flipped SeaWorld upside down, exposing the corrupt business.

SeaWorld then announced its end to the orca program.  SeaWorld would end its breeding program and allow the current orcas to be their last generation.  Although, this is a win for future orcas; the current orcas are still imprisoned. Kyara, the last baby orca, was supposed to be SeaWorld’s last pawn.  Kyara became another tombstone in SeaWorld’s cemetery. At only three months old Kyara succumbed to an unfair and early death. In the National Geographic article Kyara’s cause of death is established, “Park officals suspect the three-month-old calf died from pneumonia, the same infection that killed the infamous captive whale Tilikum.” SeaWorld’s response, “Kyara’s infection had not been caused as a result of being kept in captivity.” Pull up google, type in pneumonia in killer whales, every single link on the first page leads you to results and articles written for only captive whales with pneumonia. Wild orcas suffer rarely from pneumonia but mostly from humans, who pollute their waters and hunt them.

Kyara shared the same ill fate as Tilikum, SeaWorld’s most famous killer whale. Tilikum, two years old, was swimming next to his mother when he was ripped from his home waters. Tilikum was eventually carted off and dumped at SeaLand in British Columbia. For fourteen hours of the day Tilikum was imprisoned in a tiny sea module, not much bigger than he was. Fourteen hours of mind dulling solidarity and then the rest of the hours were spent being attacked by two dominant female orcas.

A trainer slipped and fell into the orca waters, Tilikum dragged her and refused to let her go, even when the girl’s body was limp and lifeless. That was the first person Tilikum killed. The second was a homeless man who snuck into Tilikum’s tank.  The dead man’s body, or what was left of it, was proudly draped across Tilikum’s back when trainers came in the morning. Tilikum’s final victim was a highly respect trainer at SeaWorld. Tilikum scalped her and continued to hold onto the corpse for hours after.

The first years of his life were spent free alongside his family.  Then he was plucked from his home and tossed into a tank.  Majority of his life spent alone, endlessly lapping his small tank or floating lifelessly. He died of pneumonia after a long suffering life. WDC published an article explaining Tilikum’s life and the effects of it, “The true and only legacy from his sad, tragic existence is that a much wider audience now appreciates and understands that these noble creatures deserve better.”

 The memories of Free Willy and facts embraced by Blackfish push people to say no to SeaWorld. Keiko and Tilikum represent every orca in captivity, we should listen closely to their heartbreaking cries. It has thousands, refusing to buy a ticket and support the injustice of imprisoning orcas. The first legendary orca film, Free Willy, lead to a fight for justice. People are now hoping to empty the tanks, to free SeaWorld’s captive orcas into seaside sanctuaries. We have hopes of them living happy lives reunited with their long lost family.  We have hopes to Free Willy, once and fore all. Yet with every hero there is a relentless enemy battling us.

We are told, at a young age, to never talk with our mouths full. Jim McBain and Brad Andrews ignore that pleasantry and common formality; their mouths overflow with well-constructed lies. Jim McBain, director of veterinary medicine at SeaWorld and Brad Andrews, vice president of zoological operations at SeaWorld, released a detailed pro-captivity statement during the time Keiko, the star of Free Willy, was in the public’s attention.

McBain and Andrews are well-educated and successful individuals who make a hefty salary each year at SeaWorld.  Their experience and knowledge of SeaWorld would be invaluable if it wasn’t flooded with lies and half-truths.

In their PBS announcement, McBain and Andrews defend SeaWorld and its commitment to love and care for their orcas. It is obvious they care, but they care for the money orcas rake in rather than the orcas themselves.  If you took the profit away, SeaWorld would be quick to sell their orcas.  Money over matter.

McBain and Andrews start their defense by justifying captivity for the sake of education.  As we grow and urbanize we should find ways to stay in touch with nature.  They claim it is irrational for every person to experience nature by going out into the wild.  They claim it is more beneficial to drag animals to us rather than go to them.

They calculated how many people visit SeaWorld yearly and crunched some numbers to see the consequences of those people visiting “Robson Bite” instead. There would be over 2,000 boat trips a day, which to McBain and Andrews would be “ludicrous”. What is truly ludicrous is that they couldn’t bother to spell the location, they’re referring to, correctly. Its correct spelling is Robson Bight which promotes experiencing the majesty of orcas in the wild.  They don’t use boats to observe orcas, they use kayaks to avoid endangering orcas with boats.  McBain and Andrews don’t provide numbers to refer to, to ensure their creditability.  It is highly unlikely all SeaWorld goers would flock to one orca sighting location while dozens exist.

McBain and Andrews claim in the PBS announcement, we’d “destroy what little habitat is left by trying to do that.” They seem to be repressing the fact that SeaWorld destroyed natural habitat to build their marine prison. They choose to crucify getting informed of animals naturally and praise artificially learning about animals.

McBain and Andrews believe people need to be educated and connected with animals. We all agree it is important to appreciate, understand and value the animals we share the planet with.  It is crucial to witness the strength, beauty, and intelligence animals in case, for us to understand our human lives are not the only ones that matter.  SeaWorld teaches the opposite lesson under the guise of education.  SeaWorld doesn’t teach truth.

SeaWorld also claims they appreciate the social and familial bonds orcas have with their family.  Yet, they built a company of the deed of ripping young orcas away from their families. They advertise they keep a mother and her baby together because in the wild an orca stays with her mother her whole life.  Behind closed doors, babies are ripped away from their mothers and moved to different parks to benefit breeding programs.  It’s an endless cycle of pain, but they don’t inform their guests of those facts.

SeaWorld’s website claims that their orcas live life spans equal to those in the wild. Wild orcas thrive in the open waters of the wild for an average of 60 years. Some, on record, prosper for over a 100 years. SeaWorld’s orcas perish at 13. The expiration date is cut down over 40 years. SeaWorld robs orcas of their lives.

McBain and Andrews seem to have good intentions when they strive to have education and connection to animals without destroying habitats. They should take off their rose-tinted glasses and see the damage SeaWorld inflicts. More than habitat is destroyed, lives are devastated.

McBain and Andrews claim that “over 90 percent of the American public feels that what zoos and aquariums are doing the right thing.” I searched to find validation for this statistic.  I found only one survey from Debate Organization, that showed only 41 percent of people believe zoos and aquariums are doing the right thing.

Majority of people see through SeaWorld’s façade and recognize it for the sham it is.  Now, it is time for SeaWorld to recognize their faults and take accountability for the damage they has done.

SeaWorld is not educational.  One cannot force feed lies and label them as education, its blasphemy. “If want a public that’s knowledgeable about wild animals and some sensitivity about them, if we want our children to have a chance to see many of these animals, it’s gonna have to be places like SeaWorld.” SeaWorld doesn’t provide the public with knowledge, they provide entertainment.  They also aren’t educating the public on “wild” animals, these orcas were stripped of being wild. Once they were dumped in those tanks they became captive orcas. There is a strong distinction between wild and captive, one is free and the other is a prisoner.

SeaWorld recognizes its company as a place where people can gain sensitivity towards animals.  Sensitivity is an ironic word for McBain and Andrews to choose.  SeaWorld is the opposite of sensitive, they ripped orcas from their families to make a profit.  They ignore the blood on their hands and shove the skeletons deeper into the closet.

Regardless of the corrupted truths SeaWorld chooses to ooze out from the closed doors, the message they convey is that we should be allowed to do what we want, if we make a profit. SeaWorld promotes inflicting pain to make a profit. Children should be taught to recognize and understand imprisoning an animal, depriving them of their natural habitat and sentencing them to a life inside a concrete pool, is wrong. We wouldn’t buy tickets to visit a cotton plantation, watching the slaves work to survive.  We should be horrified at the thought of endorsing such inhumane conditions.

Slavery was common when first started off as the United States.  The few that fought against slavery became the many, and then as a country we abolished slavery. Today, it is horrifying to look back and read the details of what slaves endured. Confined to small shacks, separated from family, malnourished, and forced to work under inhumane conditions.

The similarities to what we did to people with a darker skin color and to the orcas we keep enslaved at SeaWorld, are repulsive. Confined to shared, overpopulated areas much too small. Ripped away from their children and siblings. Fed diets heavily lacking nutrients.  And poked and prodded to produce work unnatural and inhumane.

The end to the African slave trade, left slave masters with little options.  They could no longer rip people from Africa and force them into slavery.  They began to rely on trading amoung fellow slave masters.  They relied heavily on natural reproduction, children being brought into the world by rape. Women were, commonly, raped by their slave masters. Slave masters depended on the offspring produced by such horrifying actions.  This must be how SeaWorld felt when their program, to remove wild orcas from their home and place them in their tanks, came to a screeching halt.

SeaWorld scrambled for options.  They bought orcas from other parks to fill in their empty spaces, left by prematurely deceased orcas. But most importantly they impregnated their female orcas with hijacked male orca sperm.  Baby orcas bring in a good crowd. The pick and choose family structures, forcing young orcas to become mothers.  They impregnate their orcas at half the age they conceive in the wild. Artificially impregnated orcas causes miscarriages, still births, and early deaths. SeaWorld is no Mother Nature, but they are the Grim Reaper.

Nat Turner’s rebellion, a slave rebellion that resulted in white peoples deaths, caused national uproar.  Nat Turner was crucified and his sins were well documented.  But what was commonly ignored was what lead him to kill so many people. His whole life was spent being a slave, whipped until he bled, and worked until he dropped from exhaustion.  Tilikum was labeled as a monster for the people he killed. But taking a closer look it is clear he was driven to this psychotic break.  His whole life was spent as a slave.

We must see Seaworld as the same disgusting construct as slavery.  We must abolish orca captivity like we did slavery.

 

Works Cited

“The Debate- Pro-Captivity.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service.

Are Zoos Good (Yes) or Bad (No)?” Debate.org.

Powell, Dylan.  “The Free Willy Effect: Perspective and Time in the Anti-Captivity Movement.Dylan Powell, 12 Mar. 2014.

Schellenberg, Carlyn. “Free Willy: ’93 Film Propels Anti-Captivity Movement.” The Manitoban, 22 Apr. 2016.

“Parasitic Relationships.” NECSI Evolution. 

“Predator-Prey Relationships.” NECSI Evolution.

Morell, Virginia. “How Orcas Work Together to Whip Up a Meal.” National Geographic.

Barrie, Nell. “10 Deadly Parasites.” Science Focus, 16 Aug. 2017.

Holm, Gretchen, and Erica Roth. “Toxoplasmosis.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 10 Feb. 2016.

Schelling, Ameena. “SeaWorld Orcas Have ‘Alarming’ Number Of Injuries, Vet Reveals.” The Dodo, The Dodo, 11 Aug. 2015.

Bradford, Alina. “Orcas: Facts About Killer Whales.” LiveScience, Purch, 20 Nov. 2014.

Gibbens, Sarah. “Sea World’s Last Captive-Born Baby Orca Dies.” National Geographic, National Geographic Society, 25 July 2017.

“Tilikum – the Death of a Dark Star.” WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, 6 Jan. 2017, us.whales.org/blog/2017/01/tilikum-death-of-dark-star.

Google search

 

Reflective–todayistheday

Core Value I. My work demonstrates that I used a variety of social and interactive practices that involve recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development.

Posting my work onto the class’s shared blog I expose my work to my classmates and my professor.  With sharing my work, I gauge a reaction from my classmates and professor.  Asking for feedback from my professor and considering the comments made, I adjust and edit my work to better my assignment. Engaging in this social process and making my work available for viewing I am choosing to open my work to others so that I can reconstruct my assignment based on considered commentary. In my assignment, Stone Money post I asked for feedback because I wasn’t sure how to fix my paper.  One of the most helpful comments from my professor was that I shouldn’t use rhetorical questions. They are loaded guns and you shouldn’t trust your reader with them. In my Stone Money rewrite, I edit my paper and make sure to delete my rhetorical questions. Instead of questions, I used powerful sentences that convince rather than question the reader.  Asking for review showed I needed help with my writing. My Professor gave several helpful recommendations to better my writing, I then applied them to my assignment, editing my paper, to improve my writing.

Core Value II. My work demonstrates that I placed texts into conversation with one another to create meaning by synthesizing ideas from various discourse communities. 

Introducing a source’s ideas into your own flow of ideas is crucial to ensure effectiveness. For our semester paper it is necessary to have sources that strengthen our claim, but it is important to weave them into our paper seamlessly.  A source’s idea, hand and hand, with my own is important to demonstrate a claim that is connected with multiple illustrations of proof. In my assignment, Rebuttal Argument, I quote McBain and Andrews to describe their view on orca captivity.  I quote them several times within my argument to prove their ideas.  I work the quotes in when they fit within my own ideas, so that they blend together.

Core Value III. My work demonstrates that I rhetorically analyzed the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments.

To write a strong argument it is necessary to pinpoint the audience I speaking to and write my argument with them in focus. In my writing I tend to be too fast paced and speed past details crucial to my audience’s understanding.  I assume rather than clarify.  In my assignment, Causal Argument, I explain Free Willy and the sequence of events it created.  I understood it was necessary for the effectiveness of my argument to provide my readers with as much information as possible.  At first I chose not to explain the movie Free Willy because I assumed everyone has seen it.  But then I realized it is a smarter choice to explain the movie just in case someone hasn’t seen it or needed a refresher.  I don’t want to lose any readers to my neglect to explain things.

Core Value IV: My work demonstrates that I have met the expectations of academic writing by locating, evaluating, and incorporating illustrations and evidence to support my own ideas and interpretations.

A strong visual drives the argument home. In class we were given several lessons on how to provide as many details as we could to paint a picture to ensure clarity of the scene. With my semester paper I think it is crucial to provide the best visual for my intended audience. In my assignment, Definition Argument, in my second to last paragraph I detail the chain of events by describing the sequence. ” We watch as children hug fluffy Shamu’s to their chests, holding it close to their heart.  That is when they we bite down onto the brilliantly appealing bait.  We are hooked.  Their lure is embedded into our mouth, pulling us closer toward their open greedy gates, like open arms waiting for an embrace. “ By using imagery I entice readers to continue to the next sentence and that is the goal for every sentence.

Core Value V. My work demonstrates that I respect my ethical responsibility to represent complex ideas fairly and to the sources of my information with appropriate citation.

I will never copy another author’s work or abandon recognizing their ideas and facts without recognition. Respect is key. I respect other authors to credit them for their ideas and will always incorporate citations when authors are quoted. I respect my readers because I want to provide them with a trustworthy source and give them no reason to doubt my sincerity.  I always accurately present information throughout my writing. Not only is claiming someone else’s work as your own or failing to cite, against student policy it is an infraction on moral code. We were taught never to steal and that shouldn’t be ignored in writing.  In my work, Proposal +5, I collect sources and credit each of the sources I intend to use in my paper.  Each source offered ideas and statistics I wouldn’t have without these articles. If not cited in my works cited they are found in my annotated bibliography due to the ideas they provoked.

 

bibliography–todayistheday

Roll, Jordan The World of Slave Trade

Background:  Slaves for the most part believed they were inferior and that their lives were meant to work for the white man.  Slaves either obey or die.  Africans were ripped away from their home country and sold off to whites so they could work until they died in this foreign land.

How I used it: This article helped connect similarities between African slaves and animals within SeaWorld parks.  They are ripped away from their natural habitat only to forced into working for their masters. Neither animals in SeaWorld parks or slaves have/had any hope of freedom.

 

What will the future bring? Prison mental health care in England 

Background: This article gives statistics of inmate’s mental health condition within England’s prison system. The estimate that the proportion of people with mental health problems within in prisons is 90%.

What it proves: This article helped me connect SeaWorld’s animals to inmates.  Both are confined to small areas for most of the day. This article takes a look at what being confined within concrete walls can do to the human brain.  Seeing such a high risk of mental health and suicide rates with human inmates, it allowed me to question what it must do to the animal prisoners at SeaWorld.

Kidnapping and Mental Health in Iraqi Refugees: The Role of Resilience

Essential Content of Article: This is a study conducted to observe the presence of Post traumatic stress disorder and major depression disorder with kidnapping victims.  The study conducts the experiment on Iraqi refugees, especially those who had been kidnapped.  Results indicated those diagnosed with PTSD were more likely to have been kidnapped.

How I Used It: This article gave me evidence to prove kidnapping indicates a higher likelihood to develop PSTD.  I explained PTSD and its symptoms.  Than I discussed the study.  This allowed me to describe how orcas were taken from the wild.  Orcas usually stay with their family their whole lives.  But when they’re kidnapped they suffer greatly at the expense of entertainment.

Breaking News: The last generation of orcas at SeaWorld 

Background: SeaWorld states they will not release the remaining orcas, because they would not be able to handle the elements and dangers of the wild.  They then state that the orcas will remain in the love and care of SeaWorld.

How I used It: By collecting a statement from SeaWorld that disagrees with my claim it helped me further prove my point. Even though SeaWorld hasn’t collected an orca from the wild in 40 years they are still reaping the benefits of those captured orcas.  They deny the request to free orcas into the wild because of the dangers of elements they aren’t accustomed too.

Jean-Michel Cousteau: SeaWorld should set captive orcas free

Background: An oceanographer believes orcas can be successively reintroduced into their wild habitat.   By using seaside sanctuaries captive orcas can be adjusted to hunting for food and learning the techniques of wild orcas.

How I used it:  This article, although it agrees with my opinion, does not echo my thesis.  I used the facts to dispute the SeaWorld claim that orcas cannot safely be released to the wild.  This scientifically proves that seaside sanctuaries could be the answer to releasing the orcas.

“The Debate- Pro-Captivity.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service.

Background: This is a released statement by SeaWorld employees, McBain and Andrews.  Their opinions on the quality of life orcas and all captive animals is importance to the evidence against SeaWorld.  They use several facts to prove their claims.

How I Used it: I used this article in my rebuttal, it is important to recognize the opposing view point.  It is crucial to find stronger evidence against this pov, so I gather further information to discredit McBain and Andrews claims.

Powell, Dylan.  “The Free Willy Effect: Perspective and Time in the Anti-Captivity Movement.Dylan Powell, 12 Mar. 2014.

Background: This article describes the Free Willy movie and its effect on its viewers.  After falling in love with Willy, viewers loved Keiko, the whale who played Willy.  People wanted to free Keiko from his life in captivity and release him into the wild; where he could be happy, healthy, and free.  Free Willy was the start to the major anti-captivity movements.  Free Willy is the reason people are still inspired to empty the tanks and release orcas into the wild.

How I Used It: I used this article in my causal argument.  I wanted to pinpoint a movement where the fuse was lit.  I believe it all started with Free Willy.  Keiko was freed and became an example. This article allowed me to dive into the debate over people then wanting to release SeaWorld’s orcas.

“Predator-Prey Relationships.” NECSI Evolution.

Background: This short explanation defines predator and prey and their relationship to one another.  Predator and prey rely on each other and move together in order to survive.  Predator must eat prey to survive, prey must avoid being eaten to survive; it is a dangerous game.

How I Used It: I used this article to categorize orcas as predators but only if they’re in the wild.  Once orcas are captured and stuck into tanks they become the prey. Orcas once at the top of the food chain become the ones struggling to survive. I use this article to show how unnatural it is to take a born predator and force it to become prey.

 Holm, Gretchen, and Erica Roth. “Toxoplasmosis.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 10 Feb. 2016.

Background: This article details what Toxoplasmosis is and what the effects are.  Toxoplasmosis is a parasite that infects your brain and causes sickness and mental health issues within its host.

How I used it: I used this article to show that alone orcas fall prey to SeaWorld, SeaWorld does not become predator though.  SeaWorld becomes a parasite because it does not survive by killing its prey but rather they leech off the nutrients and thriving environment the prey provides. I use this article to categorize SeaWorld and Toxoplasmosis as deadly parasites that infect the brains of their hosts.

Schelling, Ameena. “SeaWorld Orcas Have ‘Alarming’ Number Of Injuries, Vet Reveals.” The Dodo, The Dodo, 11 Aug. 2015.

Background: This article describes the condition of orcas health at San Diego SeaWorld.  The biggest concern was the condition of the orca’s teeth. Orcas in captivity chew on their metal gates and cause harm to their teeth.  In order to fix the teeth the orcas has to get root canal, followed by daily cleanings. This dental trauma is not seen in the wild and is found most commonly in captive orcas.

How I Used It: I used this article to show that SeaWorld survives off the orcas but meanwhile the orca’s health is suffering.  Parasites harm their hosts because they take away from their hosts in order to feed themselves.  Seaworld rips orcas away from the wild where they thrive just so they can make money.  This article helped me finalize the cause and effect between SeaWorld’s and the orcas.

Rebuttal–todayistheday

We are told, at a young age, to never talk with our mouths full. Jim McBain and Brad Andrews ignore that pleasantry and common formality; their mouths overflow with well-constructed lies. Jim McBain, director of veterinary medicine at SeaWorld and Brad Andrews, vice president of zoological operations at SeaWorld, released a detailed pro-captivity statement during the time Keiko, the star of Free Willy, was in the public’s attention.

The 1993 Warner Bros film, Free Willy, sparked a national outrage over the injustice of keeping orcas captive. The family friendly film highlighted the special bond between a teenage boy, Jesse, and a young majestic orca named Willy. Audience’s hearts warmed and they rooted for a happy ending for both Jesse and Willy. The movie ends in bitter happiness, Jesse succeeds in freeing Willy to reunite with his family. As much as Jesse loved Willy it was only right for Willy to return home.

When released the film inspired thousands of people to strike against marine parks that keep orcas captive. The viewers were determined in freeing Keiko, the figurehead of captive imprisonment, and that frustrated marine parks such as SeaWorld.

Viewers wanted Keiko to have the same happy ending Willy did, they wanted Keiko to be free. McBain and Andrew want imprisonment.

McBain and Andrews are well-educated and successful individuals who make a hefty salary each year at SeaWorld.  Their experience and knowledge of SeaWorld would be invaluable if it wasn’t flooded with lies and half-truths.

In their PBS announcement, McBain and Andrews defend SeaWorld and its commitment to love and care for their orcas. It is obvious they care, but they care for the money orcas rake in rather than the orcas themselves.  If you took the profit away, SeaWorld would be quick to sell their orcas.  Money over matter.

McBain and Andrews start their defense by justifying captivity for the sake of education.  As we grow and urbanize we should find ways to stay in touch with nature.  They claim it is irrational for every person to experience nature by going out into the wild.  They claim it is more beneficial to drag animals to us rather than go to them.

They calculated how many people visit SeaWorld yearly and crunched some numbers to see the consequences of those people visiting “Robson Bite” instead. There would be over 2,000 boat trips a day, which to McBain and Andrews would be “ludicrous”. What is truly ludicrous is that they couldn’t bother to spell the location, they’re referring to, correctly. Its correct spelling is Robson Bight which promotes experiencing the majesty of orcas in the wild.  They don’t use boats to observe orcas, they use kayaks to avoid endangering orcas with boats.  McBain and Andrews don’t provide numbers to refer to, to ensure their creditability.  It is highly unlikely all SeaWorld goers would flock to one orca sighting location while dozens exist.

McBain and Andrews claim in the PBS announcement, we’d “destroy what little habitat is left by trying to do that.” They seem to be repressing the fact that SeaWorld destroyed natural habitat to build their marine prison. They choose to crucify getting informed of animals naturally and praise artificially learning about animals.

McBain and Andrews believe people need to be educated and connected with animals. We all agree it is important to appreciate, understand and value the animals we share the planet with.  It is crucial to witness the strength, beauty, and intelligence animals in case, for us to understand our human lives are not the only ones that matter.  SeaWorld teaches the opposite lesson under the guise of education.  SeaWorld doesn’t teach truth.

SeaWorld also claims they appreciate the social and familial bonds orcas have with their family.  Yet, they built a company of the deed of ripping young orcas away from their families. They advertise they keep a mother and her baby together because in the wild an orca stays with her mother her whole life.  Behind closed doors, babies are ripped away from their mothers and moved to different parks to benefit breeding programs.  It’s an endless cycle of pain, but they don’t inform their guests of those facts.

SeaWorld’s website claims that their orcas live life spans equal to those in the wild. Wild orcas thrive in the open waters of the wild for an average of 60 years. Some, on record, prosper for over a 100 years. SeaWorld’s orcas perish at 13. The expiration date is cut down over 40 years. SeaWorld robs orcas of their lives.

McBain and Andrews seem to have good intentions when they strive to have education and connection to animals without destroying habitats. They should take off their rose-tinted glasses and see the damage SeaWorld inflicts. More than habitat is destroyed, lives are devastated.

McBain and Andrews claim that “over 90 percent of the American public feels that what zoos and aquariums are doing the right thing.” I searched to find validation for this statistic.  I found only one survey from Debate Organization, that showed only 41 percent of people believe zoos and aquariums are doing the right thing.

Majority of people see through SeaWorld’s façade and recognize it for the sham it is.  Now, it is time for SeaWorld to recognize their faults and take accountability for the damage they has done.

SeaWorld is not educational.  One cannot force feed lies and label them as education, its blasphemy. “If want a public that’s knowledgeable about wild animals and some sensitivity about them, if we want our children to have a chance to see many of these animals, it’s gonna have to be places like SeaWorld.” SeaWorld doesn’t provide the public with knowledge, they provide entertainment.  They also aren’t educating the public on “wild” animals, these orcas were stripped of being wild. Once they were dumped in those tanks they became captive orcas. There is a strong distinction between wild and captive, one is free and the other is a prisoner.

SeaWorld recognizes its company as a place where people can gain sensitivity towards animals.  Sensitivity is an ironic word for McBain and Andrews to choose.  SeaWorld is the opposite of sensitive, they ripped orcas from their families to make a profit.  They ignore the blood on their hands and shove the skeletons deeper into the closet.

Regardless of the corrupted truths SeaWorld chooses to ooze out from the closed doors, the message they convey is that we should be allowed to do what we want, if we make a profit. SeaWorld promotes inflicting pain to make a profit. Children should be taught to recognize and understand imprisoning an animal, depriving them of their natural habitat and sentencing them to a life inside a concrete pool, is wrong. We wouldn’t buy tickets to visit a cotton plantation, watching the slaves work to survive.  We should be horrified at the thought of endorsing such inhumane conditions.

 

 

Works Cited

“The Debate- Pro-Captivity.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service.

Are Zoos Good (Yes) or Bad (No)?” Debate.org.

Causal Argument–todayistheday19

The 1993 Warner Bros film, Free Willy, sparked a national outrage over the injustice of keeping orcas captive. Free Willy is the reason the fight for captive orcas was acknowldeged.  The film continues to be a push to open our eyes to the compassion and magic of orcas.  The family friendly film highlighted the special bond between a teenage boy, Jesse, and a young majestic orca named Willy. Audience’s hearts warmed and they rooted for a happy ending for both Jesse and Willy.  The movie ends in bitter happiness, Jesse succeeds in freeing Willy to reunite with his family. As much as Jesse loved Willy it was only right for Willy to return home.

When released the film inspired thousands of people to strike against marine parks that keep orcas captive.  A letter campaign, Free Willy-Keiko Foundation, succeeded in freeing Keiko, the whale that ‘played’ Willy. Keiko was taken out of a marine park in Mexico and first brought to Oregon to be treated for health problems.  Once in the clear, Willy was flown to Iceland to be kept in a seaside sanctuary where he could relearn his natural instincts and environment. Keiko was released into the wild, and thrived until he died of pneumonia not long after his release.  Regardless of his sudden death, Keiko was 27 years old when he died, still living longer than SeaWorld’s average.

The film made over 100 million dollars, some of which was donated to releasing Keiko.  Keiko, along with other captive orcas, had a similar story line to Willy. In 1961, the first captive orca was brought to a marine park. Orcas were hunted and surrounded, the youngest orca ripped away from its family.  The orca’s pod has been known to follow the boats as long as they can.  I’m sure that if we could understand their cries, we wouldn’t rip them away from their home and force them to live inside a concrete prison.

Willy was ripped away from his family and placed in a marine park.  His cries were heartbreaking and lonely.  He refused to perform and was stubborn to eat. Willy would cry long high pitched vocals, the Washington state waters cast in the background. Kasatka and Katara are a mother daughter pair of orcas that were inseparable. Katara wouldn’t leave her mothers side and Kasatka protected and loved Katara unconditionally.  Katara was sold to a park in Florida, they loaded her onto a shipping truck. Kasatka was left in the pool, crying high pitched vocals.  They were never heard before.  A specialist was brought in, Kasatka was crying long range vocals.  She was trying to locate her daughter.

SeaWorld rips family units apart like they are simply plastic pieces in a game of Life.  We must come to understand that humans are not the only individuals on Earth that feel emotions.  Orcas have strong family ties, they continue to be with their family units their whole lives.  They have a part of the brain, humans are deprived of.  It is believed to be the center for their strong love and devotion to their family.  The thought of ripping a human child away from her mother and tossing her into a cage is horrifying.  Replacing the word human with orca does not make that statement any less horrifying.

Free Willy sparked a movement to free orcas from captivity that lead to the first orca release. SeaWorld and others like it, announced they wouldn’t capture orcas from the wild any longer. The Free Willy movement lead to Blackfish which fueled another generation.  Blackfish shocked people across the globe and flipped SeaWorld upside down, exposing the corrupt business.

SeaWorld then announced its end to the orca program.  SeaWorld would end its breeding program and allow the current orcas to be their last generation.  Although, this is a win for future orcas; the current orcas are still imprisoned.

The memories of Free Willy and facts embraced by Blackfish push people to say no to SeaWorld.  It has thousands, refusing to buy a ticket and support the injustice of imprisoning orcas. The first legendary orca film, Free Willy, lead to a fight for justice. People are now hoping to empty the tanks, to free SeaWorld’s captive orcas into seaside sanctuaries. We have hopes of them living happy lives reunited with their long lost family.  We have hopes to Free Willy, once and fore all.

works cited

Powell, Dylan.  “The Free Willy Effect: Perspective and Time in the Anti-Captivity Movement.Dylan Powell, 12 Mar. 2014.

Schellenberg, Carlyn. “Free Willy: ’93 Film Propels Anti-Captivity Movement.” The Manitoban, 22 Apr. 2016.

 

Enough about you—todayistheday19

Money seems to have a big role in our society; we can’t do much without it. Money is valuable in different ways, even when it is not physically present. In today’s society there must be faith in the government and the banking system. We have to trust that our money is being handled in the proper manner and not being stolen. I always thought money was simple; we either have some or we don’t—that’s it. However, being introduced to this assignment, the Yap Fei, US gold, French francs, Brazilian cruzeros, and debit accounts now seem similar. An individual doesn’t actually see their money being transferred. When they get paid, they, typically, aren’t handed cash. They either receive a pay check or the money is directly transferred into their bank account. One just has to trust that they paid.

Robust Verbs—todayistheday19

Vancouver, alarmed by high crime rates, decided to institute a program that provides addicts with free heroin. Heroin addicts indulge in criminal activity to feed their addiction. Heroin addicts clog the hospitals when they plunge dirty needles into their veins. Free heroin keeps addicts from committing crimes to pay for their addiction. The program eliminates hospital traffic by providing clean needles.