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TOPIC: Blackfish Challenges Sea World

Blackfish Challenges Sea World 20 Mar 2016 07:41 #9215

  • michelle.h
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As of March 17th, 2016, Sea World has officially announced the termination of its Orca breeding program in all three of its parks. Following the 2013 release of Blackfish, a documentary following one of Sea World’s Orcas, controversy (to say the least) over the treatment of these marine creatures sparked worldwide backlash. Conversation was finally opened regarding the morals involved in holding animals captive and the abuse they are forced to endure for the sake of human entertainment.

We tend to speak harshly of the media. In this case, however, the media is currently the most powerful defender of the animals. Available for streaming on Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, and more, Blackfish put Sea World in a worldwide spotlight. Sea World was finally being held responsible for its malpractices and direct lies to the public regarding the health and treatment of its Orcas, Beluga whales, dolphins, sea lions, etc. Not only is Sea World experiencing the powerful effects of the media, but various other companies are seeing an end to their animal-centered entertainment practices as well. These primarily include circuses such as Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey.

A documentary on its own may not have the power to impact billion-dollar industries such as these. However, as public movements are sparked through mass media platforms, viewers become personally involved by taking to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites, spreading awareness on such issues and gaining supporters in the process. Sea World’s termination of its breeding program is a prime and relevant example of how the media can be of great benefit to the ever-evolving world around us.
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Blackfish Challenges Sea World 20 Mar 2016 16:44 #9223

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After I watched this documentary, I was very depressed. It really makes us see the unethical things humans are doing out there to animals. I can't believe that a documentary can produce such a ripple effect.
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Blackfish Challenges Sea World 20 Mar 2016 18:09 #9225

  • Pavlin.P
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Indeed, SeaWorld received a lot of media attention since they announced that they are discontinuing the Orca shows. I saw an article recently (after "the Orca killer" died in CA Sea World), from San Diego journalist that said "I have been waiting for a very long time to report the death of this animal." I was very disappointed of it, as I think that it was not the animal's fault that it got forced to perform shows for profit.
I went with my wife in San Diego Sea World two years ago, and while we were sitting on the show we have noticed that they feed the Orca's with ice, instead of fish. We then went to speak with the trainers, and one of them told us that the animals are not well fed, because they need to perform. It appears that the ice is kept in between fish, so it has the smell of fish, which misleads the senses of the Orca's. Very sad. I am glad that they have put an end to those shows.
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Blackfish Challenges Sea World 27 Mar 2016 21:42 #9327

  • Anna.W
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This is one of those examples where one thing can really change the world, where the voice of one story, one documentary can make a difference, particularly if enough people get behind the message. How impressive is it that Sea World was forced to address it's practices and to change what they had been doing for so long, based on the the outcry of support for a documentary that shed light on a very serious situation. It is really helpful that this message garnered such a response and brought to light the unethical practices of such a huge corporation. It shows that the "little guy" can defeat a wealthy corporation.
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