Imagine living a life where you can’t go where you were designed to go. Visualize waking up every day for the same routine. You live an attraction for the mass consumption of entertainment. Imagine that you have no choice, no voice, that you are simply entertainment. As I watched “Blackfish” today, a documentary on the Killer Whales that are housed in various Sea Worlds throughout the U.S. only one thought came to my mind, “caged.” Imagine if I were caged.
I have often felt caged. Caged in foster homes, relationships, friendships, caged in life. Sometimes I had choices, sometimes I did not, but eventually in each situation there came an opportunity to have a voice that I could speak up with. In the past couple of years I have realized I haven’t gone to a zoo or park like Sea World and a few weeks ago my friend and I were going to go but due to unforeseen circumstances we chose not to. After watching this documentary there is a part of me that is glad that we did not go. I do not like to spoil movies so I will not tell you everything that occurred in “Blackfish” but there is a link below if you would like to view the trailer. To sum it up we go to these parks for entertainment and entertainment is surely what we get but do we ever think how these animals feel? How does it feel to be stripped from your natural habitat for the benefit of money and entertainment? Talk about pimping something out! These animals have no voice, they never will and we take our kids, we go as adults to see these wonderful animals in an environment that they were not designed to be in all because we want to see something we could not normally see. Let’s face it, few of us are going to travel to the Amazon Jungle but we will pack up our lunches in brown paper bags and go on field trips to the Oakland Zoo. Why? Why are we pouring millions of dollars into such an inhumane industry yet we don’t want to buy products coming from China? Is it because purchasing something made in China benefits the economy of China while going to Sea World to see Shamu benefits our own selfish desires of momentary bliss and entertainment? Are we so selfish that we would bring detriment upon another life for the betterment of our own? I know that question is easily answered but the complexity of it is actually simple because the answer is yes. We are that selfish. I am that selfish and I feel guilty for it. I feel guilty for thinking within the past month that it would be so much fun to go to the zoo and look at a bamboo or a panda bear or some other exotic animal that I will never get to see in a natural habitat lest I go to a safari in Botswana. I am actually ashamed. So much so that I think about my lovely “domesticated” dog and how bad I feel if I leave her home all day by herself yet the idea of going to a zoo is what actually excited me as an excursion event that I would even love to go on as a date. Slightly pitiful? Plenty! Will I probably take my child to the zoo when I get to have a family? Sadly, more than likely. Hypocritical? Definitely, but at least I have the knowledge gained from watching that documentary and that is something I can pass on to my children one day. It will be an educational experience from a bit of a different angle than the typical field trip to the zoo. It will be like me asking my children, “What if that was you, what if you were caged?”
Food for thought.
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Blackfish Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6ou5DqfkZ8
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