If you haven’t seen “Blackfish” yet, I’d recommend you go to your nearest friend with a Netflix account and watching it before reading this blog. Or go ahead a read it, that’s not too much that spoils, but it really is a great watch. While you’re in the world of Netflix, think about adding “The Whale” to your ‘to watch’ list as well. They’re both great films, regardless of if you’re geeking out about the whale captivity issue as much as I am.
For me, it started a few years ago. I love going to zoos and aquariums. Heck, I was even a zoo keeper for a summer, but that doesn’t mean that my passion for animal ethics doesn’t make me question the morality of having animals in captivity every day. Do we have a right to make decisions for these animals just because we are intelligently more advanced than they are? Sure, there are exceptions for species like the California Condor and Florida Panther that needed to be brought into captivity to save their species (and with good reason since it’s most likely our species fault that their species is dying off). It’s a complicated topic that doesn’t even cross most of our minds, but for some reason it’s ingrained in me as a passion.
Understand, I am not an animal activist. I’m not a part of PETA (not that I disagree with what they do or do not do). I’m not someone who’s going to tell you your ideas are wrong and you should think in the way I do, because I don’t know if what I am thinking is right or wrong. I don’t think anyone can ever know that for sure with topics like these. I do love sharing my passion and finding out what others think about these topics though. It fascinates me, and my goal as a photojournalist is to share my ideas, other’s ideas and maybe even just stories involving animal ethics that we don’t know what to think about.
Here’s a quick list of my views- if you’re interested. It feels odd saying everything above and leaving you hanging about what I think on the subject, so here’s a glimpse
into my mind sin a lot of detail. I am an advocate for hunting when we use as much of the animal as we can, but I am totally against trophy and sport hunting. I have been involved in both the dog show world (AKC
) and the rabbit show world (ARBA
) and still love both of them dearly, but breeding animals in captivity for a hobby seems morally controversial. Zoos and aquariums confuse me. I think the idea of the animal being an advocate for its species to educate humans on what there is to lose is a good argument, but I’m not sure if it’s justifiable to keep wild animals in captivity against their will and with out any consent. Especially when talking animals with intelligence levels that are as high as whales and dolphins. My next blog will talk about a whale that is supposedly showing violence towards humans from being in captivity and going through unnaturally social isolation. He has been in many news stories recently, and has even been showing up on activist t-shirts
. His name is Tilly, and he is the star of the film “Blackfish.”