04 January 2014

Blackfish vs SeaWorld

I watched Blackfish on Netflix a week ago and I have to admit, it haunts me. I find myself thinking about it constantly and have even watched 2 more documentaries about whales since seeing it. 

I watched "The Whale" which talked all about Luna, the whale that befriended a community living off of Vancouver Island. It's narrator was Ryan Reynolds. Great film. Highly recommend anyone to watch it. I had no idea a real wild whale wanted so much to be loved by humans. This one will break your heart watching. No violence occurs just heartbreak watching this film. 

The second was called "Killer Whales" and this one also touches on SeaWorld. 
We all remember Free Willy right? 1993 it was the first film to really raise awareness about the issue of capitivity of whales in theme parks. Well as time went on, I have to admit I kind of forgot there was an issue, and went to SeaWorld back in I think it was 2005 for the first time. This was 5 years before the trainer Dawn was killed at SeaWorld. Before there were any reports on the "dangerous" whale Tilikum. 

My initial thoughts and feelings after seeing this film was, "I'm never going to a seaworld ever again!" Which then led me to think about Zoos. Are Zoos wrong just like seaworld? Keeping animals in small closed areas, no freedom no chance to "kill" for themselves? I mean at least at zoos they don't "force" wild animals to perform for us folk that flock to see them. Granted if whales had NO interaction with people, they'd probably all die of pure loneliness since they have been stripped of their families. 

So who's side are you on? I think I've read every possible side of the argument at hand about this film. 

Sifting through the comments this is the one that really stands out to me as to why we need to be careful as to where we stand on this issue:

"As disturbing as parts of the movie are, I do not trust ANY MEDIA; whether it is a news organization (CNN, NBC, NY Times, etc..) or the movie / documentary makers. Everyone is trying to get THEIR point of view across, and To do that they WILL Twist facts or omit other facts so that their ‘story’ will fit their point of view. Michael Moore did that with his ‘Fahrenheit’ movie, which was later proven to have more than 95 critical & distorted ‘facts’ in it. The film makers will edit everything, so you don’t know where what part came from … also, my problem is that I wonder if I trust the experts they put forth… do the ‘ex-employees’ have an axe to grind for being fired, or do they really care about the truth? The problem is we just do not know what is a fact, and what is fiction! What they tell us, may be true, but it may also be a big lie. Who do we trust? Let’s face it, with Media, (print or TV) the news is strictly filler for selling ads; and ask yourself, did Michael Moore profit from the sensationalism he called ‘documentaries? Can we really trust Hollywood? 

Also, I have to ask myself, can I really overlook all the wonderful work that SeaWorld has done with rehabilitating so much endangered and rescued ill wild life, as well as the educational benefits they have provided? 

Removing and capturing the whales from the wild is wrong in most all cases, no one can argue that, but there must be a better way to work with SeaWorld to make some changes."

How do we know who to believe or what to believe when there is so much twisted lies and truths out there? In my heart, I truly believe it is wrong for them to capture and put whales in tanks. PERIOD. They are social creatures who need their families to survive. However, when an animal is on the brink of extinction, I do feel humans need to step in and do whatever we can to save that species. After all, we the humans are ALWAYS the reason as to why we are losing certian animals to become extinct. 

SeaWorld's response to Blackfish? You can see their "Letter" here

Anyone watch WhaleWars religiously like I do? This is their rebuttal against SeaWorld's so called "explaination letter." Read here

Wanna know who else is on the side of being against capitivity? Richard O'Barry.

 Most will never know that name without someone explaining that the beautiful dolphin used in Flipper was the one he trained. She died in his arms. You can read more about that here.
He was also shown in one of the documentaries I watched explaining how she died.

Remember, whales in captivity CAN be re released into the wild and survive. Keiko, the "star" whale in Free Willy was proof of that. 

He lived back in the Wild for 5 years on his own before he died of pneumonia. Yes apparently even whales can die of pneumonia. 



  1. I am completely 100% against all whale and dolphin captivity. It's a topic i'm really passionate about. My children will NEVER see whales and dolphins anywhere other than the ocean. Same goes for the circus. I have mixed feelings about the zoo, but for the most part, I am against those too. As far as whales and dolphins, they are highly intelligent (nearly that of humans), highly social, and require vast areas of ocean to live a healthy life. These animals do not belong in bath tubs for human entertainment. You also have to ask how these animals are acquired. Sure, some are born in captivity, but the survival rate is low and many die at a young age. Have you seen The Cove? I love seeing posts like this. It makes me happy to know that one more person will not being giving their money to SeaWorld and other places like it.

    And in response to the good SeaWorld has done- just because they have done good, is it fair to excuse them of the bad? If the bad were against any human being, all good would be forgotten.

    Hope some of this made sense!

  2. My boyfriend and I watched Blackfish the other day and really liked it. It's definitely eye opening. I feel terrible about the conditions that the whales live in. But at the same time I really love going to SeaWorld :/

  3. This movie broke my heart. I will not be bringing my family back to sea world anytime soon.

  4. Keiko's return to the sea was not considered a success by the scientific community and should not be used as an example: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17039-why-freeing-willy-was-the-wrong-thing-to-do.html

    1. While I appreciate your comment, I am entitled to use this as an example, as I have read other articles that argue that he was able to survive for 5 years. It wasn't like he was starving. If that was the case he would of died within a few weeks of being reintroduced into the wild.

  5. I've watched and cried through Blackfish approximately 12 times since Christmas. I tell everyone about it. I also watched the other documentaries about whales on Netflix. I believe that orcas, dolphins, whales, and all other creatures were meant to live in their nature environments. But we humans, nosey as usual, had to step in. I don't believe SeaWorld to be all bad...I think they have some good intentions, but unfortunately I think they are mostly desiring the Almighty Dollar.

    Thank you, C Mae, for sharing your side of this controversy. I intend to discuss this on my own blog in the future.



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