Well, long story short, I never got around to seeing the movie while it was in the theater in Charlotte, and I thought I'd have to patiently wait to somehow find it online... By some miracle, when I turned on my TV one night last week, it flipped on to CNN. Now I can't remember why I had CNN on in the first place (I'm more of an NBC girl when it comes to news), but I'm soooo glad I did, because when I turned my TV on, Blackfish was playing!
As a girl who can't stand to start a movie right in the middle, I frantically looked to see if it was playing again later so I could watch it start-to-finish. Thankfully, it was! Fast-forward to tonight at 9 pm, when I started watching this riveting film.
The most powerful testimony, to me, was that of the former SeaWorld trainers, who once adored their jobs training captive whales. Some people (cough, John, cough) may be skeptical about the film's intentions and think it's propaganda (for what, I don't know). All I can say is that it's worth a watch, no matter what your position on animal rights may be right now. Here are a few things I'll admit about myself:
1. I don't consider myself to be an "animal person" per se (sorry), but I am certainly someone who has empathy for all creatures, which is partially why I became a vegetarian for a year or so. However, that's a different story for a different day. I guess I just mean that I don't have a hard time believing that whales are better off in the wild, AKA, their natural habitat. That's pretty much the premise of Blackfish, giving an explanation for all the incidents that have happened in the past with orcas in captivity. Just because a person is a "highly experienced" whale trainer, that does not make them an ideal candidate for hanging out with a 6 ton whale with super sharp teefies in what is (to the whale) an oversized bathtub.
2. I used to really like SeaWorld. My family and I first visited SeaWorld's Orlando, FL park when I was seven years old, back in the care-free 90s. Now, I'll admit, I thought it was awesome. I remember during one whale show, they even let a kid get by the perimeter of the pool with one of the trainers and jokingly asked the kid to jump in. I remember the kid willingly bent her knees and the trainer grabbed her. Everyone in the arena went from a collective gasp to laughter, and I remember thinking, "Wow, that girl is brave!"
Speaking of brave, notice my three-and-a-half year old brother climbed to the top of that whale statue while I cower to the back...
Now times have change, and the last time my family went to SeaWorld was a few years ago. The trainers weren't allowed to really swim with the whales, and with good reason, obviously, but to be honest, what's the fun in watching a show like that? It'd be much cooler to watch the whales swimming out in the wild. Yes, that'd probably be much more expensive, but if you want to see whales that badly, don't you think it would be much more gratifying to see them where they're free and happy?
Don't be fooled by that smile- Shamu ain't happy in SeaWorld.
I enjoy seeing gorgeous aquatic creatures, but let's face it: they' weren't born just to entertain us. They're meant to live, and it's not much of a life swimming around in glass, doing tricks for survival. I don't think I'll be paying SeaWorld another visit, simply because to me, it's not worth the lives of the trainers who are injured or killed.
Now that is beautiful, don't you think?
Moral of the blogpost: I found Blackfish to be an eye-opener, but you'll have to watch for yourself to form your own opinion!