Thursday, March 4, 2010

Revolt at a revolting "life"

“The Cove,” a movie nominated for an Oscar in the documentary category, is about the repeated slaughter of dolphins by the Japanese. It occurs in a cove that has now become notorious for what happens there after the dolphins are lured to their deaths.

A man behind the movie recently talked on NPR about why he’s involved with the movie (he’s repenting for earlier involvement with dolphin mistreatment) and about dolphins and whales in general. One point he made was that both are sonar-reliant, but that in concrete pools – common in captivity – they experience sensory deprivation, they're thrown off kilter, they're not themselves. (my wording)

Both animals are thought to be very intelligent, with many other sterling traits besides. They should not be held captive in aquariums, SeaWorlds and other such places; they should be swimming free.

Which brings us to the death last week of an animal trainer who worked with killer whales. Which in turn reminds us of how still other humans working with animals in circuses, and zoos, have been killed by the animals in their “care.”

As if any sort of genuine “care” were possible in such circumstances, when animals have been ripped from their natural habitats [or maybe worse, born in captivity], deprived of social interactions with others like them and forced to perform degrading, unnatural tricks – or simply to live in concrete cages or pools, forever on view and often alone.

Little wonder they sometimes attack their “keepers” and “trainers.” Wouldn’t we do the same?

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