Yesterday I saw a documentary called Blackfish, about the treatment of killer whales in captivity back in the 90s. I enjoyed the film, definitely understand why it’s critically acclaimed. It’s the kind of thing that really gets your stomach in a knot knowing what’s going on with those animals out there. Creatures like Harambe or the whales in Blackfish are raised in captivity, not being allowed to experience true freedom like they’re meant to. It’s not natural for us to hold animals in tanks and cages and stare at them for our pleasure. I am ashamed to say that I have been to zoo’s and aquariums, recently even, and perpetuate the normality of seeing wild animals tamed and confined within walls. It terrifies me to even think about being in their position, to be captured as an infant and raised among strangers, then being fed only after performing tricks to please an audience several times a day. It’s inhumane. The whales in Blackfish were volatile and rightfully so. Animals live by their primal instincts, we can’t talk to or completely understand them. As much as we like to argue otherwise, they’re unpredictable. We like to believe that we can communicate with animals, that we understand their wants and needs and form a bond with them. In some ways we can, with domesticated creatures like dogs and cats. But for wild animals like killer whales and gorillas, mankind hasn’t progressed enough for us to know what these beasts are thinking (and to be honest, we don’t deserve to). They are highly intelligent and have incredible emotional capabilities, but they still can kill us at the snap of a finger whether they are provoked or not. We need to stop hunting elephants for their tusks, that ivory doesn’t belong to us. Stop hunting seals for sport, stop killing lions to show off to your rich friends, stop separating baby whales from their mothers. Stop bleeding the world dry to make a profit.
Island – Daily Post writing prompt, July 3rd