Thursday, February 25, 2010

The SeaWorld is a Symptom

I'm not exactly what some might call an "animal rights activist". Okay, I'm not at all an animal rights activist. What I do believe in is probably better described as "animal welfare activism". That's why I was especially interested when I read in the news that, a couple of days ago, there was an incident involving a killer whale who was a performer at the SeaWorld in California.

The whale, named Tilikum, reached up from his tank and grabbed one of his trainers who was standing next to it. Dawn Brancheau was dragged around the tank and violently shaken back and forth by the whale until she was dead. Since then, various people have spoken out about how we shouldn't consider this typical behavior for killer whales, creatures that were already frequently misunderstood by the general public.

On Facebook, an acquaintance of mine asked,
People what have we learned from yesterday's Sea World attack and the Siegfried and Roy incident? Wild animals are just that - wild! Leave them alone, stick 'em back in their natural habitats and admire them from a distance or get ya ass whupped! (Getting down off of my SoapBox)
I think that he has a real point. Before this, there was the Siegfried and Roy incident and the shocking death of Steve Irwin. However, neither of these lead to any widespread changes in the way that people treat animals. That's one of the problems with humankind: We never learn from other people's mistakes. I think it's a kind of arrogance that makes us think that we can or already have completely conquered nature. Heck, I'm not even sure we should consider ourselves the dominant species. Bacteria seem to be much better at survival and have a much longer history of adapting to change and adversity than we do.

1 comment:

Rootietoot said...

It amuses me how offended people get whe one of our kind is killed by an animal...seriously? Didn't that animal KNOW who they were killing???