“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Here’s the audio version of this post, narrated by Charles DuFont:
I recently watched the film BLACKFISH which is a 2013 documentary about killer whales (orcas) that are held in captivity within the amusement parks; SeaWorld and other similar parks. I’ve been wanting to watch this film for years because killer whales (to me) are the most beautiful, fascinating and majestic animals that live amongst us. They are the ultimate apex predators, much more impressive and intelligent than great white sharks. Weighing up to ten tons, with complex forms of communication (which we do not yet understand) and having lifespans as long as humans (although in captivity they live much less).
I usually don’t like to discuss controversial and depressive type things but today I would really like to share with you my experience with this film and a lesson I learned from it.
Spoiler Alert: I may give away certain parts of the plot here. But that’s OK. You should still watch the film and continue reading!
So, as I’ve said these massive animals are held in captivity within man-made pools. One of the largest whales they have in the park does almost nothing except one trick where he raises himself out of the water for a moment while lifting his tail, everyone gives him a big cheer, then he goes back to a separate pool where he usually lays still for several hours per day.
Imagine if that were you. Imagine if all you did every day was sit up and sit back down again. Every single day for your entire lifespan.
Just existing within a pathetic and miserable confined space.
This was one of the saddest parts of the film and it tore at my heart. It’s still being torn, just thinking of that extraordinary animal being forced to do a stupid trick for the masses that pay to attend the shows. All for entertainment and the greediness of the owners of these parks. It makes me sick. Not to mention, that these animals have shown numerous signs of disturbing and violent behavior throughout the years. Profits are the only thing the management is concerned with, not the ongoing suffering of these incredible species of mammal.
Well, now, I hope to turn this thing around and not make you too depressed.
Imagine if you had an exclusive Lamborghini or a Ferrari sitting in your garage, but you could only ride it for a few seconds out to your driveway every morning and then back it up into your garage again, to rest for the night.
I’m sure the engine would eventually collapse and the vehicle would lose all its original glory, and you as its owner would probably beg the universe to take that car out for a ride to feel its awesome power, even if only for one day.
That’s how I see the life of these whales. They have all this incredible power and energy within them but they’re being kept inside these enclosures never to live to their true potential. Never to experience the wide expansive oceans and have a normal, healthy life amongst their kind.
I wonder if we do the same thing with our lives, either by choice or because of health problems or other conditions. Are we fully conscious of our selves, our surroundings, of the opportunities which may be within our reach?
Do we live up to our true potential and live each day to the fullest?
Do we use our own personal talents and abilities while we have the chance?
Do we cherish every moment and capture life by the horns, living it to the max as if each day could be our last?
And I wonder if a terrible accident or disease left us paralyzed or if we were accused of a crime (whether innocent or not), thrown into jail and all we could do was stare at a cement wall in a cell every waking moment, I wonder how we would miss and long for our time away, our time of freedom…
Seize the moment my friends and give life all you’ve got. Tomorrow is promised to no one..