Usually, my animal rights friends call me a hypocrite because while I believe all animals should be treated with care and kindness, and I'm willing to pay more for meat if it was from free-range livestock, but if filet mignon or grilled shrimp are on the menu, it's pretty much guaranteed I'm ordering it.
That being said, I don't know why, but I've been having these pangs of sadness for this situation in Orlando with the orca whale killing its trainer. It's a terrible tragedy for the family who has lost their loved one, but on the other hand, my heart goes out to the killer whale. Here's this wild creature that was captured off the coast of Iceland and has been forced to breed and perform on cue in literally a bathtub for decades.
That's not natural. Can you imagine being forced to dance in your shower for food while people clapped?
My team at Discovery has done several stories about the orca's behavior and why it acted so violently, even why it had killed before, so it's something I've been immersed in every day since it happened, which is probably why it's starting to get to me. But clearly this animal is unhappy, even if SeaWorld is giving it the best care and nothing -- so far -- is being done to change it. Why?
Killer Whale Trainer Death Tied To Mating, Isolation
Should Killer Whales Be Kept in Captivity?
Killer Whale Testosterone Surges Documented by SeaWorld
To top it off, I've also been working on a slide show about endangered tigers this week too. Did you know there are only 200 white tigers left in the entire world? That's including the ones that are in zoos and nature reserves! Several conservation programs believe that all tigers in the wild will be extinct in our lifetime.
When we learned the alphabet in grade school, wasn't it "T" for tiger? Can you imagine them going extinct?
Why? Well, because of poaching, habitat loss, climate change and on and on and on. And then back to the whales, not only are we stealing them from their natural environments, but also researchers have now found a "garbage patch" in the ATLANTIC Ocean, not to mention the one in the Pacific that's been there for years, and on and on and on...
Ah! It's too much! The helplessness and hopelessness of it all is too heavy. What do we do? What can we do?
I have to say I've grown a greater respect for those animal rights friends of mine who have been thinking about these things and more for years, and will continue to think and act to protect animals years from now. I don't think I could handle it.
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