September 10, 2015

Animals in captivity

Hi there. The reason for being here after a hiatus is because there is just so much feelz after watching "blackfish", a documentary that investigates the reason behind the killing of countless trainers by Orcas in Sealand and SeaWorld.

Throughout the entire film, there wasn't a part of me that agreed to the notion of animals in captivity. In fact, it made me ponder a lot. The documentary showed how the Killer Whales, or Orcas, were actually being hunted down for in the wild, just so that they could be deported to Sealand to do a fantabulous show and exhibit. The hunting crew especially hunted the younger Orcas so as to reduce transportation costs and ease handling them. When they did successfully pursue the family of Orcas and outrightly kidnapped the younger Orcas from their parents/older ones, you could just tell how much grief they were going through. They were echolizing with such intensity that it was really unbearable to watch. Just think about it. Imagine if you and your family are just casually going out to play/explore just like any other days. And then suddenly, you hear those thunderous, monsterous engine sounds from behind you, coming closer and closer towards you. They throw bombs at you to make mini-explosions and you try to swim away as fast as possible. But still, fate draws close and you witness your youngersibling/child getting taken right in front of your eyes and there is nothing you can do to save them. So... why are we still inducing such grief and exerting so much authority we do not have? 

We are but such a small, minute existence on this planet in the face of the world's wonders. And yet, we often over-step our boundaries, challenging our authority and rights. What gives us the right to kidnap a poor child and break up a happy family, all in the name of providing entertainment for the masses or even to educate or promote love for these animals? How ironic it is to be wanting the public to come to like these animals when the initial step is an act of the complete opposite? 

I understand that maybe not all captives in the world start out with the same motive as Sealand and Seaworld. I understand that zoos often stresses on how adequately they care for the animals, in the case of proper diet and nutrition (think all those fancy pellets that are specially engineered to contain extra nutrients/vitamins/minerals), right development and growth (think about the stimulation zoo staff tries to provide for). A box at the end of the day, is still a box. It does not matter how well you decorate or furnish the box. While all these are done to make these animals have a comfortable and quality stay in the zoo, it is not enough to compensate for their loss of freedom. Imagine behind trapped for an enclosure for all your life, being shooed into an open enclosure by day to be greeted by groups and groups of random people, and into the back areas/cages by night. Imagine only being fed when the zookeepers and management wants to. Imagine if you can't actually open the fridge at night whenever you are hungry to just get some comfort food. How terrible is that they are living under our scrutiny and control. While I like the fact that we can be up-close with these amazing creatures and interact with them, I can't deny the awful fact that they are still being held in captive. By us. We put them in there. And no matter how well we try to stimulate their captive lives with those of wild conditions, it's not real. It's not the natural settings they are supposed to be in. We cannot mimic all the factors of the wild when we are putting them in concrete and glass walls. 

Animals in captivity? I am reconsidering my naive standpoint of the past.

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