SeaWorld

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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Wondering on Mon Nov 09, 2015 6:35 pm

SeaWorld says it will be ending its Shamu Show at the San Diego location. Which is good. A move in the right direction.

However:
a) nothing about ending it at SeaWorld's other locations
b) nothing about ending the captive breeding of the whales
c) nothing about freeing the whales
d) they say they're replacing it with a new orca experience

Sounds like a desperate attempt to garner good PR more than a real reform to me.

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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Werel on Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:08 pm

Definitely not any kind of real reform on SeaWorld's part, and there never will be, short of the company's collapse. Expecting SeaWorld to do the right thing is kind of like expecting the US to adopt a strict non-interventionist pacifist stance in its foreign policy.

edit: Sorry, Wondering, didn't mean to come across like I was finger-wagging at you or implying that you thought SeaWorld could change. Bad day, grumpyposting
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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Wondering on Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:03 am

They may do the right thing if forced to by law. At the very least, they should be stopped from having the performances (thus willfully endangering human performers) and breeding any more of their captive whales.

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Re: SeaWorld

Post by WJMorris3 on Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:22 am

Werel wrote:Definitely not any kind of real reform on SeaWorld's part, and there never will be, short of the company's collapse. Expecting SeaWorld to do the right thing is kind of like expecting the US to adopt a strict non-interventionist pacifist stance in its foreign policy.
I dream of the day where the USA cuts their military budget by 100%. Not likely to happen in my lifetime.

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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Werel on Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:04 pm

Wondering wrote:They may do the right thing if forced to by law. At the very least, they should be stopped from having the performances (thus willfully endangering human performers) and breeding any more of their captive whales.
Yeah... that's the best possible outcome, but I'm not sure how likely it is. I think the impetus for legislative change would have to come from a major culture shift towards recognizing non-human personhood à la India, rather than concerns about worker safety (fatality numbers for orca trainers are miniscule compared to, say, slaughterhouse workers, but ain't nobody gonna push legislation that makes meat cost more & nobody cares cause slaughterhouse workers aren't photogenic young hotties). Doesn't seem like the current cultural climate in the US has room for serious discourse on woo-woo topics like "ethical treatment of sentient non-humans," much less making laws about it.

Seems more likely that we'll push cetaceans close enough to extinction that captive breeding will be able to sell itself as completely indispensable to "conservation," SeaWorld's back in business like never before selling factory-farmed whales to Japan, dystopian hellscape, etc. Laughing
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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Wondering on Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:03 pm

Most states have laws against animal cruelty. The ways those orcas are kept by SeaWorld should qualify, IMO. The way they take the calves away from the mothers, too. I think a push in that direction might be helpful.

Slaughterhouse workers aren't killed by the animals, though, are they? Isn't that the machinery? With SeaWorld, the performers have been killed by the whales. One more point toward the whales' captivity being the problem which could motivate some legal change.

I thought I read something about inseminating them being ostensibly illegal in CA now (which may be why the changes at San Diego but nowhere else), but I can't find where I saw that now.

Also, today Ringling Bros. announced they will free their elephants. As they should given how cruelly those elephants have been treated. Bad timing for SeaWorld that another company comes out the day after and says they're freeing their large performing mammals completely.

And the thing that really gets me is that SeaWorld owns a ton of parks. Not just SeaWorld. They make money hand over fist. They could afford to phase out the orca performances and release them to a larger habitat and still survive and thrive as a company. They just simply won't.

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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Werel on Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:41 pm

Oh, definitely with you that the whole thing is unconscionable. Just... a bit more cynical about our track record on outlawing unconscionable things & then enforcing those laws. Like, it is technically illegal to sell new ivory in Hawaii. "Technically" is as far as it goes. Give me ten minutes in Chinatown and I will find you ninety pounds of brand-new ivory from three or four species. Enforcement of animal cruelty/wildlife trafficking laws is a big black joke IME (at least outside of California Razz).

You're right that consumer distaste for large-mammal captivity may force their hand in a way legislation never will, though; the fact that elephant shows are no longer profitable enough for Ringling to keep them going is a good sign. More Blackfish-style agitprop needed.

Wondering wrote:Slaughterhouse workers aren't killed by the animals, though, are they? Isn't that the machinery?
Occasional deaths from being kicked by cows that weren't killed right, but yeah, mostly machinery. I can't picture any legislation that regulates line speed or machinery upkeep, though, in a nation where it is literally illegal to "defame" the beef industry in 25% of states. Laughing
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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Wondering on Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:43 pm

I can't picture any legislation that regulates line speed or machinery upkeep, though, in a nation where it is literally illegal to "defame" the beef industry in 25% of states.
Wait, how does that stand up to any First Amendment challenges?

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Re: SeaWorld

Post by eselle28 on Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:21 pm

Wondering wrote:
I can't picture any legislation that regulates line speed or machinery upkeep, though, in a nation where it is literally illegal to "defame" the beef industry in 25% of states.
Wait, how does that stand up to any First Amendment challenges?

The short answer is that the First Amendment doesn't protect slander, libel, or defamation. There are First Amendment concerns with these laws, but they're mostly about standards (negligence versus malice) and burdens of proof. I don't know if you remember about a decade ago when Oprah Winfrey was sued for making comments about beef? That would be the same legislation, though in that case, the suit was dismissed.
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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Wondering on Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:49 pm

But don't those laws clearly carve out opinion as protected? It's only statements of fact that can be considered libel or slander, right?

I now wonder how many of those states also have healthy anti-SLAPP laws. Sad

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Re: SeaWorld

Post by eselle28 on Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:50 pm

Wondering wrote:But don't those laws clearly carve out opinion as protected? It's only statements of fact that can be considered libel or slander, right?

Yes, it needs to be a statement of fact. I suspect the concern is more about chilling of speech and people worried about unfounded lawsuits, as you mention.

I now wonder how many of those states also have healthy anti-SLAPP laws. Sad

I don't know about healthy, but about half have them and half don't (this Wikipediaing brought to you courtesy of Donald Trump bragging tediously about how much money he has, again, and again, and again).
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SeaWorld

Post by Guest on Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:15 pm

Werel wrote:Seems more likely that we'll push cetaceans close enough to extinction that captive breeding will be able to sell itself as completely indispensable to "conservation," SeaWorld's back in business like never before selling factory-farmed whales to Japan, dystopian hellscape, etc. Laughing

-ahem-

San Diegan here, but I gotta call bs on that since that's more or less happening with rhinos in the San Diego Zoo. Minus the bit about selling factory farmed rhinos or anything like that. But is that what seriously people believe when they hear whale conservation only because some 50-year old whales can perform tricks? Do folks ACTUALLY believe that they breed killer whales so they can perform tricks?

Maybe I just don't get it, but I hope people realize that by ending the shows they're gonna be laying quite a number of people. A buddy of mine played lead guitar on the summer Shamu Shows and he got laid off earlier this year because of all the bad PR SeaWorld's gotten.

I hate all this SeaWorld crap, TBH. I take it personally because I feel like they're legit taking a bunch of stuff from my hometown. First the Chargers, now Shamu (and if things don't get better all SeaWorld), shit Comic-Con was on the verge of leaving too.

I guess I just don't get it because I've lived here my whole life and it's been part of my life for so long...

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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Werel on Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:01 pm

The Mikey wrote:But is that what seriously people believe when they hear whale conservation only because some 50-year old whales can perform tricks? Do folks ACTUALLY believe that they breed killer whales so they can perform tricks?
I may have missed a case where this happened, but AFAIK SeaWorld's never released a whale that they bred, so... yeah, that's exactly why they're breeding them. They're not a conservation organization; that's not their primary aim. Their primary aim is to generate ticket revenue, which they've most successfully done with performing cetacean shows.

The Mikey wrote:Maybe I just don't get it, but I hope people realize that by ending the shows they're gonna be laying quite a number of people. A buddy of mine played lead guitar on the summer Shamu Shows and he got laid off earlier this year because of all the bad PR SeaWorld's gotten.
That sucks for your buddy. But depending on your personal ethical system, loss of some jobs < continuation of something that may be regarded as somewhere between "not so good" and "slavery."

The Mikey wrote: I take it personally because I feel like they're legit taking a bunch of stuff from my hometown. First the Chargers, now Shamu (and if things don't get better all SeaWorld), shit Comic-Con was on the verge of leaving too. I guess I just don't get it because I've lived here my whole life and it's been part of my life for so long...
Yeah, I can definitely sympathize with feeling defensive when something from your hometown/childhood is called out as being bad or damaging (says the kid of two people with "DC careers"); just gotta keep in mind that people aren't saying "you're bad, Mikey." They're just saying "hey, this thing people have been used to seeing as normal for a long time? It's actually kinda bad, so maybe we should all reconsider seeing it as normal."

The Mikey wrote:I hate all this SeaWorld crap, TBH.
Me too. Razz
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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Guest on Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:32 pm

I had something typed out, but decided against posting it.

So, it's fine. The short of it is, I disagree.

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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Wondering on Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:46 am

SeaWorld breeds whales to perform tricks. They do not release the whales. AFAIK, they don't even send them to aquariums. They are bred for no other purpose.

I'm not a person who considers animals to be people or the captivity of these whales to be slavery. Animals are animals. But what SeaWorld has done and continues to do to the whales is wrong.

I recommend anyone who hasn't seen it watch Blackfish. It's streaming on Netflix. Despite its incredibly deep pockets, SeaWorld has not sued the filmmakers for defamation, which says to me all I need to know about how true the movie is despite SeaWorld's statements to the contrary on their own website.

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Re: SeaWorld

Post by eselle28 on Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:16 pm

If anyone who's already seen Blackfish is interested in the marine mammal trade's international aspects, I can also recommend The Cove. SeaWorld isn't the only amusement park that uses whales and dolphins in its shows. (As a bonus, if you look really closely in the credits, you'll find a NerdLounge commenter. As a not-so-bonus, it's roughly as fun to watch as Blackfish.)
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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Wondering on Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:47 pm

I've been thinking about watching that but don't know if I can handle another one.

I just about vomited during the part of Blackfish where they showed the pods being hunted through and the calves being abducted from Puget Sound. I recognized all the spots on the map. I recognized the backdrop of downtown Seattle. It really brought it home. Those are our orca pods. That is my backyard.

Given my reaction to that, I'm not sure I'd make it through The Cove based on the few clips I saw just during the Oscars when it won best documentary.

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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Wondering on Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:20 pm

SeaWorld is now admitting to sending its employees to pose as animal rights activists to spy on those groups.

Oh, SeaWorld. Keep on pretending there's anything upstanding about you.

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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Werel on Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:39 pm

To be fair to SeaWorld (rofl), it's not like PETA hasn't been sending its people to pose as SeaWorld (/chicken factory/chimp pharm testing/circus/etc.) workers since forever. Both sides have similar playbooks (true of most issues, no?) for polar opposite goals.
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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Wondering on Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:55 am

Is it only PETA? I got a sense it was more than just PETA they were doing this to.

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Re: SeaWorld

Post by BasedBuzzed on Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:54 am

Sounds like the recipe for a romcom. Employee-posing-as-activist falls in love with activist-posing-as-employee. Activist is dude, employee is dudette as to avoid overused granola gal tropes. The villain should be an anarcho-primitivist and played completely seriously, since the philosophy is so absurd. Final scene is a tribute to Free Willy, in which an orca escapes by jumping over public waterworks, conveniently knocking the villain with a remote triggering bombs in said waterworks over.

Marketing should be as schmaltzy as possible, with this quote by Isak Dinesen as a tagline: "The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea." Pending title of the movie itself: Water Works.

As for the topic itself, I can see how SeaWorld would decide not to sue the filmmakers in the hopes of not coming across as an anti-free speech corp/not wanting to give the documentary more publicity. As it is now, the folks most likely to watch it are folks who already agree with it, probably.

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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Wondering on Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:16 pm

I didn't agree with it (in the sense that I didn't know anything about it) until I saw a former trainer on The Daily Show and Jon Stewart talked about how, of all the people they've ever had as guests on the show, the only one they ever got calls about asking them not to interview him or give him airtime was this guy: A former trainer critical of SeaWorld. Calls trying to discredit the guy before he showed up.

That says a whole lot. Both about SeaWorld not really being free-speech and how worried they are. And it made me think, "Wow, they must be doing really bad stuff to be the only people ever to call the Daily Show like that."

After that, I watched Blackfish, which the trainer had mentioned.

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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Werel on Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:50 pm

BasedBuzzed wrote:Marketing should be as schmaltzy as possible, with this quote by Isak Dinesen as a tagline: "The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea." Pending title of the movie itself: Water Works.
And it's already all set for the porn parody. Twatter Works, Water Twerks, Hotter Works, Water Jerk, saltwater taglines.

Wondering wrote:Is it only PETA? I got a sense it was more than just PETA they were doing this to.
Huh, I haven't seen anything beyond silly ol' Thomas Jones and his painfully lame agent provocateur tactics (seriously? Best pseudonym you could come up with? "Tom Jones"? ♫ It's not unusual to "burn it to the ground" with anyone...).

They were right to be all sweaty and terrified and trying to shut up the Daily Show, though. Their net income was down 84% last year (but attendance was up a whopping 0.3%! Cause they were giving away tickets for almost free! Laughing). I'm actually pretty surprised Blackfish was that effective.
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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Werel on Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:19 pm

SeaWorld Agrees To End Captive Breeding Of Killer Whales

Smoking
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Re: SeaWorld

Post by Wondering on Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:29 pm

I saw that last night. Yay!

But I'm highly skeptical of their statement that they'll still continue to "rescue" whales. Like they rescued Tillikum? Like they "rescued" the calves from Puget Sound in the '70s.

It seems too good to be true, so I'm wary.

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