If you had met me 10 years ago and asked me what my favorite animal was, I would say dolphins without hesitation.
Well duh, Kristin, any 10 year old girl would love dolphins, they’re in every mermaid movie, featured in so many tv shows, and they can do cool tricks, why is this such an important thing about you?
Hear me out on this one, because we’re delving deep into the mind of young Kristin, a very dangerous and confusing place to be, but don’t worry! I’ll be your guide.
I always wanted to believe, as a child, that animals were trying to communicate with humans and that if we would just listen, we could learn so much about the mysteries of life and more about ourselves as well. It’s not that they’re almost human, but that we’re all, in our most natural sense, animals. We have instincts, needs, means of survival. If we just tap into those senses, I thought maybe a breakthrough could be made. I first experienced this with my friend’s guinea pig one day. I was crying, and we had it out to play with it so I could cheer up and the second the little guy was let out of his cage, he scampered right over to me, waddled his way up my arm, and started nuzzling my cheek from my shoulder.
What really sold me on this idea was the time I went to Sea World. There was an area where you could pet dolphins and feed them as well. My dad, being the amazing awesome dad he is, bought me treats to feed the dolphins. As I reached my hand out to drop the fish into the dolphin’s mouth, a seagull came from behind and snatched all the fish from my little hand, dropping the paper wrapping into the tank with the dolphins. The dolphin I was feeding snorted at my empty hand and swam away. I was sad, yes, and my sister had already gone off to tell dad how I let the seagull get the food even after he warned me to be careful, but I was also curious as to what the dolphin was doing. He hadn’t swam off to another small child with a fish in hand, he had gone out into the tank. Next thing I know, the dolphin is swimming back to me with something dangling from his mouth. As he lifted his head up, I could see the wrapping from the fish treats that the seagull had dropped in the attack. I put my hand out and pulled the paper from his mouth, slightly in shock at what was happening. Once I had the paper, the dolphin tapped it’s snout against my hand almost as if to say “there, there” and then swam away.
This is why The Cove struck me so hard. I know the feeling of having a connection with these creatures, even if it was ever so fleeting. It’s like they jumped out of a fairytale and thrived in our oceans, just to add that extra bit of magic in our lives. To watch them be treated with such heartlessness, forced into the commercial world for the entertainment and profit of mankind, is absolutely heartbreaking. I never went back to Sea World after that encounter for that very reason. There was a look in the animal’s eyes that even a 10 year old could see was utter depression and longing. I am so glad The Cove was made to show people what these beauties go through. I wish more was being done now because of the exposure of the truth behind dolphin shows and enclosures, but once something is engrained so much into cultures and economies, it’s very difficult to cut out entirely.
I hope one day that more people in the world experience and see what I got to at such a young age. Maybe then they’d see the dolphins differently.