I’ll admit right now, as a kid, I loved SeaWorld. I live in Florida, so it wasn’t that big of a deal for me and my family to take a drive up there for a day or two. As a little kid, there was always something magical about it. Seeing the dolphins and whales up close performing amazing tricks, and the friendly park workers. Since my childhood, I haven’t been to SeaWorld at all. And until I watched Blackfish, I still thought of SeaWorld as a wonderful, fun place.
The first time I watched Blackfish was in my Humanities class during my senior year of high school. I remember thinking to myself as I was watching it: “I can’t believe I went there and enjoyed it.” I made a promise to never go there again. The on the job deaths of the trainers bothered me, but what really hit me was when the documentary talked about the conditions that the whales and other large mammals were kept in. And despite my being upset by it, I couldn’t help but be interested at the same time. When they talked about the physical effects of being in a small, contained environment, such as the whale’s top fin slumping over from disuse and from constantly swimming in circles, I was both intrigued and saddened.
All the while I was watching it and feeling bad and also guilty for previously liking the park, I was also thinking to myself “Why are you so surprised? Did you expect this to be something different? Nothing is as happy and wonderful as it seemed as a child.” But regardless of what I thought as a child, I won’t be supporting SeaWorld again by going.