“If I could sit down with SeaWorld executives, I would share my vision …”

by on April 2, 2014 · 19 comments

in Civil Rights

SeaWorld Orca freeBy Cara Wilson-Granat

If I could sit down with the Sea World executives, I would share my vision for their new park.

Since I’m an incurable optimist I believe that wishes do in time come true. I’ve dedicated my life to talking and writing about the power of hope — even when all seems so hopeless. Indeed, one of the most famous Holocaust survivors was the one who told me that “Even if the end of the world would be imminent, you still plant a tree today.” Those words were expressed to me years ago by the father of Anne Frank, Otto Frank. He gave me hope as he did a worldwide global family.

So surrounded by others who are strong believers in seeing a harmonious world for orcas, dolphins, indeed, all captive beings I appeal to Sea World to “sea” your next 50 years as the one we all wish to celebrate.

Welcome to a Brand New SeaWorld – Where the Only Thing Captive Is Your Imagination!

You have asked for change to happen in SeaWorld and we have listened, working closely with some of the top marine biologists, animal behaviorists, wildlife sanctuary experts, all of the passionate animal activists, documentarians and politicians, etc., as well as a global family of animal-lovers who have offered wise perspective on the best ways to transform Sea World into a whole new world for our until now captive animals.

We are about to introduce the most exciting wildlife and family entertainment venue the world has ever experienced before. Once inside the gates of our new Sea World of the future, guests will be immersed in layers of multi-media—sounds and sights and interactive rides and vibrant sensations that bring orcas and dolphins breathtakingly close to everyone.

And yet, in reality, the real marine mammals will be free to live out their lives in sea pens—protected sanctuaries—away from the public and without any human-provoked performances of any kind. The only human interaction these animals will have is from veterinarians and biologists watching over them.

This will be a Sea World that truly educates as well as entertains. Guests will leave feeling wildly entertained as well as far more knowledgeable about the marine world than they ever were before.

 What Sea World will offer is astounding:

 A Whale of a Ride: The wildest “roller-coaster in the world!” Sitting on the back of a “whale” you reach huge heights and then plunge deep into the depths of the sea feeling what it’s like to breach and dive like a whale.

 Pick a Wave: Want to feel what it feels like to be splashed on by an orca? Pick wave sizes from huge to small and get ready to be soaked as you sit on bleachers next to wave after wave splashing you.

 IMAX-imum multi-media: Be surrounded by the sights and sounds of orcas in their pods swimming in the ocean through rain and thunder and lightning and beautiful sunrises and sunsets, etc.

 The Languages of Whales and Dolphins: They all are unique just like the world’s human languages. At this exhibit we hear most of the world’s languages and also hear the languages of orcas. Now we can hear what orcas from different parts of the world talk like when communicating to each other. What are the sounds of happiness? Fear? Humor?

 Can You Guess What This Is? Put your hands inside the box and feel the rubbery sensation of an orca and dolphin, a penguin, a starfish, etc. None are real but they feel exactly like the real thing.

 I Sea You: As seen on huge screens throughout the park, all marine mammals are observed as they live out their lives freely in the sequestered sanctuaries. They cannot see the public but the public can see them.

 Recycle and Save the Sea: “Ride” on a boat through islands of plastic waste like bumper cars until you “net” it all and find yourself in clear pools and waterfalls free of the human plastic pollution.

 Sea Monsters: Interact with whales and dolphins in a 3-dimensional holographic encounter! Plunge deep into the sea encountering huge sea monsters, squid, fish, octopus, etc. that look at everyone like future meals. It is totally scary and realistic and wild.

 Rock On: Some of the most record-breaking musical entertainers in the world will perform in acts that will rival those offered in Las Vegas and Broadway.

 Children’s Choirs: Children from all over the world will perform uplifting songs sung in their languages, including sign languages: “Be Brave”; “Let it Go”; “Color of the Wind”, etc.

This is just a peek at what we will be offering you. There will be so many more surprises you just have to SEA it to believe it!

… We know …  we know … But don’t you just wish this were true?  This all could be true if SeaWorld would realize how very possible this is. We’re not asking SeaWorld to shut down, just open up to a whole new vision that would look like this and so much more. SeaWorld, are you listening…?

graphic by Barb Dunsmore

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Valerie Walling April 2, 2014 at 12:42 pm

I hate seaworld! The things they do to those poor animals is horrible!

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avatar Cara April 3, 2014 at 7:45 am

We need to help them find a kinder solution to their park that will let the animals live their lives free of the abuse they’ve experienced for far too long. Together we can all do this.

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avatar Barb Dunsmore April 2, 2014 at 12:50 pm

I am a 39 year resident of San Diego. I’ve been to Sea World once, back in 1975. First exhibit I saw that day were the penguins. I was so uncomfortable watching them in their tiny glass enclosure I had to walk out. That was it. I sat waiting out front two hours for my friends to finish viewing the park. I found no pleasure then, nor can I understand now how anyone can find pleasure viewing animals in such settings taken out of their natural environment. I wasn’t an activist then. Unfortunately, it took another 30 years for me to wake up to what was gnawing at my gut that day.

But heck, I might even go to SeaWorld if this is what they were all about!

Beautifully written, Cara. Thank you!

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avatar Cara April 2, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Thank you, Barb! Let’s all make this happen. I know we can!!!!

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avatar Elizabeth Jacobelly April 2, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Beautifully written artcle Cara. If only this was the real sea world. I beleive on day it will be. I would love to go to a marine park that is this humane and educational. When I went to Sea World as a child, all i learned was that it was ok for Shamoo to live in a small tank. That was all he needed. False information for a child. Have not been back to Sea World since except to educate the public on the streets about their cruelty.

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avatar Cara April 2, 2014 at 4:50 pm

You are doing such great work educating the public, Liz! Together I know we are all getting the word out. I have faith that Sea World will SEA the way at last… Thank you for taking the time to tap in with your good words!

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avatar Jeffrey Bloom April 2, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Tanks become SKATEBOARD PARKS for kids and adults.

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avatar Cara April 2, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Great idea, Jeffrey! Let’s add that to the future park for sure! Thanks (“tanks?”) for the great contribution!

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avatar Nicole April 2, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Excellent!
The only problem I see is that eventually they will need to “stock” the sea pens when older whales die off…Then they will be right back to square one and need to hunt and steal more / or keep breeding – for the sake of entertainment.

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avatar Cara April 2, 2014 at 4:46 pm

No, we are pushing for the last of the whales in sea pens there not to ever be replenished by newer ones. The animals-as-sacrificial performers-era needs to end once and for all!

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avatar Dave Rice April 2, 2014 at 11:51 pm

I’ve got to give strong accolades to David Kirby’s Death at Seaworld – like Blackfish, but it’s a book that digs infinitely deeper than the documentary, as books are wont to do when compared to films. One big take-away – orcas are intelligent and sociable enough that it should be entirely feasible to establish limited human-orca relationships for the purpose of study and education without the forced capture of a single animal. Plus, given lifespans of 80-90 years in the wild versus 30 or less in captivity (usually much less), following the true evolution of an orca pod in the wild could be a lifelong fascination for those so inclined…

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avatar Cara April 3, 2014 at 7:41 am

Beautifully expressed, Dave. We know this but Sea World seems to be only looking at their spread sheets and not the big picture of protecting, freeing, honoring, etc. these superior species we all love so much. I won’t stop envisioning a better world for them and praying that Sea World will in time see the light as well. Together, we must all help them shift to a greater good. I pray we’re not too late…

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avatar Kelly April 2, 2014 at 3:42 pm

This is so beautiful Cara. Some day this is what it will be. Our children will put an end to captivity I know. I too loved to go to Sea World until I realized what they were all about the money. Never will I go to a marine park again yours I can’t wait to go too.

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avatar Cara April 2, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Thanks so much, Kelly! Let’s all picture it happening!

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avatar Lorrie April 2, 2014 at 8:37 pm

I would love to sit down and talk to you and try to explain to you once again everything Sea World is doing wrong. You pay for people from other countries to capture a member of a family, and have them brought to you to train to do tricks for food. Your despicable acts that you do to inseminate female whales is just too sickening to go into. You are ruining the balance of our planet. You are raping it, you are breaking up families, you are horrid, horrid people.

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avatar Cara April 3, 2014 at 7:36 am

I totally agree with you, Lorrie. That’s why I am trying to envision this kinder and far more noble solution to amusement vs. abusement park. We are praying that Sea World “sees” the light in time to save and protect so many species that have suffered beyond the imagination.

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avatar Andy April 3, 2014 at 5:59 am

OMG this is so hilarious. You guys really think this is something thats going to work. You got to be kidding me. Oh look at me I am sitting on a park bench getting splashed by a wave generator. Oh boy. People dont go to just get wet they go to get wet by shamu. This will never happen. The good news is the SeaWorld you see today will be the SeaWorld you see in the next 50 years. And I am happy about that. Stop picking on Seaworld a place that does good and focus on the palces where the real serious problems are.

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avatar Cara April 3, 2014 at 8:42 am

Andy, I realize you love Sea World as it is. I once felt the same until I learned differently. I wish that you would open your eyes and mind to what scientists, behaviorists, world leaders are saying about the treatment of these superior beings treated as sacrificial puppets for human entertainment.
If my example of a wave venue sounds ridiculous to you then please come up with another solution that doesn’t involve an abused whale forced to “act” joyful when it is every and anything but that. We need good minds to create good solutions sans the need for performing animals. Please just stand back and take in another perspective and learn what brilliant minds are teaching us about what really is happening behind-the-scenes. IT IS NOT WHAT WE BELIEVE IT IS.

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avatar sean M April 7, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Today letsrage at sea world. Tomorrow the zoo. Then the pet owners and ranchers.

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