The balancing act: Save the whales

By From page A4 | April 21, 2014

About four months ago a movie called Blackfish was run on one of the cable channels. Perhaps it should have run on the propaganda channel. As I watch the film, it became more obvious that it had an ax to grind (like retribution against a former employer) other than the well-being of orcas and would do or say anything to achieve that goal.

But as a result of the film, some non-thinking, grand standing do-gooder assemblyman named Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, presented a bill (AB2140) against the keeping of killer whales in captivity for entertainment purposes and breeding. If this bill were to pass think of the possibilities of its logical extension.

Unfortunately this film was seen by many children who don’t have the critical thinking ability and life experience to realize the propaganda propagated by this film. Two of those children became pawns of the film, as they presented some petition supporting AB 2140 to the Capitol for TV news consumption. And even worse, their parents let this happen. Sure, there may have been instances of mistreatment of Orcas as there have been many more cases of the mistreatment of children, never mind common household pets. And we have plenty of law already about cruelty to children and animals. And we haven’t yet banned the propagation of children or pets yet.

One of the main reasons people have pets (me included) is for entertainment, enjoyment and a host of other reasons. I enjoy watching my dog bounding through the grass and tossing a toy and catching it. What about teaching your pet tricks? Look at border collies being exploited doing obstacle runs. You see that on TV all the time. Someone is making money on that. What about the exploitation of bomb dogs in Afghanistan, police dogs who protect us from danger every day, risking their lives, or service dogs that work almost as slaves? As with killer whales, we’ve got to ban pets because keeping them in captivity is cruel, especially since we exploit them for our entertainment. Why stop with orcas, since pets and work animals would be a logical extension of AB2140.

Then there are keeping of wild pets like birds. How cruel to keep them in cages, sometimes clipping their wings so they can’t fly. And we have these birds for our own enjoyment and entertainment, especially birds that we teach to talk. How entertaining is that? Aren’t these otherwise wild birds kept in cages by humans purely for our entertainment? We need a law about that, too.

And what about fish aquariums. Can’t have that. Imagine having pet tropical fish being kept in a 5-gallon prison solely for our enjoyment to watch and admire. Maybe the law will allow 20-gallon aquariums and ban 5-gallon ones because the 5-gallon aquariums are too confining and the fish aren’t happy. No more goldfish in a plastic bag as a prize at the county fair.

With laws like these, organ grinders would not exist, along with the circus (there are already enough stupid movements about that already).

Wait a minute; I just saw a giraffe doing an advertisement for Residence Inn. Can’t have that kind of exploitation. Richard Bloom, the author of AB2140, better write a law about the exploitation of giraffes.

Let’s get something straight right now. Animals in a zoo or an aquarium, especially the Sacramento Zoo are provided the best care and treatment, better than probably most humans in the world. You should see their hospital. They also get to eat the best food for them. They live without the two basic life fears, the fear of not getting three squares a day and the fear of becoming part of some other animal’s three squares a day. Who says they are not happy?

Without places like the Sacramento Zoo or Sea World, most people except those very few that are privileged would ever get to see and learn about the other creatures of nature. The Sacramento Zoo is a beautiful place to visit and a wonderful community resource.

I have a question about Bloom’s personal habits. If he is so concerned about the well-being and exploitation of animals, does he eat them?

Next, will be why animals need to be “captured,” and/or transferred among places like Sea World, aquariums and zoos.

Larry Weitzman is a resident of Rescue.

Larry Weitzman

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