As Tilikum Ails, Questions for SeaWorld

SeaWorld announced today that Tilikum, the orca at the center of the Blackfish documentary, is suffering from a drug-resistant lung infection and is close to death.

The emotional outrage being heaped upon SeaWorld for its exploitation of these animals is fully justified. But the ongoing charade perpetuated by theme parks about the welfare of captive cetaceans also demands a response.

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A Mob by Any Other Name

The death of an infant Franciscana dolphin who was taken out of the water by beachgoers and passed around as a prop for selfies is so much more than just a case of a manhandled animal.

Her story is a microcosm of what our species does to other animals every day, treating them as objects for our benefit, with value only as long as they provide entertainment.

It is difficult not to see the connection between how this young dolphin was used and what happens at the institutionalized versions known as zoos, aquariums and circuses.

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