A whale of a problem

Story by: Jenna Jones, Opinions and Reviews Editor

SeaWorld is known as a popular theme park where people can interact with sea creatures such as dolphins, whales, and even sharks. What is not well-known about SeaWorld is the way they treat the captive creatures in their care.

For years, SeaWorld has been a source of  entertainment through the exploitation of dolphins and whales by putting them in shows that attract millions of people every year. Unfortunately for the dolphins and whales, these shows and the training for them can be extremely detrimental to their health.

The life expectancy for animals in SeaWorld is much shorter than what it is for those in the wild. SeaWorld has often lied about the life expectancy for these animals to concerned visitors and on their website. This occurred early in March when a 22-year-old male dolphin in SeaWorld Orlando died of unknown causes, despite the life expectancy of dolphins being around 40-50 years.

Mazie Bernard, 10, said, “SeaWorld is awful, and they treat their animals like trash. The animals don’t deserve to be treated like that.”

SeaWorld’s captive animals are unhealthy. Numerous whales have collapsed dorsal fins, and employees often tell visitors that a collapsed fin affects wild orcas, as well. Although this does occur in the wild, a collapsed dorsal fin is seen in less than 1% of wild whales, according to Dr. Astrid van Ginneken, who has been studying them since 1987.

“Blackfish,” a documentary about the illegal and immoral practices of SeaWorld, focuses on the story of one captive whale, Tilikum, who is responsible for the death of three trainers. It is not entirely uncommon for trainers to be injured or even killed on the job, while the number of recorded wild killer whale attacks is far less than that of recorded cases in captivity.

Fortunately, documentaries like “Blackfish” have reached a large audience and more people are advocating for an end to the unjust treatment of captive sea life.


Animal testing sucks

Story by: Dakota Fisher, staff writer

Over the last 15 years, the use of animal testing has grown over seventy percent according to researchers from Harvard, Yale and John Hopkins Universities.

Animal testing is cruel and inhumane punishment inflicted on poor, undeserving animals. Many well-known companies including CoverGirl, Herbal Essences, Johnson & Johnson and Axe still test their products on animals. A more complete list of all companies who do so is included in the link below.

“I think that testing things on animals is a terrible idea. Scientists wouldn’t think of endangering humans like that so why should they endanger animals that have no say in their participation in the experiment?” said Mary Fleming, 9.

Animal experimentation is also used to test medications that may or may not be safe for human use. Early scientists such as Aristotle performed experiments on living animals and many people argue that medications or products tested on animals, especially the most commonly used laboratory rat, cannot provide enough evidence to prove it safe for humans due to their inhuman nature and distant relation to humans.

I believe science is used as a sort of shield so scientists don’t feel guilty about what they’re doing.  The main idea of animal testing is common knowledge and no matter how humane companies say their methods are, they are still killing harmless, innocent animals to test their products or medications without the possibility of harming a human.

If animal testing were done humanely and the right precautions and measures were taken that would ensure not only the safety of the people that will buy the product or medicine, but the safety of the animals they use to test them, I would be a supporter. I’m all for scientific advancements and medical achievements, but when it comes to the safety and protection of creatures that cannot protect themselves, I would rather not use those products.