Ocean Park’s honesty

July 26th, 2013 atam Posted in Animal welfare | 1 Comment »

Thank you Ocean Park for being honest about the mistreatment of marine animals.

Responding to an animal welfare group’s claim that a survey showed the majority of people wanted it to stop using dolphins to entertain visitors, a park spokesperon said: “The survey was conducted by the group’s own website. Participants are those who support animal rights. The results do not represent the majority of public opinion.”

So, Ocean Park has admitted it caters to those who do not respect animal rights.

Respect for animal rights usually mirrors the development of a society. As a society becomes more advanced and educated, people become more aware of the suffering of other living beings and start to demand an end to animal cruelty. That is why people in China are demanding an end to dog eating in the country and people in Hong Kong, having learnt what happens to the sharks caught for their fins, want to put an end to the shark’s fin trade.

Those who stand to profit from such abuse typically use one of two methods to get around the objections of those who care about animal welfare. The first one is culture. It’s been part of French tradition to force-feed geese to make foie gras and part of Japanese tradition to slaughter dolphins, so it’s all right!

The second method is more subtle. You make a show of treating the animals humanely. You don’t skin them, club them or put them in tiny cages and insert needles into them to extract bile. You just put them under permanent house arrest, but you show the world the house is very nicely decorated and, hey, the animals can’t talk, so they can’t tell those who are concerned that they’re bored out of their brains and wish they knew how they could kill themselves. Oh, and of course they get put through routines that are unnatural to them, to entertain people. And they’d better do it, or they won’t get fed.

Both methods work nicely; you just keep the cruelty out of the media spotlight or dress it up as something that’s perfectly humane. And many people – the majority – do buy it. Living in a concrete jungle, they haven’t had much interaction with animals and don’t know any better. Which makes them perfect customers who justify acts of cruelty dressed up as entertainment.

One Response to “Ocean Park’s honesty”

  1. Did any oceanarium ever open a tank to the ocean to allow dolphins, for example, to come and go as they pleased? Just curious.

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