Never Too Late

While I grew up in Southern California for the first five and half years of my life, there was beautiful sunshine and I had plenty of room to run around. My family moved to New York just before my sixth birthday. I didn’t want to move (though as a six-year-old, I didn’t have much choice), but there was still sunshine and plenty of room to run around.

Many of our trips back to California included visiting family and friends, walking to the beach, eating the best Mexican food outside of Mexico, and of course a trip or two to SeaWorld.

My sister and I would plan our days around the orca, dolphin, and sea lion shows. We’d visit each of the exhibits, eat lunch at our favorite cafe, and walk until our whole bodies ached. There was much of the same when I visited with friends. My love for the animals and sea creatures–orcas and beluga whales, dolphins and sharks, seals and sea lions, turtles and penguins–grew with each moment I spent surrounded by them. I never wanted to leave at the end of a long day, though I always did–often with a new stuffed animal tucked under my arm. It was a beloved part of our vacations.

IMG_2023

Dressed up as a sea lion for Halloween

As I grew older, the trips out west grew farther and fewer in between, and though it didn’t seem possible, my love for those majestic animals grew even more.

During my first semester of college, I watched the documentary The Cove, as per my sister’s suggestion. I was heartbroken to see the capture and subsequent slaughter of so many dolphins in Japan–a dolphin drive hunt that is so severe, it turns the cove in Taiji a horrifying red for more than half the year. I was so impacted by the film and its message that I used it as a source for an argumentative paper in my composition class. Four years later, Blackfish was released. It detailed the story of one whale in particular, Tilikum, and the controversy over captive orcas.

Since the release of these documentaries, Blackfish in particular, everyone from conservationists and environmentalists to actors, musicians, and even former employees, has spoken out. I have lost count of all of the articles I’ve read and the number of times I’ve cried for these poor, tortured souls. Today, I saw another article that detailed multiple accounts from a former employee who experienced the aggression of many of the aquatic animals, as a result of their captivity and forced breeding. As I read the article, my heart sank yet again.

I had once deemed SeaWorld the happiest place in the world. But for who was it actually a happy place?

I was moved from one side of the country to the other as a child, but my quality of life was never compromised. While these animals are often ripped from the wild, stuck in tiny tanks, and forced to perform for spectators. They have suffered immensely for human entertainment.

Did I really spend so much time and money supporting such a toxic place when I could have seen the same animals thriving in the wild?

FullSizeRender (20)

The “Children’s Pool” in La Jolla, California, where seals and sea lions gather to sunbathe and swim

It is safe to say I no longer support the captivity of these animals (or others). While I wish to share this information on behalf of the orcas, dolphins, whales, and others, so that they may one day return to the wild, there is something else I want to share: I grew up worshipping a place that kept wild animals confined to cages and tanks. And then I stopped. I spent most of my life eating animals. And then I stopped.

It does not matter how long you have believed in or done something, or how natural it seems… If you realize that it no longer suits you or your beliefs, you can change. It is not too late–it is never too late–to change.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Never Too Late

  1. Mastering Menstruation says:

    I really really loved this post, especially the sentiment you left us with at the end. I saw a post on Ranchers/Dairy Farmers who converted to veganism this morning and it made me think about how true your post is, that it’s never too late to change! I loved the topic so much I made a video out of it! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Karen says:

    I love this! When I tell people to watch Blackfish before going to SeaWorld (or any other captive environment) I am simply told to stop belittling people for enjoying themselves. I then see the same people months later watching Blackfish and realising what they have just witnessed in a whole new light.

    You are definitely right, it’s never too late to change! Whether a person has been to see these beautiful animals in captivity or not, there’s always room for them to change their beliefs.

    Like

    • ennaacissej says:

      It’s not always easy to see things for what they are when they are right in front of you. All we can ask is that people realize their mistakes eventually and then make changes for the better.

      Like

  3. emihardy says:

    Thank you. Thats all I can say.It’s so satisfying that other agree with me. You are 100% right, it is never to late to make a change. I’m trying to help others see the cruel world these gorgeous creatures live in and save them from a world of lies

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s