Rarely do I plan an entire evening around a television show. Last night I did and many of my Pet Parent friends did too. We don’t anticipate having a whale as a pet, but the treatment of all animals becomes important when you love any animal. Everyone and Pet Parents in particular should watch this poignant film.
The movie tells the story of Tilikum, the orca who made national news in February of 2010 when he killed senior SeaWorld Trainer, Dawn Brancheau. What was a well- guarded secret at the time was that 20 years earlier he had also killed a trainer in British Columbia. This tragic and compelling plot line in the movie is not the real story though. Blackfish goes back in time to when Tilikim was literally ripped from his mother’s side and taken into captivity. The movie shows very clearly that animals change drastically for the worse when placed in captivity. Breaking up the natural order of creatures such as orcas often brings deadly consequences and animals can definitely reach a point where they bring revenge on their human guardians.
Various animal behavior experts give their point of view during the movie, but the narration by former trainers at SeaWorld is compelling, honest, and above all so very sad. I don’t want to tell the entire story, but to urge any person who cares about living creatures to watch this movie when it airs again on Sunday evening at 9:00 p.m. on CNN. I learned many things about whales, yes, but more about corporate greed and human indifference to the sentient nature of living creatures.
We see this same attitude among backyard breeders, puppy mill operators, and dog fighting rings. These people also have a total disregard to the feelings and well-being of the animals they only see as source for profit. The responsibility for getting the word out about animal cruelty belongs to all people. CNN’s movie definitely gets that point across.