Buy It, Borrow It, or Bag It- Death At SeaWorld by David Kirby

death-at-seaworld2   Sorry it’s been a while since I have posted a review. When you are busy writing books and signing books, it’s not always easy to find time to READ books. LOL. My “to read” pile is slowly mounting again I’m afraid.

At any rate, I began reading this one after seeing a strange FB post from one of my favorite bands who announced that they would not play SeaWorld due to the controversial documentary “Blackfish.” This was enough to cause me to look up this movie and find out what it was all about…what I discovered was the heartbreaking story of a captured orca that is responsible for the deaths of three people in his “career.”

Watching the documentary, I immediately started reading Kirby’s book that highlights these same events and I have to say…it has been an eye opener. I’ve been to SeaWorld. I saw the Shamu show. I touched a stingray. I had a great time! I’ve also gone to zoos, watched dolphin shows, my own son has a peculiar relationship with the gibbon at our local zoo…but I can’t help wondering if it’s OK to keep animals behind bars. even though a lot of zoo animals have been raised in captivity…if one goes back far enough in the genealogy, more than likely there’s an act of violence in there somewhere.

Reading this book, you can’t help feeling sorry for the Whale. Despite his happy “smile” and his apparent eagerness to work with his trainer…something is clearly not right mentally. How sane would you be if you were trapped for 20-plus years in a tank where the females beat you up, where you don’t speak the language and where you are only allowed to be around others in order to breed? Honestly, I am not an overzealous animal rights advocate, but I do understand that mammals can have behavioral health issues. I am astonished at how many trainers at SeaWorld are not “animal experts” but peppy people who can swim well. I was blown away with the lack of science being shared at these parks and the fact that this PSTD-ridden whale is STILL brought out for shows.

I highly recommend both the movie and the book and parents…the movie isn’t overly violent so I DO recommend letting your children see it so that they can develop empathy for this powerful animal whose quality of life has been damaged by well-meaning humans determined to give people a good time and make a fortune along the way.

BUY IT, BORROW IT…but whatever you do, don’t bag it…the message is too powerful.

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