Have you ever brought your kids to marine parks to watch dolphin shows with them? Or, has your child joined a school field trip to one of those theme parks where there are dolphins or whales? Did you think that it was good for their education to see these marine animals in these venues?
Ric O’Barry, world-renowned Marine Mammal Specialist and dolphin advocate, said in a press conference in Manila last Friday, September 14, 2012, that bringing kids to ocean-themed parks with captive dolphins and whales is bad education.
“What are the children learning from dolphin tricks?” asked O’Barry. “They’re learning that abusing nature is okay. It’s really a form of bad education.”
He said that it’s like telling the children that it’s alright to take these animals from their natural habitats and imprison them in ocean-themed parks because they are nothing more than performing circus clowns. Thus, children walk away from these parks miseducated after their field trips.
The 1991 Environmental Achievement Awardee of the United States Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program (US/UNEP) shared this analogy, “To teach a child not to step on a butterfly is as important to the child as it is to the butterfly. The same is true with the dolphin shows.”
|Photo courtesy of Wendell Rupert Alinea.|
Trixie Conception, Regional Director for Asia Pacific of Earth Island Institute, said in a documentary showed during the press conference that dolphins trained to perform in dolphin shows are deprived of food for certain periods so that they would obey their trainers. Thus, these highly-intelligent creatures are not really happy to perform in these shows. They seem happy; but the truth is they are not. They only obey their trainers because they want to be fed and do not want to starve.
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