MSU must cut ties with SeaWorld
Michigan State University is a school that is very forward, socially aware as well as morally conscious. That is part of the reason I chose to attend here.
But now, I am for the first time disappointed in my school. Recently, I discovered that MSU still associates with SeaWorld Discovery Cove through a study away program, NSC 390 section 701 and 702. I find it extremely disheartening that MSU, a world renowned veterinary college, would choose to participate in any type of partnership with such a morally repugnant place.
Unless you have seen “Blackfish” or read about the horrors of the park, you probably are unaware of just how wrong things are being run at SeaWorld. The main subjects of the abuse are the orca whales that are forced to perform several shows for audience amusement daily.
You do not have to be a scientist to realize that a wild animal like an orca belongs in the ocean. Their cramped living spaces do not even begin to compare to a whale’s life in the ocean where they swim an average of 100 miles a day. Orcas in the wild have an average life expectancy of 30 to 50 years. Their estimated maximum life span is 60 to 70 years for males and 80 to more than 100 for females. The median age of orcas in captivity is only nine years. SeaWorld’s relentless attempts to “tame” the wild beasts have resulted in several deaths and injuries for many of their “trainers” — who are really performers — as shown in “Blackfish.”
The orca whales have been inbreeding since the early ’80s, which has caused several abnormalities in the whales because Tilikum, the main male whale sperm donor and responsible for three human deaths, has been so for the likes of his own offspring.
Many organizations have denounced the treatment of the whales and SeaWorld altogether. Their stock has been crashing ever since the wide release of “Blackfish.” Which brings me to ask why MSU still chooses to associate with this institution of animal cruelty. SeaWorld propaganda has been used to combat “Blackfish” and other claims of abuse in their parks, but overwhelming evidence has come to prove nearly all the claims.
SeaWorld has been tiptoeing around their issues for years and the result has been a loss of trust from the general public. SeaWorld is hopefully on its way out and MSU should realize the injustice happening there. Someday soon my school will consider their mistake of association with SeaWorld and end the study away program replacing it with a well-structured pro-animal rights program. Here’s hoping.