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I am not one of the persons you would need to convince about the perversity of SeaWorld-like shows or any other form of making caged animals jump through hoops or pretend to be human. So I kind of had an outside perspective on “Blackfish”, wondering how a film-maker would try to explain to all those parents and aunties taking the kids to this kind of shows that what they are really doing is soliciting animal torture. In this case, with Orcas featuring in Gabriela Cowperthwait’s film, very beautiful, very intelligent and very large animals. I think it’s not a coincidence that at some point a former trainer said about an Orca being transferred from a run-down aquarium to a SeaWorld franchise “That’s great, we thought, he’s going to Disneyland!”. The same kind of machinated fake reality you can find at Disney’s resors you can also find at the SeWorlds of this world: Illusions of perfect human-animal friendship, of a life in peace and fun for the creatures, of allowing them to do what they like best, play and fool around for the benefit of the audiences. That all this is based on trainings involving feeod deprevation and punishment, locking the animals up for half days in cages that immobilise them, incarcerating them for life in prisons that cause them to physically and mentally wither away is hidden from the public for sake of a perfect illusion. And when the animal gets psychotic after years of being locked up and deprived of everything it needs to thrive, then penic ensues about this illusion breaking down and causing a billion dollar machinery collapse. Many of the former animal trainers feel terribly guilty about what they did at these parks, and it makes you wonder whether you should not shout at them, punch them in the face and ask them (after youpunched them) how they can pretend to have been unable to understand what they were doing when they were doing it. But it seems rather credible, as some said, that many were blinded by the chance to work with these stunning creatures, and that later, when they realised what they took part in, they could not get themselves to leave, could not get themselves to abandon their friends in the tiny aquariums. It sems this film has triggered a considerable debate in the US about the sea shows, and that is a very good thing. As someone in the film states at some point: it can only be hoped that in 50 years, people will look back at how animals were treated back in the days, and will feel stunned and ashamed.

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