Blackfish, a critically acclaimed documentary is SeaWorld's worst nightmare. The documentary focuses on a captive orca, Tilikum, who was torn away from his family when he was just 2 years old and, out of frustration caused by 20 years of intense confinement, isolation, and lack of emotional and intellectual stimulation, has killed three humans. Keeping animals in captivity for entertainment shows is very polemic and controversial. Perfect for conversation classes.
I. Discuss these questions:
1. What's your opinion about animals shows, like the ones in Sea World or Circuses?
2. Have you ever attended one of those shows? Describe it? How did you like it?
3. Do you think it is a worth-discussing matter? Why (not)?
4. Are animal trainers helping or harming those animals? Explain it.
5. Should these shows be banned? Why (not)?
Read the article provide by PETA, a very important organization that protects animal and their opinion about animals in captivity. Information taken form:
The suit is based on the plain text of the 13th Amendment, which prohibits the condition of slavery without reference to "person" or any particular class of victim. "Slavery is slavery, and it does not depend on the species of the slave any more than it depends on gender, race, or religion," says general counsel to PETA, Jeffrey Kerr.
The five wild-captured orca plaintiffs are Tilikum and Katina (both confined at SeaWorld Orlando) and Kasatka, Corky, and Ulises (all three confined at SeaWorld San Diego).
"All five of these orcas were violently seized from the ocean and taken from their families as babies. They are denied freedom and everything else that is natural and important to them while kept in small concrete tanks and reduced to performing stupid tricks," says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "The 13th Amendment prohibits slavery, and these orcas are, by definition, slaves."
In the aerial view of SeaWorld, one can see how little room orcas have. Inside the circle is Tilikum, whose nose and tail almost touch the ends of his tank. Image © 2011 Google
Our understanding of animals grows every day. Animals are no longer regarded as "things" to dominate, but as breathing, feeling beings with families, dialects, intellect, and emotions. Just as we look back with shame at a time when we enslaved other humans and viewed some people as property less deserving of protection and consideration, we will look back on our treatment of these animals with shame. The 13th Amendment exists to abolish slavery in all its forms—and this lawsuit is the next step.
1. Is PETA exaggerating or do they have a strong argumentation for the issue?
2. Would you join such a cause? Explain it?
3. What are their strongest/weakest arguments?
4. Look at the ads below and explain their messages and if you agree with them.
MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - BLACKFISH