9 years ago Tim was at our local redbox and called me to ask what movie to get. I scrolled through the titles online and gave a few names and he came home with the Cove which was brilliantly (at the time) described as a thriller not a documentary. Once we figured out what we were watching we were already hooked. Tears in our eyes watching the credits, Tim wanted to do something that second to help. So we went online to Dolphin Project's website, bought some tshirts, made a monetary donation, and both pledged to never buy a ticket to a dolphin show. I try to bring awareness to the situation instead of judging others for their decision to go, but until you see where these dolphins come from and how they get into those tanks, while you're staring at their "smiling" faces I think it's hard to imagine them as anything but happy.
I admit I am guilty of giving Seaworld my money. I was 21, on my first trip to Florida, and it was one of the Disney parks I was most excited to visit. Looking back though, I distinctly remember that instead of being completely in awe like those around me, I did feel somewhat saddened by the conditions. I noticed the white and blue chipped painted concrete designed to mimic the ocean. I was concious of the fact the mammals were all rewarded with fish for good behavior and then sent away to their little cages that were barely bigger than them. I wondered if they would get to eat and swim freely when the shows were over, and how happy Shamu really was. But I somehow justified it without thinking too much about it, bought my plush Shamu and moved on. The thing is, if I had known that "Shamu" was one of many many whales that carried that name, and that he was either bred for captivity or ripped from his family in the wild, I would have viewed that act like a horror show and what happens to the dolphins is even worse.
The only way to bring about change is through awareness, and The Cove and Blackfish documentaries have forever changed my life. I'm not sure the Taiji slaughter will ever stop, as it's claimed to be tradition. But I do know if enough people stop visiting these shows, they will eventually be forced to shut down and then the funding of the slaughters will end, which will hopefully in turn end the slaughter. I hope it's something I am fortunate to see in my lifetime. They deserve a fighting chance and I plan on racing my 5K for them. I hope to raise $1000 for this project, and Ric O'Barry, who is a true inspiration. That little rock who created a ripple... Who worked with dolphins in captivity as a livelihood and had the compassion and courage that I didn't to stand up for them and demand a change. Please consider joining my team to walk, run, bike or swim 5K with a goal of personally raising $100. It's virtual so you can do it anywhere you are 8.18.18 (or join us on the beach) and if one day is too much, you can break it in to days starting the week prior. You can also donate to my team, watch The Cove and Blackfish movies, and most most most importantly - pledge here to never buy a ticket to a live dolphin show: https://dolphinproject.com/take-action/take-the-pledge-not-to-buy-a-ticket-to-a-dolphin-show/