End the suffering of these ignored, captive souls!

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I am here because it is time I stop pondering and lend my voice, prompting others to lend theirs. I am a 16 year old girl and I want to try.

 A recent visit to Orlando's Sea World made me come across the dolphin exhibit. The seemingly lifeless dolphins, swimming in circles while in the blistering sun made me question where they go for shade. I asked the woman who works for them, she quickly tensed and grew defensive. Condescendingly, she asked me what I think happens when sunlight hits the water (it refracts), and claimed that this refraction in light gives them the reprieve they need.

 I researched this, and found that the depth of captive dolphin tanks is not nearly enough to provide the shade they receive in open ocean. US regulations state that a bottlenose dolphin can be placed in a pool of just 6 feet. 6 feet! For an animal that travels more than 40 miles a day in the deep, environment rich ocean. And what of the unnatural behaviors dolphins are expected to do: Jumping through hoops, carrying visitors and trainers on their backs, "kissing" them. What of the loud music they are exposed to during their daily performances, which easily surpass 7-8 times a day. What effect would this have on their sensitive ears, and perhaps even mental state. What of the creases in their necks formed from keeping their heads vertically upright to beg for fish, what of premature tooth decay in a calf stemming from chewing on the concrete surface from extreme boredom and stress, what about the daily anti-anxiety drugs and antibiotics they are force fed just to keep them performing endlessly, the skin diseases they receive from chlorinated water, the thousands of miles they are forced to travel in congested trucks and vans to move from one park to the next, the separation from tight-knit family members they undergo due to this transportation, when these family members are the only thing that give a dolphin some semblance of sanity in their insane world. What about young females being artificially impregnated long before they would ever have had a baby. And what about these traumatized young mothers turning on their new-borns from not watching other mothers and learning how to care for them. Now what? What about the newborn? She is bottle-fed, and lacks proper social skills her mother was to teach her. She lives without ever knowing the critical mother-calf bond, condemning her to an early death. Her mother continues living, having abandoned her calf, knowing her own mother, from whom she was separated from when she was a baby is out there. She will never know again what it feels like to dive deep, race through the water free with her family, and jump in the air not for dead fish from humans, but for the joy of life.

 We are fighting against humans! Who better to fight than humans themselves! Humans like you, reading this right now. There is a solution to this inhumane behavior, and is the same solution to Orca captivity, which as of the moment is the center of public sympathy. The solution mainly involves: 1) Stop the breeding of captive dolphins in influential parks like SeaWorld, 2) Create ocean pens to accustom many captive dolphins to the sea (exposing them to live fish which prompts them to hunt, as well as introduction to the natural underwater landscape of the sea and its salinity levels).

 Global attention is currently on Orcas, and leaps and bounds have been made for that species. What about their bottle-nosed cousins! Has everyone forgotten that these are the creatures that have pushed sailors to shore when they lay hopeless and stranded in the middle of the sea. Now dolphins lay stranded and defenseless in the middle of our entertainment industry, when will we return the favor? These are not playthings for us to enjoy and discard. These are not entertainment tools to exploit for money. These are living, breathing, emotionally intelligent creatures that are aware of every single thing we do to them. . Why can't we show the world that the same can happen for dolphins? The same for Beluga whales who go through the same issues as orcas and dolphins? Perhaps a better world can see the liberation of even more species. Please! Help me give these animals a life they would want to live!



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