When I saw SeaWorld’s announcement that they are going to stop breeding killer whales, I had mixed feelings – all of them positive. I’ll explain.
Fresh out of college in 1977, I bought a ticket and found a seat in the bleachers to see my first killer whales. (It would be another 15 years before I glimpsed free-living killer whales.) And there they were – doing full-body leaps that seemed impossibly powerful, gently taking fish from pretty girls.
I was so astonished by what I was watching these “killer” whales do with their human friends that I was moved to tears. They were not mindless killers; they were sensitive, interactive, careful gentle giants. The show seemed filled with the generosity of spirit of people reaching across the species barrier. I was filled with hope – perhaps we would learn to love these whales.