Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity Hardcover – July 17, 2012
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About the Author
DAVID KIRBY is the author of Evidence of Harm, which was a New York Times bestseller, winner of the 2005 Investigative Reporters and Editors award for best book, and a finalist for the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism, and Animal Factory, an acclaimed investigation into the environmental impact of factory farms. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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I personally think only dogs and cats are domesticated to "pet" stage, and even those animals are not truly tame. Shark feeding, all those type activities that take away an animals true nature/habitat are wrong; and sometimes very cruel.
Dogs as service animals, cats as pets; otherwise leave then alone, unless we need them for food; and even then animals need to be treated with kindness and respect.
Human beings are turning what could have been an Eden into a war-torn, polluted dump, and we're all, innocents and otherwise, going to pay, sooner or later, and even as I write these words.
Top international reviews
I have been aware of the issues surrounding the captivity of whales and dolphins for some time before reading Mr Kirby's book. I ordered the book wanting to know more about the plight of these animals and the psychological strain it puts on them. I found the book somewhat disappointing for the following reasons:
1. There is a lot of supporting evidence to back up the premise that keeping dolphins and whales in captivity cannot be justified, but I feel the `thriller' style of the book compromises the message that needs to be heard. The book essentially uses sensationalism, shock and horror to awaken the public (but sometimes, we need that).
2. The book also spends too much time on Naomi Rose. Great swathes of the early part of the book is spent on the life and ruminations of Naomi Rose and I was left wondering what role does this woman play in this book other than being a token orca researcher. There is little mention of other pioneering scientists in the field of wild orca research. In addition, I came to dislike Dr Rose as my reading progressed. This is not a reflection of the individual, but Mr Kirby's representation of her. She came across as a sanctimonious, arrogant person.
3. There is no continuity in the book. The chapters jump around on different topics. One moment you're reading about the incidents at SeaWorld and the next you're reading about Dr Rose's personal struggles.
4. There appears to be a lot of `artistic licence' used in this book. For example, I find it hard to believe that former SeaWorld trainers and others would remember verbatim conversations that occurred more than a decade ago.
This book had so much promise, but for me, it has failed to deliver. Marine parks must be stopped and only hard science and public opinion will sway the legislators. Mr Kirby had the ammunition, but people who are not familiar with the research and the plight of orcas will only read the sensational bits and not grasp the bigger picture.
Notwithstanding my comments, the book is a valuable source of information and adds o the argument that these creatures must be released.
David Kirby not only highlights the truths that go on in the animal entertainment industry but he also sticks his neck far beyond what others would do or say .
Watch Blackfish which accompanies this book and you will see the foolishness people will do to become stars if these so called trainers are that passionate about whales and dolphins surely studying these wonderful creatures in the wild would be more rewarding than teaching them tricks and completely stripping them of all dignity .
ex trainers say they didn't know of any captive whale attacks so that tells me if you're daft enough to go into a pool with a wild creature without researching first then are you really capable of anything remotely responsible.
Has anyone heard whales cries when their young are taken away from them maybe the bosses at seaworld should perhaps see for themselves mind you unless there are dollars attached to any act of business I am not sure they would care.
thank you David Kirby and to the makers of Blackfish
My heart goes out to the families of people who have been killed by the imprisoned marine mammals. They were acting with the best of intentions because they loved the creatures they were trying to take care of.
A very sad story and even more upsetting because the parks are still open and unfortunately still making a lot of money from this "business"!!!
the orca winnie holds a dear place in my heart as it was due to her that I became obsessed with orcas, I was so happy to see her mentioned in the book but at the same time so sad, this book will challenge you views on captivity what ever they may be before you read it. not only does it show the love trainers have for the orcas they work with but also the events that can and have ended trainers and whales lives.
David Kirkby well done sir and I intended to tell you this in a privet messege on facebook as well.
I would recommend this book to any and everyone!