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  1. #16

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    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

    Quote Originally Posted by Meville View Post
    As with most media outlets the Huffington post requires you to click further to see the entire article, but what if I simply read the title and movie on with my day? Without further clarification I may assume that, even without seeing the movie, without working at SeaWorld, or even if even without ever stepping though the gates at SeaWorld that that Orcas are being mistreated. Is this the truth?
    Point taken as well! Thank you. I agree that news is poorly distributed. SeaWorld is not guilt free in the way they distribute news. Seaworld has mastered this technique, i.e., look at the headlines Seaworld has sent out: "Blackfish contains inaccuracies" and "SeaWorld Sets the Truth". SeaWorld's Letter: From our Zoological Team | SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

    Their open letter manipulates "truth" and "inaccuracies". Look at the first point they provide in their open letter:

    "SeaWorld does not capture killer whales in the wild."

    Thus, if you only read the headline, it appears that SeaWorld is saying that Blackfish was inaccurate when they showed wild orcas being captured in the wild. However, Blackfish did accurately account for this activity. SeaWorld even admits this in their letter. They say they used to capture wild orcas, but they don't anymore because they now manually stimulate male orcas for their sperm and then inseminated into female orcas.

    I can do this for each of SeaWorld's "truth" statements. The headlines relating to Blackfish "inaccuracies" were even raised by our beloved Micechat crew when they interviewed former SeaWorld Employees featured in the movie.

    I respect your concern of creating legislation. I share your concern. But I think it is necessary here. Let me try to persuade you. We needed legislation to end human slavery, create civil rights, and to limit animal testing practices for the benefit of science. Spain legislated the termination of the bull fighting. In each of these cases, the legislative bodies found the practice despicable, but legislation was necessary because the entire population did not agree.

    We should protect the safety of SeaWorld Orca trainers. There are many incidents of trainers being harmed by Orcas. This is an undisputed fact. It is also undisputed that the trainers are trained to assess the behaviors of orcas. If they sense that an animal is acting strange, they are instructed to stop and get out of the water. Thus, if legislation were drafted to prohibit the circus shows, trainers would not be in the water with the animals trying to read the mood of the animal. A mistake can mean harm to the trainer. Thus, if they are not engaged with the animal, they would not be at risk at being harmed.

    If SeaWorld was prohibited from manually masturbating male orcas, the population of captured orcas would eventually end. There would eventually be no more captive orcas. The truth here is that wild orcas natural habitat is thousands of square miles in the ocean. No one disputes this fact.

    I know that I can only make you believe legislation is necessary if you believe the activity is inherently evil, like enslaving a human being, treating a person differently because of sex, race or religion. In Spain, they believed the showmanship of slowly killing a drugged bull was bad.

    I hope I changed your mind and maybe some others.
    Last edited by kjorgensen43; 03-12-2014 at 01:32 PM. Reason: grammar

  2. #17

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    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

    Quote Originally Posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
    I respect your concern of creating legislation. I share your concern. But I think it is necessary here. Let me try to persuade you. We needed legislation to end human slavery, create civil rights, and to limit animal testing practices for the benefit of science. Spain legislated the termination of the bull fighting. In each of these cases, the legislative bodies found the practice despicable, but legislation was necessary because the entire population did not agree.
    Comparing orca in captivity to human slavery and animal testing is, frankly, repugnant and borderline offensive to me. This issue isn't even in the same ballpark. Human slavery, even the most benign, was purely done for exploitation and animal testing was cruel and often times so inhumane as to be horrific and monstrous. Bull fighting? I can't even fathom why or how that enters into this discussion, so let's not even go there. In no way can you compare the care of cetaceans at SeaWorld to these past practices.

    (the following is in response to other posts, not necessarily your last one in particular. )

    SeaWorld sells a product; that product is education and conservation made fun. Yes, they make a profit...that's how our capitalist system works. It's how the system keeps going.

    No where in SeaWorld have I ever seen anything even resembling a "circus" or circus tricks. You know what happens when a circus animal doesn't want to perform? It is made to do so anyway. You know what happens when a cetacean doesn't want to perform? It just doesn't do so and no one forces them to. Because the cetaceans are treated with respect and love. I don't understand why that is so hard to swallow for most people. I've been there on days the cetaceans just weren't feeling it...and it was comical and the show went on without them. No big deal. The so called 'tricks' are as much for the animals as they are for the enlightenment and delight of the people watching.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
    We should protect the safety of SeaWorld Orca trainers. There are many incidents of trainers being harmed by Orcas. This is an undisputed fact. It is also undisputed that the trainers are trained to assess the behaviors of orcas. If they sense that an animal is acting strange, they are instructed to stop and get out of the water. Thus, if legislation were drafted to prohibit the circus shows, trainers would not be in the water with the animals trying to read the mood of the animal. A mistake can mean harm to the trainer. Thus, if they are not engaged with the animal, they would not be at risk at being harmed.
    This is the most spurious of all arguments. There are plenty of professions where there is danger involved, I don't see people drafting legislation to end NASA. There have been more deaths of astronauts over the years then there has ever been in SeaWorld or any other marine mammal park. Or how about NASCAR, same deal. Far more drivers have died than have died around cetaceans. The danger is well known to all trainers and they choose to do so anyway. Obviously there must be enough reward in it for them that they feel it is worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
    If SeaWorld was prohibited from manually masturbating male orcas, the population of captured orcas would eventually end. There would eventually be no more captive orcas. The truth here is that wild orcas natural habitat is thousands of square miles in the ocean. No one disputes this fact.
    OK, well, that's true about the population of SeaWorld captive orca. If you stopped breeding them they'd all eventually die out and somewhere between 50 to 80 years there would be no more. Not sure what the point of that was, but then let's address the natural habitat issue. Yes, also true. Of course no one disputes that, it would be insane to do so. How does that prove captivity is evil? Orca swim hundreds of miles because they have to, not because they want to. Big difference. I have never seen any evidence that cetaceans in SeaWorld parks are crazy or suffering because they are not forced to swim hundreds of miles. The tanks they live in are more than big enough to meet the needs of the whales for activity, top speed swimming, socialization, medical needs, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
    I know that I can only make you believe legislation is necessary if you believe the activity is inherently evil, like enslaving a human being, treating a person differently because of sex, race or religion. In Spain, they believed the showmanship of slowly killing a drugged bull was bad.

    I hope I changed your mind and maybe some others.
    There is no way I could ever in my right mind equate slavery, or discrimination, or the abhorrent practice of bullfighting with cetaceans at SeaWorld. There is nothing; no facts, no cruelty, nothing at all that gives me the sense that there is anything evil in the cetaceans at SeaWorld. Regardless of where they may have come from to begin with, they serve a vital function in awakening millions of people to the plight of our oceans and the animals we share our world with. Nothing I've ever experienced at the parks gives me a sense of anything different from that.

    Not only have you not changed my mind, you have reinforced in my mind that most who are against the parks don't really understand how vital their function is, or the realities of what they really do.

  3. #18

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    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

    Comparing orca in captivity to human slavery and animal testing is, frankly, repugnant and borderline offensive to me. This issue isn't even in the same ballpark.
    I disagree. I think it is very similar and think you have to concede that it is at least in the same ball park:

    The SeaWorld system is the best of all seaquaria in the world, but if I was an orca, that would be the last place Id want to live. (former SeaWorld trainer Jeffrey Ventre)

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    Repugnant and offensive? Yes, if you believe that only humans should be treated humanely. No, if you take a look closely at the practice. Basic google searchs will show you that there are a lot of people, other than me, that make the same analogies. They say a picture can show a 1000 words. This Google map shows an Orca penned up in quarters akin to an inmate confined in a prison cell. Can you concede that this analogy is at least in the ballpark to slavery? I am not asking that you agree with me, I just looking for you to acknowledge that I am not making crazy talk here.

    let's address the natural habitat issue. Yes, also true. Of course no one disputes that, it would be insane to do so. How does that prove captivity is evil? Orca swim hundreds of miles because they have to, not because they want to. Big difference. I have never seen any evidence that cetaceans in SeaWorld parks are crazy or suffering because they are not forced to swim hundreds of miles. The tanks they live in are more than big enough to meet the needs of the whales for activity, top speed swimming, socialization, medical needs, etc.
    Yes, I am contending orca captivity is evil. Its about freedom. Your argument that seems to suggest that people would choose to be confined in prison because they get three squares and free time in the yard. Free medical benefits too. Folks would be able to tell their bosses, "Take this job and shove it!"

    Did you see the video of the wild orcas chasing the speed boat? Its a cool video. All the orcas you see have normal looking dorsal fins.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s49lfSf_VMUSee

    I would rather fail with choice than to be confined in safety.

    Regardless of where they may have come from to begin with, they serve a vital function in awakening millions of people to the plight of our oceans and the animals we share our world with.
    SeaWorld does serve a vital role in educating the population of our oceans and animal life. I just think the one aspect to the park, orca captivity, should be abolished.

  4. #19

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    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

    Quote Originally Posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
    I disagree. I think it is very similar and think you have to concede that it is at least in the same ball park:
    No I will not concede that point, for the reasons I gave in my original post. Your use of those things in comparison to the cetaceans at SeaWorld is absolutely not in any way correct. If we can't base a conversation on the realities of cetacean captivity without resorting to incorrect and deliberately emotionally manipulative rhetoric, then we can't have a true conversation about it at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
    Repugnant and offensive? Yes, if you believe that only humans should be treated humanely. No, if you take a look closely at the practice. Basic google searchs will show you that there are a lot of people, other than me, that make the same analogies. They say a picture can show a 1000 words. This Google map shows an Orca penned up in quarters akin to an inmate confined in a prison cell. Can you concede that this analogy is at least in the ballpark to slavery? I am not asking that you agree with me, I just looking for you to acknowledge that I am not making crazy talk here.
    I already addressed this issue so I'm not rehashing old ground. Go back and read my post.

    As for, "Basic google searchs will show you that there are a lot of people, other than me, that make the same analogies." Well, a lot of people don't believe in climate change still...pretty sure that's a real deal. Lot's of people don't believe the U.S. went to the moon...doesn't make them right either. Again, go back and re-read my post.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
    Yes, I am contending orca captivity is evil. Its about freedom. Your argument that seems to suggest that people would choose to be confined in prison because they get three squares and free time in the yard. Free medical benefits too. Folks would be able to tell their bosses, "Take this job and shove it!"
    So Orca should be free but not all other animals? I don't get it. Why is that? I'm trying to make sense of your internal logic here. If Orca should be free, shouldn't dolphins? Shouldn't sea Lions, otters, lions and tigers and bears (Oh My!) horses, cows, dogs, cats etc. etc. Where do you draw the line? What constitutes slavery for one animal but isn't slavery for another animal? Please enlighten me.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
    Did you see the video of the wild orcas chasing the speed boat? Its a cool video. All the orcas you see have normal looking dorsal fins.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s49lfSf_VMUSee

    I would rather fail with choice than to be confined in safety.
    Wow, pretty neat video, until you realize that orca have been killed exhibiting this same behavior. Exactly why whale watching tours aren't a great idea. Habituate animals to humans in the wild and they are put into danger. This is why the Marine Mammal Protection Act is so important...by the way, did you know SeaWorld was instrumental in getting that little piece of legislation passed?

    Quote Originally Posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
    SeaWorld does serve a vital role in educating the population of our oceans and animal life.
    Best thing you've said so far and the only thing I can wholeheartedly agree with.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
    I just think the one aspect to the park, orca captivity, should be abolished.
    Fair enough. That is your opinion and you're welcome to it. I don't agree and neither do millions of others who choose to go to SeaWorld parks each year. I don't think we need legislation to force us to agree with your opinion.

  5. #20

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    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

    Quote Originally Posted by kjorgensen43
    Repugnant and offensive? Yes, if you believe that only humans should be treated humanely. No, if you take a look closely at the practice. Basic google searchs will show you that there are a lot of people, other than me, that make the same analogies. They say a picture can show a 1000 words. This Google map shows an Orca penned up in quarters akin to an inmate confined in a prison cell. Can you concede that this analogy is at least in the ballpark to slavery? I am not asking that you agree with me, I just looking for you to acknowledge that I am not making crazy talk here.
    Did you happen to notice that that particular area was open? In your picture, you can clearly see another whale entering into that area through the gate. That small area seems like it was built as a bypass to access the second largest area of the complex that you just so happened to have CROPPED OUT.

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  6. #21

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    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

    I may sound lile and enviromentalist Hippie right now but Animals do not belong in captivity. They lose their knowledge and abilty to hunt and lose their wild behavior. They are WILD animals for a reason, meant to roam in their natural habitat. Keiko went back to Iceland after being in captivity for umpteen years and starved to death because he lost the ability to hunt and was relieng on human hand outs. This is just my two cents.

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    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

    ^That's fair. So what do we do with the ones in captivity? Let them die off?

    I don't think it would do anymore harm to continue breeding captive animals. They only know what they are raised with, so they don't have the emotion of missing the wild.

  8. #23

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    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

    Quote Originally Posted by brendonb28 View Post
    I may sound lile and enviromentalist Hippie right now but Animals do not belong in captivity. They lose their knowledge and abilty to hunt and lose their wild behavior. They are WILD animals for a reason, meant to roam in their natural habitat. Keiko went back to Iceland after being in captivity for umpteen years and starved to death because he lost the ability to hunt and was relieng on human hand outs. This is just my two cents.
    Animals in captivity were once kept for purely entertainment and exploitative reasons. I think that is what is stuck in so many people's heads when they think of captive animals. You need to recognize how important captive animals are now, for many different reasons (as long as they are kept in AZA approved facilities and are kept to a standard).

    In a perfect world we would all live in harmony with nature, and all animals would have plenty of healthy habitat to roam in and would roam free with no interference from human beings. Unfortunately we don't live in a perfect world. In this world, people rarely care for that which they cannot see, touch and experience. That's why animal ambassadors are so important to keep us aware of what we need to do to care for our animals and the habitats they live in so we can preserve them. Also, without captive animals, there are many animals that would be extinct. One example is the Black Rhino, which would be extinct if we didn't have them in captivity.

  9. #24

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    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

    From a purely business standpoint, SeaWorld desperately needs to fight an ongoing decline in attendance. In a year (2013) where every other major theme park operator saw increases in attendance (Disney/Universal/SixFlags[!]/Cedar Fair) SeaWorld is the only group with a decline.

    As the orca showcases are the bread which the business is buttered upon, this bill would be a disaster for SeaWorld. If I were an investor in SeaWorld (I'm not; personal distaste for circus animal captivity,) I'd be really miffed that the company is spinning, masking their attendance decline with higher revenue via concession and merch sales, and focusing on that as a long term strategy. You can read it here. Anyone who has taken a basic college economics class knows that one can only push price elasticity so far before you have to address driving people into the store.

    I mean, Disney has been raked across the coals for MyMagic+, specifically designed to increase per guest revenue over guest satisfaction via rides and attractions. And yet, Disney has posted attendance increases each quarter of the past year while raising prices on admission and merch. More people going to the store. More money spend by each person inside the store. More total profit for the store. SeaWorld is at the top of a vicious cycle here: less people coming to the store; more spending per person by the people in the store; less people wanting to spend more so less attendance; discounts to get people in the store (Groupon); less revenue generated by the store but more popularity. And so on.

    While I think that Blackfish has had some form of impact on the business, and I suspect that the film will continue to be shared and spread among friends, furthering the impact, at present, I think the film, for the most part, has preached to the choir. Which is to say that if you already found large, intelligent animals performing circus tricks in captivity distasteful, Blackfish reinforced your perception of distaste. But...those people were already NOT going to SeaWorld. SeaWorld's issue right now is why their overall attendance (which didn't include that cohort which would be predisposed to watch Blackfish,) is sliding, especially in a year where theme park attendance is thriving and growing.

    To put this another way, this bill will appeal to those voters already disinclined to go to SeaWorld, empowered by Blackfish. SeaWorld needs to mos def fight its passage, but long term, their issue is less Blackfish and more declining public interest in their theme park offerings. Higher prices on plushies can only take them so far.

  10. #25

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    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

    "In this world, people rarely care for that which they cannot see, touch and experience."

    I'd really like for this to stop being a point of debate unless there's quantifiable data to back this up. It's invalid opinion versus data-supported.

    I care about many things I can't see, touch and experience. I ain't never been to the stars and yet I still care about the space program. Plenty of folks care about a higher power that nobody in the history of mankind has been able to see, touch and experience. And in the reverse, there are plenty of people at intersections begging for food and money that we overlook and don't care about, despite being able to see, touch and experience their need and suffering.

    I agree with you that the issue of animal captivity is more shades of gray that black and white (my line is drawn at circus acts and 'people rides.') And I suspect that Blackfish focuses attention on a small debate (orcas in captivity) versus the more important debate (humans destroying the planet and its habitats.) But the "touch equals care equals change" is anecdotal evidence, at best, and that's anything but evidence.

    What to see how amazing an orca is? Tune into the Discover Channel or Animal Planet! Totally non-touch solution. The issue is that people WANT to actually see, touch and experience orcas in easily accessed comfort. People care, but on their own terms, and via the expression of the idea that humans hold dominion over every other creature on the planet. They want the orcas to flip and dance to "Conga" before grabbing some BBQ and buying a cute Shamu T-Shirt (no doubt in XXXXL whale size; see America's waist.)

    And that's their choice and currently entirely available to them. But that sight, that touch, that experience isn't leading to massive behavioral changes leading to habitat preservation and ecological renewal. Liking animals based on exposure to said animals at a zoo or marine display industry facility ain't stopping widespread ecological exploitation of the habitats around the world. We're still frakking, and shale mining, and deep-see drilling, and mountaintop removal mining and so on and so forth.

  11. #26

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    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

    No I will not concede that point, for the reasons I gave in my original post. Your use of those things in comparison to the cetaceans at SeaWorld is absolutely not in any way correct. If we can't base a conversation on the realities of cetacean captivity without resorting to incorrect and deliberately emotionally manipulative rhetoric, then we can't have a true conversation about it at all.
    SeaWorldMike, I am attempting to have a "true conversation" with you. In rhetoric, appealing to emotions is a vital tool in persuasion. I have used it and will continue to use it to get people to think about an issue I believe in. Please do not rebuke me for using a rheotorical method that is the oldest and most effective use of persuasion.

    SeaWorldMike, you state that I am factually incorrect to compare Orca inside of SeaWorld to that of various forms of captivity. By what powers of divinity gives you this right to declare that my comparisions are incorrect? Is it just your own singular opinion? Again, back this source.

    My orca captivity analogies are essentially stolen from far greater people than myself. Here is my proof that my analogies are based in truth:

    "There is about as much educational benefit to be gained in studying dolpins in captivity as there would be studying mankind by only observing prisoners held in solitary." Jacques Cousteau

    "No Aquarium, no tank in a marine land, however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea, and no dolphin who inhaits one of those aquariums or one of those marine lands can be considered normal." Jacques Cousteau

    "I've been studying orca for over twenty years officially, unofficially since I was about six years old. It's been at least fifteen years studying them in the wild before I saw my first orca in captivity...and I was so devasted that I literally threw up. I vomited right there and then in front of these orca because I was just so horrified about what was going on with these animals in captivity." Dr. Ingrid Visser.

    "One faction views SeaWorld as a Garden Hilton for killer whales, and the other views it as Hanoi Hilton for killer whales." David Kirby, author of Death at SeaWorld
    SeaWorldMike, you asked me to re-read your post. I did. I also listened to your podcast and the comments garnered from your podcasts. Here are my conclusions: Your opinions reflect that of a SeaWorld apologist. The podcast seemed very one sided to that of the views of SeaWorld. You did not offer, or concede any points raised by the movie. I also note that in the comment section of the podcast many writers expressed the opinion that your views were one sided toward SeaWorld.

    I know that you are a co-host of the unofficial podcast for SeaWorld. Are you afraid to offer a criticism of SeaWorld regarding the health (mental, not necessarily physical) and well being of the orcas at SeaWorld? Are you or Micechat compensated by SeaWorld, either financially or by benefit of gift or access to the park? I think it would be important to disclose your or Micechat's biases.

    I am not compensated in any way by animal activist groups whatsoever. Nor am I member of any such group.

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    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

    Seaworld has threatened to pull out of San Diego for reasons far less serious than what the possible ramifications that this legislation would bring. They don't own the land. They will salvage what they can, bulldoze the rest and head to a state that isn't as advisarial. and far more business friendly.The economic impact on not just San Diego but Southern Ca in general would be significant. Considering the state of the economy of the State of CA is at this time, (it's nowhere as good was what the general media is saying it is) this isn't a real smart move, IMHO. The fact that this legislation is being sponsered by someone who isn't from San Diego is of concern. Personally I would be upset if someone from the Peoples Republic of Santa Monica trying to dictate what is done here.

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    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

    Quote Originally Posted by AaroniusPolonius View Post
    From a purely business standpoint, SeaWorld desperately needs to fight an ongoing decline in attendance. In a year (2013) where every other major theme park operator saw increases in attendance (Disney/Universal/SixFlags[!]/Cedar Fair) SeaWorld is the only group with a decline.
    Not sure you're accurate on this issue....

    "Attendance in 2013 declined by 4.1% from 24.4 million guests in 2012 to 23.4 million guests in 2013. The decline was primarily attributable to the expected result of planned pricing and yield management strategies that increased revenue but reduced low yielding and free attendance. Also contributing to the decline in full year attendance was unexpected adverse weather conditions in the Company's second quarter and July as well as the impact of an early Easter in 2013."

    All facts borne out by the times when the drop in attendance happened specifically

    Quote Originally Posted by AaroniusPolonius View Post
    As the orca showcases are the bread which the business is buttered upon, this bill would be a disaster for SeaWorld. If I were an investor in SeaWorld (I'm not; personal distaste for circus animal captivity,) I'd be really miffed that the company is spinning, masking their attendance decline with higher revenue via concession and merch sales, and focusing on that as a long term strategy. You can read it here. Anyone who has taken a basic college economics class knows that one can only push price elasticity so far before you have to address driving people into the store.
    Circus animal captivity? Absolutely ridiculous. Circuses exploit animals for entertainment purposes. There is no science, there isn't anything being done in the way of making people aware of the animals plight in the wild, nothing along those lines at all. SeaWorld has a product; it is education and awareness of our oceans etc. made fun. Again, I don't understand why that is so hard to grasp for people.

    I hardly see any spin to anything here, also. They accurately assessed when the drops in attendance occurred and the reasons why. They know what they are doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by AaroniusPolonius View Post
    I mean, Disney has been raked across the coals for MyMagic+, specifically designed to increase per guest revenue over guest satisfaction via rides and attractions. And yet, Disney has posted attendance increases each quarter of the past year while raising prices on admission and merch. More people going to the store. More money spend by each person inside the store. More total profit for the store. SeaWorld is at the top of a vicious cycle here: less people coming to the store; more spending per person by the people in the store; less people wanting to spend more so less attendance; discounts to get people in the store (Groupon); less revenue generated by the store but more popularity. And so on.
    I'm not sure about this, but I would suspect that while there is some crossover to be sure, I'm guessing that those who go to SeaWorld are a different crowd from those who attend Disney parks regularly. I'd love to have more information on the exact demographics involved. Interesting to say the least. They certainly are different kinds of parks, not counting AK.

    Quote Originally Posted by AaroniusPolonius View Post
    While I think that Blackfish has had some form of impact on the business, and I suspect that the film will continue to be shared and spread among friends, furthering the impact, at present, I think the film, for the most part, has preached to the choir. Which is to say that if you already found large, intelligent animals performing circus tricks in captivity distasteful, Blackfish reinforced your perception of distaste. But...those people were already NOT going to SeaWorld. SeaWorld's issue right now is why their overall attendance (which didn't include that cohort which would be predisposed to watch Blackfish,) is sliding, especially in a year where theme park attendance is thriving and growing.
    I suspect you are correct in saying that Blackfish had little to no impact on attendance and will continue to have little impact on it, at least for the immediate future. Sliding attendance in one year only isn't something to worry about and I believe that SeaWorld framed the slight slip in attendance accurately.

    Quote Originally Posted by AaroniusPolonius View Post
    To put this another way, this bill will appeal to those voters already disinclined to go to SeaWorld, empowered by Blackfish. SeaWorld needs to mos def fight its passage, but long term, their issue is less Blackfish and more declining public interest in their theme park offerings. Higher prices on plushies can only take them so far.
    I think there isn't much to worry about, in all honesty. Attendance is up so for for Q1 of this year. If this was a multi-year trend, then I believe there would be something to be concerned about.

  14. #29

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    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

    Quote Originally Posted by AaroniusPolonius View Post
    "In this world, people rarely care for that which they cannot see, touch and experience."

    I'd really like for this to stop being a point of debate unless there's quantifiable data to back this up. It's invalid opinion versus data-supported.
    When debating any subject you have to rely on your knowledge of things, as well as your knowledge of how people are as well. While I may not have quoted any empirical data on the subject, I know from experience that this tends to be true.

    Quote Originally Posted by AaroniusPolonius View Post
    I care about many things I can't see, touch and experience. I ain't never been to the stars and yet I still care about the space program. Plenty of folks care about a higher power that nobody in the history of mankind has been able to see, touch and experience. And in the reverse, there are plenty of people at intersections begging for food and money that we overlook and don't care about, despite being able to see, touch and experience their need and suffering.
    Now you're using less than empirical data, but I understand, it is to make a point. Unfortunately the point falls flat because people begging at intersections for money/food are rarely homeless or suffering. My local news station did a story on this very thing, investigating it pretty thoroughly. Most of the panhandlers have money and/or means; many of them are drug addicts, etc. And they get plenty of cash. They found that the average money made by panhandlers was between $60.00 and $300.00 a day. Also, our local police academy makes their cadets go out for one afternoon and beg at a street corner for experience in how these people operate (they give the money to charity). Their experiences also support this information. So, in fact, you have proved my point inadvertently. People DO care what they can see or touch and experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by AaroniusPolonius View Post
    I agree with you that the issue of animal captivity is more shades of gray that black and white (my line is drawn at circus acts and 'people rides.') And I suspect that Blackfish focuses attention on a small debate (orcas in captivity) versus the more important debate (humans destroying the planet and its habitats.) But the "touch equals care equals change" is anecdotal evidence, at best, and that's anything but evidence.
    I disagree based upon, again, personal experience. All the SeaWorld fans I know fell in love with wildlife, cetaceans, etc. from going to SeaWorld and again and again and again I see it inspire people to take action, to do positive things and make positive change. I've seen it over and over....from experiencing things for themselves at SeaWorld.

    Quote Originally Posted by AaroniusPolonius View Post
    What to see how amazing an orca is? Tune into the Discover Channel or Animal Planet! Totally non-touch solution. The issue is that people WANT to actually see, touch and experience orcas in easily accessed comfort. People care, but on their own terms, and via the expression of the idea that humans hold dominion over every other creature on the planet. They want the orcas to flip and dance to "Conga" before grabbing some BBQ and buying a cute Shamu T-Shirt (no doubt in XXXXL whale size; see America's waist.)
    Well, I think you are correct in some ways...people do want to have it easy to experience. That is the nature of the human animal, and if you know a way to change that, please let me know. It is unfortunate, but true, and it isn't likely to change anytime soon. But if Shamu inspires visitors to SeaWorld to get out and take action, make positive change, then it is worth it. I think your view is a bit cynical.

    Quote Originally Posted by AaroniusPolonius View Post
    And that's their choice and currently entirely available to them. But that sight, that touch, that experience isn't leading to massive behavioral changes leading to habitat preservation and ecological renewal. Liking animals based on exposure to said animals at a zoo or marine display industry facility ain't stopping widespread ecological exploitation of the habitats around the world. We're still frakking, and shale mining, and deep-see drilling, and mountaintop removal mining and so on and so forth.
    I hear from people all the time who tell me how inspired their visit to SeaWorld made them. How it inspired them to change locally, and think on a more global scale. So my experience does not mirror your opinion at all.

    Yes, we are still exploiting the oceans and the planet, but this won't stop until we reach people. If you have a better way to make people on a massive scale aware of these things, we are all waiting to hear it.

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    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

    Don't thiink they'll get the bill passed. If they did, the dolphins would likely be next on their hit list, followed by all the other animals at the park....and the the San Diego Zoo and it's wildlife park. Legislators like this I feel are out to make a name for themselves by banning everything they can that builds an up close and personal appreaciation by adults and children of nature and it's beautiful wildlife.
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