Blackfish

Blackfish
2.33 (46.67%) 3 votes

Michael Moore couldn’t have done a better one-sided smear piece if he tried.

Dawn Brancheau 2008

Swift shot: If you have ever owned a pet, gone to the zoo, or even to a fair where they have pony rides for your kids, according to Blackfish . . . you are a horrible person. Oh, and if you have ever had a ham sandwich, eaten a steak or any other mammal, you are equally as horrible, but they don’t dare go there. No, they lead off with the capture of baby Orcas in the 1970s, ripping them from their mother’s pod as they screeched. According to some guy who has seen two wars or something, it was the most horrible thing he’s witnessed. Clearly, he hasn’t seen much of war. But, I digress, I come to bury Blackfish and its PETA-fueled director, Gabriela Cowperthweight. That is my agenda.

I have known one of the current (not FORMER) employees of Sea World since we were six years old; I consider him a brother from another mother. I flat out asked him when I heard about Dawn, “Dude, what the hell happened?” I can’t remember his exact words, but he made it known that these things are called killer whales for a reason (they are the top predator of the ocean), and maybe Tilikum just wanted to play and got carried away. Tilikum is known to be quite possessive of his toys. Ultimately though, I do remember him saying you can’t anthropomorphize Tilikum, because he can’t give you a reason – he can’t tell us what happened.

He was told flat out the first day he worked at “Believe” – you don’t go into the water with Tilikum, because you might not come out. That is just part of the job.

You see, Tilikum is this mammal that can’t quite seem to grasp the concept of death, to him, Dawn was just a toy. Or, we could hypothesize the opposite and say that Tilikum is a serial killer . . . whale. Or we could draw the conclusion that he only killed, because he was a captive animal – sooner or later they are going to snap. Or we could draw the conclusion that he was just really pissed off that day at Dawn, because she didn’t give him enough fish. Do I need to hold up a sarcasm sign?

The point is, these are killer creatures, predators. I will give the director credit for showing the footage of the seal being expertly stalked by a group of lethal Orcas. Oh, wait, do you see what I just did there? I distinguished a group of them as lethal, that’s kinda what the film tries to do too. It is Tilikum’s demon seed that (because he was raised in captivity) has spread across theme-parks worldwide. Thing is, you can’t distinguish one group as lethal and another as docile – in the wild they all gotta eat, right? So, which is it, is it nature or nurture? Is it his genetic pool (sue me, I like puns) or his upbringing? Guess what, folks? I have a degree in psychology, and that debate has still not been settled for humans! Guess what else, folks? Whales are mammals, just like us, so if we can’t settle the debate for humans, how can we settle it for whales that have a “language” we can’t understand?

Since the film’s previews all use the horrific capture footage to get you to watch the film, let’s just say it like it is. Sea LAND, which no longer exists, captured Tilikum, not Sea World. An ommitted fact from the film is something called the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, which prohibits collecting whales. Also, while Sea World’s previous owners (in the 70s, prior to the law forbidding it) collected other whales, the park has gone through three other owners since then. This law is in force across the country.

But, to punctuate the facts, when Sea LAND closed, releasing, captivity raised, Tilikum into the wild would have been a death sentence. Sea World is world-renowned for their compassionate programs to protect animals exactly like Tilikum – since my friend and I have been alive, at least.

That is why they use Tilikum’s seed to breed them in captivity, so they don’t separate mothers from their kids in the wild anymore. They agree with the law. So, spare me your attacks on Sea World. For one, my friend spent his whole life loving just about every animal on land, air, or sea – and now he gets to interact with them on a daily basis. He gets paid for doing what he loves, and some PETA-smear piece is going to put him out of work, because he loves working with animals? Well, I don’t think so! I am not letting you go after my friend’s livelihood without a fight. I too am a mammal that spent years in captivity.

Dawn lived doing what she loved. Dawn died doing what she loved. We should all be so lucky, and if I ever get the call that my friend dies at Sea World, so be it. I’ll be beyond devastated, but I will know that he died doing something he believed in . . . just like when I was in the Marines, folks. If I died when I was in, my family would have been devastated, but I would have died doing something I believed in. All the film-makers are looking to do is capitalize on Dawn’s death, they don’t believe in what she stood for.

The footage from Mark Simmons was when I finally saw what the director was doing. She selectively edited his pieces, interwoven with others before, and after, to look like it was Mark saying that captive animals will always turn out bad, when in fact that is the exact opposite of what he said . . . if you pay attention, that is. I’m not watching it again to suss out all the other lies and manipulations.

In the end, all you have here is a one-sided, agenda-fueled exploitation piece smearing a good company, a good person, and an industry that isn’t quite as evil as they would have you Believe.

So, if you have ANY outrage over Blackfish, and just “can’t believe what humans can do” – fine, don’t eat meat, don’t own a pet, don’t go to a zoo, don’t attend a fair, and put a porpoise on your next ballot . . . otherwise, you are a hypocrite. And, of course, that is exactly what PETA wants! Oh, and the film’s main expert is actually named Duffus – that should be a clue to take this film for exactly what it is, a fiction-fueled sham.

~@rickswift 

 

 

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89 Responses to Blackfish

  1. AnneZ January 12, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

    Good Review! I have not read through all the comments, but from experience I imagine you have captured negative flack from a few BF cult members. I am more than certain they are telling you how horribly wrong you are, the movie was pure fact, you cannot argue that these amazingly intelligent creatures are are so much more than domesticated pets, they are special and no cetaceans should ever be held as a slave for entertainment…..yadda, yadda, yadda! Some how, in this technical age of ours, some think regurgitating false information, somehow makes it true. How easily people forget the history of the Orca, how the animal was seen, perceived and treated back in the days of the wild captures. They forget how little we knew about the species, and how little the average Joe cared! Bottom line, SeaWorld is an amazing place, that has always attracted criticism from the Multimillion dollar Animals Rights industry! Each wave of arm chair activists create the same response. While they take to their keyboards to harass and defame, SeaWorld continues the real work of conservation! While their donations funds more naked add campaigns, SeaWorld contributions save animals, rebuild habitats and educate millions as to the amazing marine life contained in our oceans. This too shall pass (until the next wave) and the best news of all, is that SeaWorld will still be here, stronger than ever, doing more work than most to actually benefit the animals in their care, as well as in the wild! In the mean time, great review! And let your friend know, that he makes a difference, and is an inspiration to many!

  2. Beth January 12, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

    I love your article. Human in captivity? Never thought of it like that. I hope PETA really makes a movie out of that so the haters can hate themselves and stop hating on SeaWorld.

  3. RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    Just found this site too: http://www.legalrollercoaster.com/2013/11/blackfi… Some interesting facts!

  4. nhi January 12, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

    I respect this article's opinion, but I was very moved by blackfish. As a kid growing up, I visited Sea World many times. Growing up, I was a huge animal lover. Before Blackfish even aired, I began doing my own research about animals in captivity and I completely agree mammals like Orcas should not be in captive.Even though the argument here was that they are natural predators and that's why Dawn died, though I believe I agree partially but I also agree with the argument in the movie that orcas aren't just some mindless killing creatures as this article suggests. Orcas are extremely smart and adaptive and maybe even smarter than humans. They are also capable of love and loyalty ( shown between the pods of whales) that even some humans can't express to each other, is why I don't agree orcas should be stuck in some tiny tank.

    This article suggests that BlackFish was attacking sea world trainers like the author's friend that had worked there. On the contrary, black fish revealed how passionate the Sea World trainers were to their animals, but more so shed the light on how big corporations have tarnished what Sea World's ideals should be. The Sea World trainers have yes loved their jobs and the animals (I don't know how a person of that profession cannot be), but it doesn't change the fact that corporate Sea World gives a damn about their trainers or animals.

    The movie has nothing to do with some nut job PETA organization. I think this article has gone a little off fetched with "if you like blackfish then you must be a vegan or you're a hypocrite". BlackFish wasn't intended to come off with that message, but to begin the debate whether or not whales should be in captive. It's not bunch of mindless fish that you can keep in a tank, but a full thinking, full feeling mammal that can think in love being TRAPPED in a tank, where in the wild they swim hundreds of miles a day.

    The other argument is in this article that whales are just some sort of mindless predators? then fine, let's go with that argument. Orcas are huge and are capable of killing, so we need to stop treating them like some "pet" we can keep in our backyard pool, and swim with them whenever we like. They should be in the ocean, like nature intended

    • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

      What about gorillas?

    • Kate Szponder January 13, 2014 at 3:12 am #

      Not rocket science – animals born in captivity do not possess the needed traits to survive in the wild. Sad, but true. I have been studying Cetaceans since 1975, for my own personal interests, and they are fascinating animals. It is sad how part of the process began (orcas); however, the good job of saving stranded marine mammals and re-introducing those that can survive to the wild is admirable. Providing education with the marine animals (and birds and other animals) is commendable as well. If everything were perfect in our world, it would be nice. I don't see that happening in my lifetime, being the older side of 60. The cast majority of SeaWorld employees care very much and are very committed. There are always a few who don't meet the admirable traits, but they are few. I am fortunate to personally know enough people @ Seaworld to know this for a fact. Blackfish tripped over it's own feet.

    • Rebecca January 14, 2014 at 12:58 am #

      If Blackfish's intent was to start a debate, it would have attempted to show both sides. It instead manipulated or left out any interview with an opposing point of view. If your position is that we should go back in time in a time machine and not capture Orcas from the ocean, than I agree. However, seeing that they already live in captivity and that there are successful breeding programs that keep them there, I am curious what you think we should do with those animals? Let them go in the wild (a death sentence) like the film suggests? I think this film was made sensationalize a tragedy in order to gain fame and maybe even an award nomination. It is full of contradictions, manipulation, and flat out lies. By the way, I agree that Orcas are smarter than some (maybe even most!) humans… but the animals at Sea World also live better lives than most humans. This film is insulting to marine mammal trainers, and to a company that goes out of its way to take incredible care of its animals, actively participates in rescue and rehibilitation of injured animals, and donates millions of dollars to conservation.

  5. scott January 12, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    hey who ever made this thread GOOD ON YOU YOUR SPEAKING THE TRUTH DONT LISTEN TO THESE BLOWHARDS! SCREW OFF HATERS!

  6. Heather January 12, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    Your article makes sense, because the lady that wrote the stupid black fish, has know Idea what she talking bout only from what she heard, ugh it pisses me off because my dad works at sea world and they, donate so much money a year to keep those whales from being in danger that also includes the wild ones, also. And they help the whales they don't do anything to harm them, I won't watch that film because that lady needs to get her facts straight before she writes a movie on it.

  7. Holly January 12, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    First of all no one blames the trainers. They r amazing and know the risks they take with wild animals no matter now imprinted they r. I did not get anything from the film that said sealand and seaworld were one. And no seaworld doesn't catch orcas in the wild anymore the film
    Also stated that as well. Captivity changes you. Work in a jail. See it. One yard same people year after year. It leads to frustration which leads to aggression. Any good animal trainer will agree to the basics of that. Seaworld does amazing things for animals however. When I heard that dawn had been killed and they blamed her for her ponytail.. I thought. How corporate of seaworld to cover their ass from a civil lawsuit from the family. Really seaworld is that the best u got. Now I not a whale and I have no idea why he attacked her , playing anger whatever. But u have admit that such a long captivity might have had something to do with it. Why did they take the calf from its mother. The public has never heard a direct answer. Also with a land mammal u can build a better enclosure move to a different facility or even go to an open preserve but when u r the best on the world with marine mammals and your animals r showing signs of frustration from captivity what do you do when the BE stops working ? Oh and my uncle is a former pow in Vietnam. He told me rather to die free than in captivity at someone else's whims. Even If it lasts only one day. Oh and we all know PETA sucks. But seaworld is no angel either. Curb your anger you will come off better

    • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

      Holly, you make a good point, Sea World is a business. A lot of my anger comes with people attacking what my friend does. He is not "Sea World" he is one of the trainers, so it's really him that I am trying to protect. But, you are right, I definitely could tone it down a bit.

  8. Holly January 12, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    Test. Trying to see if this works before I type

    • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

      Yepp, I have to moderate ALL the comments, to weed out spam, it worked

  9. Sydney January 12, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    god people are idiots. I work for sea world, there is no abuse. I love your article and believe it whole heartedly. And before any of you jump to conclusions, no I did not get "paid" to write this.

    • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

      Thanks, Sydney – we know you all love these animals, plenty of us are still supporting you. Keep up the good work!

  10. Kendall January 12, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    I have seen animals that are truly abused and it is not at SeaWorld. Did you know that two of the past trainers in the film have already come forward to say the director lied to them, lied in the film, and manipulated the facts? Did you know two of the trainers were fired for protocol violations? One put his head in a whales mouth… Hmmmm! I worked for Busch Gardens for 15 years with land mammals, SeaWorlds sister park. The milions that SeaWorld parks and entertainment pays millions and millions to help animals in the wild. The "wild" is not such a pretty place anymore, if there is much left at all! WHY? Because of us, humans. The care and devotion that trainers, animals care specialists, and zookeepers is second to non. It is a dedication and passion that goes beyond facebook and jumping on a band wagon!!! Thank you Rick for this article and for your friend and all the thousands of employees who show up rain or shine, holidays and weekends to make sure these amazing animals get the love and care they need. Grow up, go make a real difference in the lives of abused animals if you really care so much. Donate money, donate time, donate love but please boycotting and complaining about something you don't know won't change a life!!!

    • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

      Kendall, your reply . . . . is why I wrote this review. Thank you!

      • Kate Szponder January 13, 2014 at 3:25 am #

        Something not mentioned – these trainers care for these animals during hurricanes when the park is closed. They step up to the plate. I have no dount the same is true for zoos as well

  11. Dawn January 12, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    I understand, as most do, that they no longer take these animals out of the wild (thank you, Marine Mammal Protection Act). We saw the devastation of the pod & especially mama when the baby was taken. My query is, do they not separated little ones from their mamas in captivity? Does that cause the both of them the same undue stress (& seeming heartbreak) as in the wild? What is the difference and/or is that something that is just looked past? Also, saying that bc a documentary speaks out about captive Orcas, I'm not exactly sure they'd think having a pet cat or dog is comparative. Certainly you can see that. That said, I don't go to zoos…as much as I love animals & learning about them, I find it heartbreaking to see elephants, tigers , etc in their enclosures. I understand research is often done that leads to protection, understanding & sometimes a rebuilding of some species, it's just going there & watching is not for me personally.

    • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

      Dawn, thank you for your comment. You stick to your convictions, and yes, I too get a melancholy when I take my kid to the zoo. It seems wrong, yet, I know that most of the zoos do so much for the causes for animals world-wide, and going to the zoo is how a lot of us learn about animals as kids. It is a tricky balance, to be sure.

  12. Sea World Supporter January 12, 2014 at 8:57 am #

    Thank you for this article. I am not on the bandwagon of hating Sea World. I've been going there for many years and I even worked at one of the sister parks. What people don't get to see is that all of those animals at Sea World get treated better than people. If one sneezes there are 6 doctors there immediately checking. Thank you again for joining the fight to speak up over people's ignorance.

    • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

      Yes, my behind the scenes visit with my friend really amazed me at how attentive they were to the critters diet, sleep, etc. And, if one of the animals is under the weather, they don't perform. They love those little, and big, creatures.

  13. Jon January 12, 2014 at 5:34 am #

    While I understand that the trainers love the animals and would probably do anything for them, I don't think that justifies the keeping of those whales in captivity. They don't get nearly the exercise they should – in the wild, they swim up to 100 miles per day. You can't even pretend to tell me that they get to do that in captivity. Their tank, to them, is the size of a bathtub.

    Have I been to SeaWorld? Yes, I live about 20 minutes away from the Orlando park where Dawn was killed. Did I think it was neat to see the animals? Sure. But it is kind of sad, in a way. Of course we can't release them into the wild because it would be a disaster, but it kind of sucks that it had to be that way for them. It's like if I never let my dog outside to go run and play his entire life. He might be happy where he's at – of course I'd love him and feed him and everything- but he'd never know what it felt like to stretch his legs and run.

    Ignorance isn't an excuse, really. Just because the whales don't know what the wild is like, doesn't mean it's okay to keep 'em in that tiny tank. We may love 'em, but our entertainment shouldn't come at their expense like that. But it will never change, so we might as well go to Sea World and enjoy them while we can. I don't doubt SeaWorld has good intentions, but I think this is a case of good initiative, bad judgement. But that's just my opinion, and I respect yours as well.

    • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

      Jon, well said, and the trainer who was tricked to be in the film and later opted out said the same thing. She has Sea World developing a kind of treadmill in the pools. It isn't "the wild" but at least it's a gesture. She mentioned that Sea World was getting crap for doing that too, btw.

    • Ellespot January 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

      the only option for those whales other than where they are is euthanasia. So who is playing god here? Without the entertainment factor those whales would die of boredom and lack of physical exercise. Why not go have a little protest over the marine facilities in China which provide horrific existence for their animals and are in fact the facilities which fuel the Taiji slaughters, not seaworld. This is all about helping animal rights groups regain the creditability they continue to lose everyday in the media due to years of lies and propaganda designed to fill their lawyers pockets so as to lobby the militant vegan agenda.

  14. Honey Bunny January 12, 2014 at 2:14 am #

    So you were a Marine? That explains your lack of concern for another living creature. Didn't I see a video of some dickhead Marines tossing an Iraqi dog off a cliff? Or was it an Afghani dog? Probably makes no difference to you, I expect. And if you assume that I haven't worn the uniform of our nation, hence my venom, you'd be dead wrong. Going on seventeen years and counting… I'm embarrassed that you made the gigantic leap between keeping whales in captivity and eating meat. The former is for entertainment; the latter is due to our place in the food chain. And stop lying about your "SeaWorld friend"…it's fairly obvious that you don't actually leave your mom's basement and your only friend is your keyboard.

    • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

      Hey Honey Bunny – go pound sand! Your comment almost didn't make it past my moderation, because I don't allow attack comments, period. But, you skirted on the edge of an out and out attack. Fact is, I was making the comparison of both jobs being deadly. And, no, you would be wrong about me and my friend. I bet you wouldn't say anything about the Corps to my face. I only wish you would have the guts to post your real name/FB here so I could share your "You were a Marine, that explains your lack of concern for another living creature" comment here with YOUR friends. It would be interesting to see what your CO would have to say about that.

      • Honey Bunny January 12, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

        Hey, genius. I am the CO. Your limited brain assumed that I was enlisted. Joke's on you, I'm afraid. So if you want to address me put a "ma'am" in front of it and I assure you…I would most certainly say all this to your face. I'll attack The Corps all I want. No service is perfect and immune from criticism. Get over yourself. You still didn't address your flawed logic about connecting eating meat and capturing whales. Moderate here all you want…my email address gets sent with all these comments. Come get some, bro. As for facebook, I'm not a troll in my mom's basement so I really don't spend a substantial amount of time on there worrying like you obviously do about what other people might think of me.

        • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

          Uhm, yes I did. I said selective outrage is what irks me about the knee-jerk reaction to this mockumentary. It's phase one of a larger campaign to make people feel bad for their place in the natural pecking order. Hence, next phase is how can you eat them, if you are concerned about animals in captivity etc?

          And, yea, you actually did attack the Corps, and I would expect better of a 17 year veteran commander of troops. Your email address looks pretty fake to me, but ok, I will share it with my Marine Corps brothers and sisters. As for respecting your request to call you Ma'am, you will get respect when you give it. You don't deserve it, lady. And, of course you aren't on FB, you'd be charged under the UCMJ for failure to control yourself, eventually – no discipline.

        • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

          Here's your email address: iautjfcl@gmail.com – still think it's fake, but since you are so bold to insult the Corps . . . enjoy all the love.

          • John January 13, 2014 at 5:38 am #

            I'm afraid that her e-mail address if fake to. I'd really hate to spend (waste) my time e-mailing somebody who probably doesn't exist in real life, (troll) at a non-existent e-mail address. Taking that into consideration, it is my sincere hope that the moderation of this website doesn't remove this post. To whomever Honey Bunney is, on behalf of the entire Corps, minus herself of course, go fsk off and die. I pray on behalf of every taxpaying citizen, again minus her of course, that she isn't able to ride out the three remaining years to a potential retirement. I'm certain that, while she believes whole heartedly that they do, no single person over whom she exercises command has a single shred of respect for her. To whoever actually made the post under the name Honey Bunny, stop pretending to be a human being, much less a member of the Corps. Get a real life beyond your keyboard. [I am not a Marine, though I am a service member, and yes, I still have more respect for the average marine than I have for most other humans. They are in fact, awesome.]

          • RickSwift January 13, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

            I agree, no one in her alleged command has any respect for her – which is as it should be.

    • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

      And, to clarify, they kicked that piece of shit out of the Marine Corps. Anyone who would do that to a small, defenseless creature deserves more than what he got!

    • Lauren January 12, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

      Honey bunny, your an asshole. This is why your agenda's always crash and burn. If you come across more open minded and mature, it would be taken more seriously.

      • Honey Bunny January 12, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

        You can only resort to name-calling. Notice…I didn't swear one time because I have a firm grasp on the English language. And neither you or RickSwift bothered to address my points.

        • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

          It's neither . . . nor, Honey Bunny.

        • Stephanie January 13, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

          I'm pretty sure calling marines "dickheads" is a form of swearing and name-calling.

      • Honey Bunny January 12, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

        Lauren…take yourself back to elementary school. It's YOU'RE an asshole. Not YOUR. I'm sorry. Was that not mature of me to correct your stupidity? Ha.

        • Rabbit Season January 13, 2014 at 1:13 am #

          Between your incomplete sentences, comma splices, tense disagreement, semicolon misuse and capitalization (done for effect, I realize, yet still incorrect) errors, I hardly think you should be making linguistic critiques.

          As a research scientist though, I'm not an expert on grammar, I just had to stop and laugh at the hypocrisy after noticing a dozen errors in your responses.

          The thing that irks me is your improper logical syllogisms. Because some marine mistreated a dog once, RickSwift has "lack of concern for another living creature". I noticed you failed to announce which service was yours. Are you similarly worried that someone here might take a single isolated incident from your branch history and use it to tarnish your personal character? If so, don't worry; most of the other comments here have shown the intellect necessary not to infer guilt by distant associations. It frightens me that a (self-proclaimed, at least) CO attributes sins of one to an entire population.

          Incidentally, it is this same guilt by association and inference mentality that the filmmakers rely on. It may work on (and depend on the propagation by) the irrational population, but is transparent to those capable of reasoning and requiring factual support for an argument's premise.

        • Bmphillips January 13, 2014 at 3:20 am #

          When losing an argument, always attack their poor grammar. And an officer of any branch of the military would not degrade another branch on a public forum. It's quite apparent that you are new to the social media world so here are some tips 1)pick a screen name that doesn't sound like a L Team stripper on Saturday morning 2) use facts instead of biased opinions

        • Think January 13, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

          Excuse me, "Honey Bunny"? First…… Seriously? Before you go off on an uneducated rant get a name that doesn't make you sound like a rejected porn star with daddy issues. You need an orgasm or a hobby stat because you clearly like getting off on starting internet fights far too much. ANYWAY….. You're wrong. You. Are. Wrong. Should I spell it out for you?

          Do some research before you open up that ignorant shit-for-brains-filled mouth of yours.

    • Kate Szponder January 13, 2014 at 2:28 am #

      Excuse me, but you assumed wrong. I personally know RickSwift and his 'other brother', who decided when he was 12 that he wanted to work with marine mammals. Rick's leap is not gigantic, nor is he a dickhead or a person that would abuse any animal or human being. Neither is his friend who has cared for the marine mammals @ SeaWorld for 12+ years. You, however, are leaping pretty good.

      • RickSwift January 13, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

        It's encouraging that most of the negative comments are from people like this. When she attacked the Corps though, she needed to be exposed. I remember how involved you were with whales, well before my 'other brother' decided to work with them. Some boys are raised right!

    • Stephanie January 13, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

      What are you even talking about! So you saw one video of marines and a dog and you jump to the conclusion that all marines are inconsiderate assholes! What does that even have to do with seaworld and this article! As for eating meat, animals in the meat industry are treated much more inhumanely than any animals at seaworld!!!!

    • think January 13, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

      I say this with the best intentions….. you are an idiot.

  15. H-Man January 12, 2014 at 1:14 am #

    Been ruffling some feathers (or fins) with this one, eh Rick? Wonder if my Nebraska review will be this controversial.

    • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

      Heh, someone has to expose this crap for what it is, H-Man.

    • Kate Szponder January 13, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

      I liked your review of Nebraska! Can't wait to see it! And I think you're right, it will probably be one of Dern's best because he knows how to be an old guy for real. lol

  16. Laura January 12, 2014 at 12:58 am #

    Blackfish and one of its many purposes is to give people the facts about one animal institution that abuses animals. It's practically impossible for every single person to protest and get authoritative action to implement a plan to transition the release of ALL animals that are in captivity all at ONCE. AND there certainly is a huge difference between domestic dogs in a house and a huge ton whale in a concrete tank.

    • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

      I disagree, that's hypocrisy. Find a mammal that is not in the wild, they are in captivity, period. Pick on Sea World all you like, but that's just a convenient outlet. Go to a pet store today, and realize it is the world we live in.

    • Kate Szponder January 13, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

      We don't have to look far to see where society is encroaching on wild habitats by building homes – especially where they shouldn't – like where Mother Nature gives them a warning of fire and/or floods, saying BACK OFF. When we invade forests – where are those animals supposed to go?? [Tender flashback here of that great movie "Watership Down"] but I digress. "Get authoritative action to … release ALL animals that are in captivity all at ONCE" ????? Where?? It's already been pointed out the marine mammals born in captivity don't possess the skills to be released into the ocean and actually survive. To go a step further, if you release all the animals in zoos – where would they go? To the new Walmart to become part of the archived films of deers/bears that are forced to look for food in the encroaching towns and sometimes getting stuck inside by electronic doors? I get mad when I see so many empty homes, mall, strip centers that are unoccupied and falling apart, while new ones go up elsewhere where animals used to migrate. Clear out the old buildings and rebuild them. Take care of that and the situations of animals still out there. Where would you be putting ALL of these freed animals?? Really – where???

    • Rebecca January 14, 2014 at 12:33 am #

      Blackfish gives lies, outdated information, and purposely misleads. You, and many others are deceived if you think that you got "facts" or that Sea World abuses animals. It would be far more productive for you to focus your efforts on facilities that actually do mistreat animals, or to improving the life of animals in the wild than to attempt to "save" the animals at Sea World who live better than most humans. Do you really believe those animals would be better off dead than getting restaurant quality fish, 24 hour vet care, temperature, ph, and salt level regulated clean water, and a huge staff of people who genuinely love and dedicate their lives to them? That is the message of Blackfish and the people who support it.

  17. rachel January 12, 2014 at 12:51 am #

    this. was. awesome. all these trolls giving you shit can suck a fat one, because every point you made IS RIGHT ON THE NOSE. that "mockumentary" is a piece of crap.

    • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

      Thanks!

  18. Othmar January 12, 2014 at 12:24 am #

    "The fact of the matter is that Blackfish is undisputable." How do you know that Blackfish is indisputable? Have you personal experience? Have you worked at Sea World? Are you a marine biologist? "Indisputable" is only valued if you can corroborate what you have seen on Blackfish or heard about it with your own first hand experience or better professional knowledge. That indisputable fact.

    • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

      Exactly, that is why I asked my friend before writing this review. He really is like a brother to me. If someone attacks my brother, you bet I am gonna get in his corner.

  19. MySeaWorld January 11, 2014 at 11:52 pm #

    I do support SEA WORLD and the job they do every day! I did saw the movie …but it's clear that they just wanted to be making SW like a monster when it's not true..and followers from that movie Show! Guys grow up don't belive that mind Controlling movie. .wow REALLY how ignorant.. If u all are so into defending animals don't freaking eat meat or anything that breath perhaps! Don't visit any theme park that actually has animals on captivity. ..cause many do have animals. .don't buy at fast food OMG they served dead animals don't go to any restaurants oh more dead bodies. .lol people die every day and mainly caused by other mammals (HUMANS).. WHAT'S THE EXCUSE WHEN ONE KILLS ANOTHER PERSON THEN..OH MAYBE CAUSE HE OR SHE WAS IN CAPTIVITY! idiots. ..

    • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

      Thanks, that is what I was trying to convey – it's obviously a PETA-lite attack on the industry as a whole.

      • Rabbit Season January 13, 2014 at 1:20 am #

        Speaking of PeTA – have you seen this? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-j-winograd/p

        They have the gall to take a position of moral superiority and berate SeaWorld with this skeleton looming in their closet? ACTUAL (not inferred or unqualified) evidence showing that they kill 90% of dogs & cats in their care, then dumping them in trash dumpsters? Unbelievable.

  20. Amy January 11, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

    I really appreciate what you said. What upsets me the most is that some of these people have never even been to SeaWorld and they are basing their opinions solely on the film. I have personally been to camp at SeaWorld so I have been behind the scenes. I known that all the trainers truly love the animals. Also, almost all the animals currently at SeaWorld parks were born in captivity which means they don't posses the skills needed to survive in the wild. Once again, thank you!
    -SeaWorld supporter

    • RickSwift January 11, 2014 at 11:16 pm #

      Thanks, Amy – glad to know my voice isn't standing alone. I love animals too, and I have been behind the scenes with my friend, and I know how much he cares for these animals.

    • scott January 12, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

      same here amy they jumped on the blacktard train without ever being to seaworld ive been there more times then u can count and every time i was there the trainers even after the shows loved on the whales fed them the trainers really do love those whales

  21. @susanmoc73 January 11, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

    I couldn't read your whole article but I made it through the first three paragraphs before the dark background with white font literally makes everything blurry. You should fix this if you wrote this article with any intention on anyone reading it.

    "If you have ever owned a pet, gone to the zoo, or even to a fair where they have pony rides for your kids, according to Blackfish . . . you are a horrible person. Oh, and if you have ever had a ham sandwich, eaten a steak or any other mammal, you are equally as horrible, but they don’t dare go there". —– You are right. They didn't go there with the doc so why would you make that up. The fact of the matter is that Blackfish is undisputable. It doesn't matter how you try to spin it.. Facts are Facts.

    *** HINT *** You should actually watch the documentary before commenting on it.

    • RickSwift January 11, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

      HINT – you should read the whole review, or buy some glasses. I watched the full mockumentary, and even paused it a few times to suss out the selective editing of Mark's clips.

    • ashley January 12, 2014 at 1:22 am #

      A lot of the clips they have are from back in the 80's not current. The director did piece together everything i the film by splicing information and putting it where they wanted it to go to make it look like it belonged. If you knew anything about filming you would see the truth.

    • Common Sense January 12, 2014 at 3:30 am #

      Facts are facts? How about the over 20,000 animals rehabilitated and released back into the wild by Sea Worlds Conservation Fund? Or that Dawn's family was denied a private viewing of the film? When asked, the Director mentioned that her family wouldn't like the film. It wouldn't be the fact that the two trainers who criticized her training in the film had safety violations as trainers and little to no experience with the whales? What about the trainer who stars in the film s an expert who redacted her support for the film for the dark direction it took? That same trainer who was asked to not speak out against the film until after award season? But right facts are facts.

    • Common Sense January 12, 2014 at 3:40 am #

      Facts are facts? How about the over 20,000 animals rehabilitated and released back into the wild by Sea Worlds Conservation Fund? Or that Dawn's family was denied a private viewing of the film? It wouldn't be the fact that the two trainers who criticized her training in the film had safety violations as trainers and little to no experience with the whales? What about the trainer who stars in the film s an expert who redacted her support for the film for the dark direction it took? That same trainer who was asked to not speak out against the film until after award season? But right, facts are facts. Bravo Rick Swift!

  22. Wayne January 11, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    I have to add something you and your friend support animsl abuse by supporting slaveworld. I also want to point out that I didn't mention any other animal or what people eat. I am against the abuse at seaworld and other marine animal prisons

    • RickSwift January 11, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

      Do you own a pet? What kind of prison do you run? Like the zoo? Another prison… READ the WHOLE review, please.

    • Rabbit Season January 13, 2014 at 1:39 am #

      I always have to laugh when supporters of the film use "slaveworld".

      I don't know any cases where human slaves who were critically injured received top-notch medical care to return them to health (no-they were shot or left to die).

      I don't know any cases where the above slaves who were able to be released with relative confidence that they would survive on their own, were then set free.

      I don't know any cases where human slaves who "didn't feel like performing" were allowed not to (they were given the whip)

      I don't know any cases where human slaves who were fed better than most of the non-slaves around them.

      I could go on, but really, these comparisons really seems rather racially insensitive and ignorant of what real slavery entailed.

  23. Wayne January 11, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    Roflmbo. Seriously I didn't even read all this garbage you wrote. First mistake I saw is about them being predators. Yes they hunt down and kill what they eat, but as far as attacking humans in the wild NO. I am saddened to think you have followers that might believe your garbage. Your friend still works there? Of course your friend won't speak against seaworld to protect their job. Hmmmm I wonder how much seaworld paid you for this?? I know you are deleting post that disagree with you, as I know others have posted but the post are gone. I see thus us a one sided sitr

    • RickSwift January 11, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

      Nope, I don't delete comments, you are entitled to your opinion too. I only delete comments from people that directly attack, trolls are more than welcome to spout their garbage.

    • RickSwift January 11, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

      Sea World didn't pay me a cent, and I haven't been there since 2008. So…. No, I'm just sick of knee-jerk reactionaries.

    • Lauren January 11, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

      On September 9, 1972,[9] a Californian surfer named Hans Kretschmer reported being bitten by a killer whale at Point Sur; most maintain that this remains the only fairly well-documented instance of a wild orca biting a human.[10][11] His wounds required 100 stitches.[11]

      In August 2005, while swimming in four feet of water in Helm Bay, near Ketchikan, Alaska, a 12-year-old boy named Ellis Miller was "bumped" in the shoulder by a 25-foot transient killer whale.[

      • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

        Thank you for sharing, Lauren. I know a personal family friend who was assaulted by a dolphin, these creatures are not all saints, like any other mammal, you wouldn't lump all humans or races into one category. Thanks for finding that there have been some encounters in the wild, I thought that sounded . . . fishy.

    • ashley January 12, 2014 at 1:12 am #

      Obviously YOU don't do your research and are a PETA supporter. The movie is completely ONE sided and a LOT of people agree. If the director wanted to accurately talk about Sea World then they shouldn't have used Dawns death. All trainers know what they do when they go into the field. To state she didn't and to blame Sea World for an Orca being an Orca is a shame because you dont understand the love or passion a person going into that field has.

      • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

        Concur

    • Danielle January 12, 2014 at 11:12 am #

      Lol this is one of the things that really made me laugh in the movie! Let me ask you something out of any of the times you've been to the ocean have you ever SEEN a killer whale? I sure haven't! I've seen plenty of dolphins who by the way are responsible for many aggressive human attacks but also many rescues as well. But the documentary was about whales so we don't care about any of that right? Without getting further off track my point is simply this,orcas travel very far and very deep in to the ocean where they really don't get a lot of opportunities to interact with people. The few that have been lucky enough to see them swimming in the ocean I'm sure weren't diving in the water to go swim with them so it's a little harder to tell what they'd be like vs in captivity if no ones been out there testing the theory. Oh and just as a little side note; it is said that dolphins,who are also a very intelligent aquatic mammal,are one of the few animals they've found to actually kill for something other than food. (Note that Orcas often play with their food and terrorize it before eating it just for fun.)

      • RickSwift January 12, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

        There is a scene in the film where they show a group of orcas doing exactly that, essentially torturing a seal before killing it. I gave the director credit for that.

  24. Teresa Wagner January 11, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

    @rickswift: Here are some facts you might want to check against the one person you've talked with:
    http://www.opsociety.org/PressReleases/SeaWorldOp

  25. general public January 10, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

    It's one sided because when you have all the facts, you understand they don't belong in captivity. I believe that Dawn loved the animals, no doubt. But it can't justify the unnatural lives the orcas have. They wouldn't stay in those tiny tanks if they had a choice.
    You seem to tear into the face that seaworld doesn't capture orcas, but you seem to be unaware that SW is trying desperately to import 18 wild caught belugas from a company that also just caught many wild orca. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-08-06/bu

    sw has appealed the decision, and if for some reason they succeed, i'd bet my life they would put in a permit for the orcas as well. They need fresh DNA. They have some with Morgan the wild capture whale who was supposed to be returned to her family.

    SW as a corporation sucks, and does nothing but make billions off cetaceans. meanwhile you pick on a film that trys to show people the truth on where the beginning of marine parks and their unnatural lives are, please. They aren't making anything close to what SW has made over 50 years.

    • RickSwift January 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

      Probably shouldn't put spam in your address, as I didn't see this comment. Anyway, all zoos and other animal performance parks procure their animals somehow. Unless you let all performing animals go into the wild, today, you are just picking on ONE park . . . and it isn't about making money, it's about calling something a documentary that is basically manipulated propaganda.

    • RickSwift January 11, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

      What pisses me off is all the people walking around saying "Slaveworld" or "How can you support Sea World?" when they haven't even seen the film. And that they have selected anger, because it is popular and easy to pick on Sea World, only an idiot like me would dare protect them.

    • Dani January 13, 2014 at 1:46 am #

      The Georgia aquarium should be catching a lot of gripe for what it does too. They have whale sharks in a tank! That is the largest FISH in the ocean. And they wanted these 18 whales.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Truth Behind Blackfish » Marine Mammal Trainer - January 14, 2014

    […]  IRateFilms: Author, Rick Swift, shares his insight on SeaWorld and Blackfish after speaking with trainers who currently work at SeaWorld. […]

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