Since it is Father's Day, I send out my love and thanks to Tilikum, a father of many though he did not have the right to choose.
For the past 31 years after he was ripped from his family, Tilikum has lived in a small concrete pool performing for our entertainment. Regardless of any possible benefit anyone could think of, we have hurt this poor soul. He is not a monster like many describe him to be, only someone who has been hurt time and time again.
If you were forced to live in a bathtub your whole life, you would grow frustrated too, no?
Perhaps cetaceans were placed in captivity for a reason - maybe we had to learn by imprisoning them that they shouldn't be imprisoned, that there was something we needed to learn.
Our species continues to miss something (you'll have to find what out for yourself) throughout the pages of its history. The beautiful thing is people are finally starting to get it. Slowly but surely change is happening. Look how many waves have crashed to shore recently.
The two biggest waves, interestingly enough, both originate from Iceland...Keiko and Tilikum have impacted this world and have brought forth so much change, taught us love, respect, freedom, hope. Many of us, including me, would not be involved without one or both of them.
My heart aches thinking how much suffering both of them have had to endure, such needless pain. Why does it always take a sacrifice for us to find heaven? The answer is there, right underneath our noses, but we miss it until we see somebody in pain. I don't understand mankind sometimes.
The beautiful and remarkable thing that speaks volumes about what we need to learn is that Tilikum's frustration has turned into a wave of positive change, of love. There have been those who have heard his calls, and those who are so caught up in being right, in the past, that they ignore them.
Sadly Tilikum cannot be returned completely...his teeth are worn down, so he wouldn't be able to hunt in the wild. But SeaWorld owes it to him and their other prisoners to end the captive breeding program, phase out cetacean captivity, and build sea pens for the last captive population to live in their ONLY true habitat - the ocean - if they cannot be returned to their families.
It is time for our species to progress, to learn, to move on from the countless forms of slavery. It's 2014 for Christ's sake! Change is a part of life and it should not be feared. And it is happening as we speak. So you can either get along for the ride or be swept away.
P.S. To those of you who think that since the world is going down the drain right now because of pollution and climate change, shouldn't we be trying to stop that instead of keeping a species our prisoner in the midst of our fear?
Whether we are pro or anti cap, there is one thing we can hopefully all agree on (I know this is ridiculous): We all love cetaceans, the oceans, and want to help the planet. That mutual passion should guide our actions, not our hate for each other or the need to be right. Such silliness will get nothing done for our goal. To bring about change we need to work together, not divide each other more.
And I conclude this post with my usual WAKE THE **** UP!!!
Much love to Tilikum and all other beings who have been kidnapped, imprisoned, or murdered. Their suffering has not gone in vain and the waves of change will continue to pound the shores.