I love that we live in a country where our opinions can be shared and celebrated. Public service announcements and protesters passionate behind their cause is normal in our society. This blog has opened the door for many friendships and opportunities to learn. I do not judge others for their opinions. While we might not agree I respect your point of view and expect that same level of respect from you when you visit my space. The common courtesy is sometimes overlooked when someone feels so passionately against my opinion. We might be moving in opposite directions but that certainly doesn’t mean we can forget about the basic rules. Having a public blog opens the door to scrutiny and I’m okay with that. But the line is drawn when you choose to publicly harass me, suggest I will die in hell, and tell me my daughter should be fed to angry whales. This is not okay. That being said, I need to stand up and express my own opinion clearly. I am not going to delete the comments and simply stop writing about something I believe in. I am a supporter of SeaWorld but that does not mean it is okay to attack me online with threats against my child. Not only is it absolutely absurd, it’s illegal.
I am a mom. I am a wife. I am educated. I am a teacher. I am an animal lover. I choose to support SeaWorld. I have been visiting SeaWorld for well over 25 years and certainly do not plan to stop. I have a child absolutely intrigued by animal science and the amazing learning opportunities we’ve experienced at SeaWorld have only further guided her to a potential career working with animals. Her quirky interest in bugs and love for sea lions has her asking to spend most days at SeaWorld.
Recently supporting SeaWorld has drawn negative attention to myself. That’s okay. I’m confident I am making the right decisions providing my daughter with experiences learning about animals. She is so respectful of their space and soaks up every fact she hears when we visit the park. She comes home talking about everything she learned begging to visit again. Having a five year old asking to go back to a park to ask questions to the passionate trainers caring for the animals makes me feel good.
Our visits to SeaWorld are not for entertainment purposes alone. I’m the first to admit we do enjoy watching the shows and the animals interact on stage but that is not the sole purpose of our visits. We spend significant time every visit learning from trainers and onsite staff. Sometimes we simply watch the turtles for the day. Other times my daughter wants to count sea stars. To our family SeaWorld is so much more than watching Shamu.
I need to address a few of the comments I’ve received for you to fully comprehend my level of support for SeaWorld.
“How much has SeaWorld paid you to share your opinion?”
Nothing. SeaWorld has never offered me monetary compensation for sharing my support for the parks and their research and educational endeavors. I have been invited to special media events and have graciously accepted the invitation in an effort to learn more about the parks. Educating myself has given me personal experiences to draw from when asked why I choose to support SeaWorld.
“Watch Blackfish and I bet you’ll feel differently.”
I have already seen Blackfish and my opinion of SeaWorld has not changed. I have grown up going to SeaWorld and my informed decisions are based on personal experiences and research, not by simply watching a film full of emotionally charged material.
I fully respect your opinion and hope you can respect mine. Please keep in mind this is a family friendly site and I will not tolerate harassment.