I choose to support SeaWorld

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.

Let me tell you why I choose to support SeaWorld

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.

43 thoughts on “I choose to support SeaWorld”

  1. I admire you for your bravery, strength, and conviction. Wouldn’t the world be boring if we all felt the same way? Even though I feel differently than you do with the knowledge I have, I will always be open to hearing another side and hope others will be, too. Keep up the wonderful work as a blogger and–most importantly–a mommy.

    Oh, and people who have awful things to say like that only do so because they don’t have the brains or couth to formulate anything intelligent.

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  2. Love this. Your daughter is lucky to have someone so invested in allowing her to explore her passion for animals (even if that includes BUGS)! 🙂 I applaud you for sharing your stories even if you’re not falling into popular opinion. You’re a beautiful example of genuine blogging and living.

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  3. I applaud you for standing up for what you believe in AND for doing so in a way that is respectful. It’s disgusting that some stoop to harassing others to try to get their point across. And, sad that other bloggers even feel the need to accuse you of feeling the way you do because of a free trip.

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  4. I certainly appreciate your brilliant penning communication and teaching skills. I respect and applaud your daughter’s desire and determination of learning sea mammal life. I’ve come to realize over the years, whilst my son’s desire to also learn oceanic mammal life, that seaworld and the like, crudely ‘crate’ mammals during captivity ‘down time’. I am strongly against inhumane crating of mammals, kenneling and chaining of animals as well as corporations ‘testing’ products on animals. I welcome opinions from all sides, and look forward to reading and learning from your blog. Thank you.

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    • Have you been to Sea World? They do not ‘crate’ the animals, as you put it. I encourage you to visit the park and see with your own eyes what the animals do in their ‘down time’. They sure as heck are not crated or chained. The animals days are full of lots of training (with positive reinforcement – lots of love, fish, and treats) which helps keep them fit and healthy, as well as entertained. They are free to swim about. They also get plenty of rest time and play time to play with each other, with toys placed in their homes, and with their trainers.

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  5. I’m glad you are able to express your opinion without fear of blacklash. People that say things and threaten are downright rude. I support SeaWorld, and chose NOT to watch Blackfish because I didn’t need to watch a biased documentary. I have done my own research and wish that others would as well. Unfortunately, too many of my family and friends only watched Blackfish and didn’t do any of their own research and all I hear is “I will never go there, take my child there, etc”. Honestly, my daughter LOVES SeaWorld. She has some of her favorite memories from there and to be honest, because of that reason alone, we won’t stop going.

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    • I encourage you to watch the movie. I love Sea World and was concerned it would taint my image of them. After watching the movie I still love and support Sea World.

      Sea World saved Tilly! .

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  6. Thank You for standing up for what you believe in! Thank you for educating yourself by doing research and experiences! Thank you for not believing in one film! Thank You! I support SeaWorld as well. Please continue to say what you believe I wish people would do what you have done and do research and not take the words of one. There is scientific evidence out there to support SeaWorld and captive animals. Th hogwash the people hear is that exactly hogwash, baloney, lies, NON scientific, no evidence, and just looniness. THANK YOU!

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  7. I also suport Sea World. They have done more for animal rescue and conservation than ANYONE on the planet. I will not let the opinions of a few misinformed individuals ruin Sea World for everyone. They are spreading lies and hate. I congratulate you for taking a stand and supporting Sea World!

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  8. We as a family also support Sea World and ALL the things they do. I grew up going to Sea World and it truly sparked my love for the ocean. My family now shares this passion with me and we visit Sea World every chance we get. My children have attended many of their day camps and my teen daughter now attends their resident and career camps. She has met so many of the trainers and people who work with the animals that she really understands the passion they have for their jobs. My daughter wants to follow this path and dedicate her life to working with marine mammals. She is now following a very rigorous science based curriculum in high school so she can make this a reality! If you learn about something, you care about it, if you care about it, you will protect it! Sea World continues to create that spark in our children who are the future ambassadors of our oceans!

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  9. Very well written. I’ve seen other bloggers that have come out in support of Sea World get harassed as well. Several past and present Sea World employees have come forward and pointed out the numerous factual errors and some flat out fibs in the movie “Blackfish”. That movie was designed to make people get angry. If you ask me, they tried to exploit the wonderful Dawn Brancheau for their own purpose. People that harass others on line for their views and think they are actual animal experts by clicking “like” from their computers are not really activists.
    Our family too has been going to Sea World for 25 plus years, both in Ohio and Orlando, and have gotten so much from our visits. We will continue to support them. My personal opinion is that whales should no longer be taken out of the ocean at all. I think we can all agree after that after 50 years of human caretaking, it might be best for them to be left in peace at sea. However, the ones that remain under human care get the best from Sea World that can be given, and returning them to a sea pen is not only cost prohibitive, but would lead to an untimely and early death for those young whales.

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  10. I agree. the whale shows are not the sole purpose of seaworld. I myself have grown up visiting the park for the last 15 year’s. although I do not agree with some things, I would never want too see the park close. I stand with seaworld.

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  11. thank you for taking your time to Stand up, Step up and Speak up. Anti-captivity groups use intimidation to make us go away, to make us shut up. Thank you for standing up for what you believe in. FWIW, I have been a long time supporter of Sea world, as well as zoos, wild animal parks, and other venues that display and educate.While I do not believe that Sea World is ‘perfect’, they are doing a fine job. I like to task the anti’s with this comment:

    when you come to the table with a PROBLEM, you must also bring with you 3 solutions. Usually they just go away, and bother someone else.

    good work!!!

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  12. Even if I believed every accusation spouted in a propaganda film passed off as “documentary”, I would not want to ever see Sea World closed. Do people not know how much WILD animals benefit from what is learned in captivity? When someone sees a beached seal or whale, who do they always call? SEA WORLD! How many of the animals in the parks are there because they were RESCUED from injury or certain death in the wild? Who will take up this expensive and unappreciated role if Sea World is put out of business?

    Could things be improved? Probably. But if Sea World is boycotted to the point it is closed, what happens to the orcas then? How about endangered sea otters? Just throw them back in the ocean and hope for the best? Monterey Bay Aquarium can’t take all of them. Sea World in Florida is heavily involved in manatee conservation. What happens to manatees if there is no Sea World-funded research, rescue, and rehab?

    Would people still pay admission without the Shamu Show? I would, but I live near San Diego. I always buy an annual pass. I have bought passes for children and grandchildren over the years. We skip the shows more than we watch them. And because seating times are always so limited, the Shamu Show is the one we skip the most. But I imagine tourists who pay one-time would probably not come at all without the big Shamu Show. I think that’s sad. There is so much more to Sea World.

    Is there no other solution now? Has it truly come down to all or nothing? I really hope the problems can be solved some better way than putting Sea World out of business. There is precious little money spent on marine biology as it is. Without Sea World, you can bet wild ocean animals everywhere will pay the price.

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  13. I have a daughter who like your daughter was fascinated by bugs of all shapes and sizes, even down to “looking after” a couple of snails in her bedroom. She is now 25 and is a well rounded and caring human being. She is an RN in the UK. We visit Seaworld and are lucky to be able to go a couple of times a year. Like you we are eager to learn and find out for ourselves. We have both been subject to the abuse you talk about and yes it is disgusting. I can only feel sadness for those people who choose, after watching a film, have become so educated that they inform my daughter that she should not have children as she is mentally retarded for supporting Seaworld. Both her and I are passionate about Seaworld and take part in the Dream Big 5K every year(Dawn’s Run). We both watched Blackfish and in the main all we saw was the total exploitation of Dawn. It was to us both insulting to her memory and so full of falsehoods and yet at the same time very believable and persuasive to the audience. Thank you for sharing your blog with us. I wish you well and safe from all negative comments.

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  14. I want to say thank you for you for saying just how you feel so many people wont. So many people choose to fallow what other people say. I love sea world. Always have always will. I did try to watch Black Fish and it started to make me cry so i never finished it. I don’t believe a word that movie says and it sucks how so many people can sit there and say well if the movie says it is true then it must be. my question for them is how do you know what really goes on at sea world behind the sens? Yes a few trainers have died cause of the whales it is very sad but the whales are only doing what comes natural when they are for what ever reason spooked in a bad mood or what ever. so why people need to make such a fuss over something that has been taken care of by sea world. any ways that is my opinion

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  15. Thank you for continuing to stand up and support SeaWorld. In my opinion, while I do feel the animals do need larger tanks, SeaWorld does a great job of educating the public and bringing attention to the environment in a way that other organizations don’t. Plus their hands on research allows them to help the injured animals that get rescued across the world so they can be released back to the wild. I too am a mom of kids who want to work at SeaWorld and for that reason alone I will continue to take them. I’ve seen Blackfish and talked to former trainers and have educated myself on the subject and still stand by SeaWorld. It really busts my bubble when people tell me that they can’t understand how I can still support SeaWorld when I’ve seen Blackfish and gotten so involved in the debate – it’s simple, I have chosen to do more research and educate myself on the subject and have decided that I still stand with SeaWorld. Thank you for being so open and putting up with the negative people – keep doing what you’re doing.

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  16. I definitely had my heart strings pulled while watching Blackfish. I know their agenda was to make Seaworld look bad, but I cant help but feeling bad for the fish. Im not saying that seaworld needs to close down but there are plenty of facts in the movie, like why their dorsal fin is bent over and the high level of attachment that killer whales posses to their pods. I dont think seaworld activtly takes whales out of the wild, but they still will take babies away from their moms and sell them, or move them for profit. I know that zoos do these things too. I know wwe learn from these animals in captivity. But that doesnt mean it still doesnt feel 100% right. I plan on making adventures to show my kids these animals, and other animals in the wild.

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    • You have expressed my feelings about this matter so well I’ve got nothing more to add except I would love to see a “counter Blackfish” documentary, point by point since I’m sure there are always 2 sides to a story.

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    • Makani, Kalina and Nakai Are all still with their mom at sea world San Diego. Sea World has said that now that artificial insemination is so successful they will not need to move orcas.

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  17. Very well done! I also support SW in all that they do. It is a wonderful place i have enjoyed much of my time at. My entire life has been spent with days at s\Sea World. I dont remember a time when i didnt go at least 3 times a year and now that i live in Florida i am there even more over the last 15 years i have been at least 1 a month.I did watch Blackfish however i was under the impression it was a documentary about tilly and how is life has progressed. I never expected what i saw. It broke my heart that someone would publicly just say those things. I adore all the whales equally of course however tilly just hold something special inside him. Actually Trua has it to. I dont know what it is but its something.I have actually started a Facebook page to support sea world. I would love it if you guys would like my page and actaully spread the word as well. Like i said i am at SW at least once a month so theres always updated pictures and other info releated to SW some fun and some serious. As well as questions the trainers have been asked and answered in the public as well as on my own ( example being when tilly was sick a few months ago we always were there and wanted an update which they happily prvoded). So please help eachother that do support SW like pages, sign petitions, keep our voice out there so that we can stop laws that have no basis from being passed!!! https://www.facebook.com/seawrorldsupport

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  18. I have experienced the same negativity. Like you I am a mother and teacher and YES I’ve seen Blackfish. However, when I saw Blackfish it caused me to actually research the facts. I didn’t stop wanting to learn when the credits rolled and I didn’t assume everything I heard was accurate. What I found was that this was a propaganda film and that “facts” had been incredibly misleading. I learned that Sea World hasn’t taken a Killer Whale from the wild in over 35 years, that they have rescued more than 20,000 animals, and that they are the true animal advocates. If you are anti-capitivity then Sea World is not for you. Nor is the zoo. Or an aquarium. But, the benefits of Sea World far outweigh the criticism.
    My son is 5. He can tell you more about Killer Whales than I can. Where they live, what they eat, the parts of their anatomy, their social pod interactions… you name it, the kid can tell you. He can also tell you why he doesn’t litter and picks up trash on the beach. He can tell you how many different types of dolphins there are and which sharks are currently endangered. He cries when he hears of dolphins being killed in other countries. He can tell you, at 5, what we can do to help. For Halloween this year I was sure he would want to be Iron Man. He begged for a Shamu costume. He sits in the viewing area at Sea World and just… watches. He watches, mesmerized and connected in a way that can only come from a place like Sea World.
    I stand with Sea World and the truth.

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  19. I do disagree with you about sea world but I respect and admire you for standing up for what you believe in. I am ashamed in those anti captivity advocates who threaten people , I know that they are passionate about what they believe in but that is no excuse to abuse people! I watched blackfish but I did do a lot of research afterwards on both sea world and anti captivity websites and papers as well as just scientific information about wild orcas and that lead me to the conclusion that killer whales in captivity should be phased out . However I think that sea world does some amazing conservation and rescue and release programs and I don’t want to shut the whole operation down. However I feel like it is not just the anti captivity advocates that abuse people I have seen some pretty horrible comments from sea world supporters to anti captivity supporters as well .But Evan though I have come to this conclusion and strongly believe in it, no matter how different it may be from yours, I still think you sound like a great person!!!

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  20. In your article you noted, “I have grown up going to SeaWorld and my informed decisions are based on personal experiences and research,” but you never really touched up on any research or anything. Would you mind posting any research you may have found?

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    • While there are certainly two sides to the argument, I would never be disrespectful about presenting my opinion or that of others. You obviously care about your child’s education and I think it’s wonderful you are giving her this learning opportunity! With that I could go on endless about the good SeaWorld does for education and conservation. Please share the link to your post so I can read about the awesome experience.

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  21. Let the ignorant hipocrites be as they are. We should simply hope that butthurt conspiracy theories about SeaWorld will remain in history as a past controversy that faded out.

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  22. I am also a strong supporter of SeaWorld. I have done my own research extensively and while I have not watched Blackfish, I feel that it is not necessary for me to do so. I have read many articles and seen many videos supporting both sides of this long-standing argument and have chosen my side. Like you, I find myself the center of personal attacks. I’ve been told that I support animal abuse, that I should go to hell, and called things I will not repeat given their inappropriate, offensive nature. I have chosen to stand with SeaWorld, and I applaud you for doing this as well.

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