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In 1996, environmental author Daniel Quinn, in describing man’s gradual harming of the planet, wrote:
If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to clamber out. But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and turn the heat on low, it will float there quite placidly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, exactly like one of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will unresistingly allow itself to be boiled to death.
The parable of the boiling frog is hundreds of years old. Numerous experiments have been done over the years to determine if it is true. Some scientists found they could do it, while others claimed the frog would always jump out of the water. It became clear that the most relevant factor was the speed at which the water was heated. When the water was heated extremely slowly, the frog could be unwittingly boiled alive.
A quirk of our particular moment is that much of our aspirational residential architecture, like the forthcoming tallest resident上海龙凤419推油按摩ial building in the world, Nordstorm Tower, looks like it was pulled directly from a superhero movie. This tower looks like architecture from the near future because we have been shown that this is the way buildings are supposed to look in the near future — which is why buildings in the near future will look like this.
Is SeaWorld fun? Many of us, especially those of us who grew up on the West Coast, have formative memories of seeing the whales at SeaWorld. The animals leap and twirl to aahs and oohs from the audience. People are splashed by the massive waves; families watch the trainers hold out fish for the whales to jump for; and generally, the company conveys a vision of happy, beautiful and immense mammals cohabiting entertainingly with what seem like their human protectors.
This bucolic scene could not be further from the truth. While anti-orca exploitation has been around for some years, it has generally been seen as a fringe movement. In fact there’s a Portlandia segment making gentle fun of orca enthusiasts who seek to set them free. But more and more awareness is breaking into the mainstream: that lovely, leaping orca is actually being held in downright abusive conditions.
Indeed, orca confinement, even at such well-branded locations as SeaWorld, is abusive in the extreme. To start with, orcas are under threat: the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the entity that determines an animal’s conservation status, warns that we need more study of orca vulnerability; our own government is now concerned enough about the status of the orcas in the Salish Sea near Washington State’s San Juan Islands that it has listed that population as endangered.
Seeing these animals in the wild is unforgettable. Ms. Wolf watched the orcas swim when she visited the San Juan Islands; Ms. Anderson also remembers them in the wild with appreciation. While her family could never afford to go to Sea World, or to similar Marine parks, she was raised to respect nature and watched orcas at play from the beach near her home. It was not until she did a Baywatch episode at Sea World that she saw the prison camps in which these magnificent creatures were kept. “It broke my heart,” she recounts.
Imprisoning orcas in this way leads them to actually live shorter lives: Orcas forced to live in captivity live less than half as long as do orcas left in the wild. In addition to killing orcas at a younger age, captivity is rife with unnatural experiences that damage them in many ways: for example, these animals typically swim up to 100 miles a day in the wild, but in captivity they can only float listlessly or swim in circles, denied meaningful enrichment or any semblance of natural movement. This lack of proper exercise causes the animals’ bodies to become deformed; indeed this inactivity collapses their dorsal fins.
In addition, orcas in captivity often break and grind down their teeth by chomping on the steel gates and concrete sides of their tanks to attempt to cope with their stress.
In fact, the anxiety that afflicts these whales is so high that SeaWorld’s own records actually show that they drug their orcas with diazepam, the generic name for Valium. Obviously, any animal that needs anxiety medication in order to behave “normally” in captivity should not be held captive in the first place.
All of this stress adds up, and has caused some of the whales in captivity to lash out. Several people around the world have been either killed or seriously injured by orcas held captive for performance purposes. The documentary Blackfish highlights the story of a whale named Tilikum, who killed a trainer during his captivity in Canada, at a park called Sealand. This was before Tilikum was purchased by SeaWorld. Unsurprisingly but tragically, the whale killed two more people subsequent上海419网