#65 – A Step in the Right Direction

STOP swimming with dolphins

Today, we took a step in the right direction. In the past couple of years, I’ve become increasingly concerned with welfare – i.e. the welfare of the planet & the environment as well as the welfare of animals and humans.

I really don’t like or support the destruction and exploitation of the planet, of humans and animals for the sole purpose of making money. Take animals, for example. I’m not a fan of animals being held in captivity so that they can be exploited for “fun” and for profits. This goes for animals in zoos, in marine parks…and even wild animals being kept as pets.

I understand that some animals like cats & dogs have been domesticated and kept as pets for hundreds of years, but I honestly don’t understand that either.

We humans have this weird and sick necessity to control everything – for money, power, fame, and just because we can. Why do we even keep dogs as pets, only to be kept inside our homes and walked on a leash to the rules that we force upon them. I don’t have any pets and I really don’t get it.

It’s no secret that my company has (for many years) been part of an industry that supports animal abuse. But today, we took a step in the right direction. Today, we stopped selling the so-called “swimming with dolphins” excursions (yeah!). It’s been a long time coming, ever since I watched the horrible documentary THE COVE a few years ago. I honestly don’t remember when I watched it, but I do remember that it was awful – and awfully eye opening.

To tell you the truth…I’ve done it. I’ve tried swimming with dolphins once about 3-4 years ago and (at the time) it was an incredible experience.

I loved it. I’d never tried anything like it. The dolphins are so soft and incredibly powerful. On the excursion, I kissed the dolphin, I danced with it and I touched its belly. The dolphin jumped over me and pulled me across a very short distance in the water – twice. I felt its incredible power, strength and ability to accelerate. Just me and the 11 other people who were there in the same pool with the 2 dolphins. This was in a dolphin park, which has pools in the ocean. I used to tell (kid) myself and others that it was okay, because they were in the ocean (in their natural habitat) as opposed to in an inland swimming pool.

Boy, was I stupid.

Boy, was I naive and clueless.

And that’s the thing, really…most people are like that because they just don’t know or they just don’t think about it.

But please do think about it. Think about the fact that dolphins are wild animals that are supposed to roam the entire ocean. They’re not supposed to live, to perform tricks and have people touch them in small, closed pools. It’s just not natural. It’s humans controlling animals for pure profit. And what a profit!

The excursion, that I did, sells for US$ 149 per person and if you want to buy photos it’s another (minimum) US$ 80! I don’t know exactly how many people they run through the park daily (it also depends on the season), but I’d guess they can take maybe 200+ people daily – at maximum capacity.

One thing is what we did in the past. Another thing is what we’ve learned and will be doing in the future. Swimming with dolphins, selling the excursion or recommending it will not be one of them. I’ve learned my lesson, for sure, and I’m just happy that the response has been positive from my team.

Money isn’t everything in this life…not if it comes at the expense and welfare of others.

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