Dear U.S. Travel Association,
I am a travel blogger & a travel lover. I am writing this to ask you to reconsider holding your IPW party on 6/1 at Sea World.
Not long ago I watched Blackfish and the Cove. These two movies opened my eyes to the fact that all entertainment is not ethical and it also opened my eyes to the enormous responsibility people in the travel industry have to not support or recommend travel experiences that in any way diminish the lives of people or animals.
It is my belief that Sea World does both of these things and by holding your event there you are supporting the continuation of their cruelty. I can point to legal cases against them for discrimination and fines for pollution of Mission Bay as two things that stand out for me, but what is even closer to my heart is the continued breeding of Orcas for lives of captivity and how acceptance of practices that treat animals as our playthings create situations like what is happening in Taiji, Japan.
For one second think of an Orca. What words come to mind? Majestic? Wild? Amazing? Free? Or do you see them as Sea World would want us to? Caged? Dominated? Angry? Drugged?
To me they are awe inspiring. Orcas are highly intelligent animals that form life long family bonds. In captivity they are often separated from their children and they are forced to breed unnaturally often. In the wild they can dive over 1,000 feet down, Sea Worlds deepest tank is only 40 feet deep. In the wild they have never killed a person. In captivity Orcas have attacked humans many times and sadly have killed a number of people.
We do not know what we take away from them when we take away their oceans. We do not know the harm we do to all of us when we show them a lack of basic kindness.
I believe that this issue is one about all of humanity. It is about how we choose to treat one another and how we teach our children to respect what is wild and to honor the freedom of others.We are creating a legacy, don’t we want it to be one we are proud of?
US Travel’s support of Sea World is supporting unnecessary cruelty, lives lost to glass cages, an absolute lack of respect for nature and a failure for the human race. What people will witness when they attend your party is creatures who show more compassion to us then we show to them. It is educational but not in the way Sea World claims it to be. It educates us about human greed and the lengths we will go to for money.
It is a place that is not even close to celebratory. It is a place that should inspire great sadness. The travel industry has got to start taking a stand against businesses that profit off of the misery of others. We should educate people, offer alternatives, be a force for good. We must look past the profit and the pride, see our failings and look forward to a future where no one is allowed to suffer for our entertainment.
I hope that something I have said today touches you in some way. That you might reconsider holding your party at Sea World and instead become a voice for the voiceless Orcas and countless dolphins around the world that spend their lives in unnatural environments. We pay our money and watch them for a short moment, but we must remember, unlike us, they do not have the privilege to leave, that long after we have left, they are still there, swimming in circles perhaps dreaming of the sound of waves. We do not know what we take when we steal their oceans from them.
Thank you for your consideration.