A good friend of ours, Mara Silver, who is very active in support of our work to protect dolphins and end captivity, drafted up a opinion piece for her local newspaper about captivity. She kindly prepared a draft Letter to the Editor that can be used by anyone to send to their local newspaper for reprinting. Her draft is below.
Each of us contributes a lot to the effort for the dolphins and the whales. I’m pleased Mara has helped all of us communicate to our friends and neighbors. Feel free, of course, to personalize the letter in your own way.
You can find information from your local newspaper on how to submit letters to the editor either online or on the letters page. Your paper will have different length limits for letters to the editor.
Sample Letter to the Editor:
When your children ask to see dolphins anywhere that they are kept captive, such as SeaWorld or “swim with the dolphins” parks, think twice. There is a very dark side to these places. Dolphins are intelligent, social mammals that live in family groups and swim long distances in the wild. In theme parks they suffer from sensory deprivation, social isolation, and nutritional deficiencies and they die from captivity-induced diseases. They perform for food rewards and appear to be smiling because their faces are shaped that way. The methods by which they are acquired are also questionable. Worldwide, the largest source of dolphins for the entertainment industry is the infamous Japanese town of Taiji, where dolphins are treated with unspeakable brutality. Although the importation of wild dolphins is now illegal in the U.S., SeaWorld has taken no action against animal trafficking, and it continues to provide the entertainment and business models for this unscrupulous industry. These parks are based on cruel and unethical practices, and should not be supported. Children have open minds. Tell them it is cruel to keep dolphins captive, that they need to swim in the ocean, and, just like people, be with their families. Offer alternatives like watching one of many educational films showing dolphins in natural habitats or take them on a whale-watching trip—children love it! You are teaching them to respect wild animals and protect them, which is good for them, good for the dolphins, and good for the planet.
[Your name] [Your town]