Imagine you were a kid in the 1960’s and someone told you that an astronaut, no, make that twelve astronauts would successfully walk on the moon between the years 1969 and 1972. While satellites, unmanned space probes and the international space station might seem like the norm today, keep in mind that the earliest computers were the size of household rooms!
Fast forward to 2017, and your teacher or professor tells you that science is on the verge of decoding the various languages communicated by dolphins and other whales. Great, you might say, but I don’t need a scientist to explain the look in a dolphin’s eyes when it’s unhappy, or afraid, or bored or all of the above.
You’d be right. No matter the facility, from the ‘SeaWorlds’ to the ‘Marinelands’ to “Aquarium X,Y or Z,’ the look is always the same. While the curvature of their jaws send the message that it’s all good, the eyes of captive dolphins tell an entirely different story.
A dolphin’s smile is nature’s greatest deception. It creates the illusion that they’re always happy.” ~ Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project
This spring break, we’re encouraging all students to say NO to the dolphin show. This includes swim-with programs, which sadly, are promoted relentlessly by the cruise ship industry. Many opportunities exist to experience these majestic, sentient mammals in their wild marine environments. From going on a licensed dolphin/whale watching boat to checking out the world’s first wild dolphin immersive virtual reality experience to becoming an advocate for causes such as dolphin welfare, the choices are plentiful.
Even if activism isn’t your thing, becoming knowledgeable about something leads to better decision-making. Your time is valuable, and so is your voice: choose cruelty-free activities this spring break and then tell a friend why you did!
Featured image: Wild bottlenose dolphins, Oxana Fedorova