This is a slideshow that I created for my senior seminar class. This slideshow reveals how PETA, a non-profit organization, used the Blackfish documentary to create controversy around orca whale captivity.
The Blackfish documentary focused on Tilikum, a killer
whale, who was involved in the death of three
The main idea behind the Blackfish documentary was
to draw attention to how the captivity of killer whales
can arouse danger towards those who train them.
On February 24, 2010, Dawn Brancheau, a trainer at
SeaWorld was killed while working with Tilikum
during a show.
The tragic and unexpected death of Brancheau resulted
in the activist group PETA, urging SeaWorld to stop
using the killer whales for entertainment purposes
Since its founding in 1980, PETA has campaigned regarding
the rights of animals around the world and has had a
history of targeting SeaWorld dating back to the year 1998.
Calves stay with their mothers for life, and being
separated or put into other groups of whales can lead
to behavioral issues
These issues are believed to be linked to bad behavior in
the whales, which can lead to aggression towards trainers
who work with the animals on a day-to-day basis.
Both activist and experts questioned if Brancheau’s
death was accidental or if it was a result of anger and
stress from being held captive
The main objective of PETA
throughout this campaign against
SeaWorld was to exhibit the lives
of orcas in captivity and the
reasons that it is inhuman for
them to be used for entertainment
PETA'S MAIN OBJECTIVE
The result from OSHA found that SeaWorld consciously put
their employees’ health and lives in danger.
Brancheau’s death also led to a federal probe, which was
alleged over unsafe working conditions.
SeaWorld ended interaction in the water with all of their
animals except for breeding and medical purposes.
This resulted in SeaWorld receiving a total of three safety
violation citations, which were $75,000.
Do you think that PETA had a successful campaign?
Why or why not?
What can be done to improve the lives of animals in
What impact do you think Blackfish has had on
SeaWorld and its public perception?
Does the human cost in injury, trauma, and death
make the case against captive orcas more
important to you?