Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Nonfiction Tuesday - Death at Seaworld

From the New York Times bestselling author of Evidence of Harm and Animal Factory—a groundbreaking scientific thriller that exposes the dark side of SeaWorld, America’s most beloved marine mammal park. Death at SeaWorld centers on the battle with the multimillion-dollar marine park industry over the controversial and even lethal ramifications of keeping killer whales in captivity. Following the story of marine biologist and animal advocate at the Humane Society of the US, Naomi Rose, Kirby tells the gripping story of the two-decade fight against PR-savvy SeaWorld, which came to a head with the tragic death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. Kirby puts that horrific animal-on-human attack in context. Brancheau’s death was the most publicized among several brutal attacks that have occurred at Sea World and other marine mammal theme parks. Death at SeaWorld introduces real people taking part in this debate, from former trainers turned animal rights activists to the men and women that champion SeaWorld and the captivity of whales. In section two the orcas act out. And as the story progresses and orca attacks on trainers become increasingly violent, the warnings of Naomi Rose and other scientists fall on deaf ears, only to be realized with the death of Dawn Brancheau. Finally he covers the media backlash, the eyewitnesses who come forward to challenge SeaWorld’s glossy image, and the groundbreaking OSHA case thatchallenges the very idea of keeping killer whales in captivity and may spell the end of having trainers in the water with the ocean’s top predators.-book summary

I just picked up my pre-ordered copy of Death at SeaWorld by David Kirby and left it on the coffee table for five minutes.
I come back and this is what I encountered - a cetacean town meeting?!-JW
 #1 Readers Poll Choice for Summer Books
– Wall Street Journal Online

“Journalist Kirby offers another passionate industry exposé … the narrative goes into high gear with its concluding confrontation.”
— Publisher’s Weekly

Honestly, this all strikes me as insane, that mere entertainment requires this level of precaution to prevent someone from getting killed.
Interview with David Kerby discussing the OSHA trial

Alex: After writing your book do you think it’s acceptable to keep Orca’s in captivity?
David Kirby: I have no problem, even as journalist, saying that after examining the evidence very carefully and very objectively, because I did not approach this as any kind of anti-captivity person, I just don’t see how you can come to any other conclusions. I just want people to ask themselves if they were a brilliant, large communicative animal, who has life long bonds to their family, who travel 100 miles a day in their natural range, were playful and more like us than most people realize, to be locked up in a small confinement, whether they were captured or whether they were born there, justification for that practice, in my mind, is no longer possible.-end killer whale captivity

This is definitely a real eye-opener about the aggressions of these whales held in captivity.

Not until the captive marine mammal industry began to display orcas did we improve our understanding of their nature. The public display industry should be credited for changing our attitude toward killer whales from contempt to admiration and even affection.
David Kirby’s Death at SeaWorld.

To everyone who is calling for Death At SeaWorld to be boycotted:
1. Your boycott attempts will do nothing. Kirby is a renowned author who has received many awards for his previous books.
2. The book isn’t even about Dawn Brancheau. Sure, it mentions the incident that resulted in her untimely death, however, the book is about SeaWorld and its practice of exploiting cetaceans.
Honestly guys. You can play victim if you want, but if you’re not actually going to read the book yourselves, and therefore build your argument based on having absolutely NO knowledge of what’s in the book, then prepare to make yourselves look a little bit ridiculous.
As for me, I look forward to when it comes out and exposes the lies that SeaWorld has perpetrated.-freedom for orcas

“Killer whales, like chimpanzees, are highly intelligent and intensely social creatures, forming close emotional bonds between family and group members. I have watched them leap in the freedom of the
ocean and feel deeply saddened and angered to see them in cruel captivity, swimming endlessly and hopelessly around their sterile concrete prisons. As David Kirby so eloquently documents in this timely work, killer whale captivity only benefits the captors. It is impossible to read “Death at SeaWorld “ and come to any other conclusion.”

Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE
Founder – the Jane Goodall Institute
UN Messenger of Peace



Cafe Fashionista said...

This sounds like such an incredible book - I am definitely checking it out ASAP! I have been an animal advocate for years. :)

Chris Ed said...

I definitely want to read this book!
The images are adorable:D

ellie said...

This book is a real eye-opener.

MOSAMUSE said...

wow.. this seems like it will be great. you are really great at reviews!!


Holise E Cleveland III said...

Great post! Thanks for spreading the word on this incredible book. Please don't stop. If you can get another copy or two, may I suggest you donate them to your local libraries.

Check out the hashtag #DASW on Twitter. Former trainers are spreading the word.