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Alternatives to Marine Parks for Parents

September 6, 2010

I was talking with a friend a few weeks ago about a protest myself & partner were going to be attending at Six Flags Vallejo, California – home of Shouka, the orca. I had asked her if she wanted to come with us. Her response was “Well I buy season passes every year” and a bit of mumbling came after that. It was apparent to me a part of her wanted to support the release of the captive mammals, yet a part of her also uses this park to help supplement entertainment for her child during the summer months. I respected her confusion and dropped the matter.

As our conversation continued – a bit later my friend stated to me that she should explain to her daughter what was is occurring with captive marine mammals. I again could hear the lack of confidence in her voice. My friend is a very environmentally conscious individual, yet she was fooled into believing, just as the rest of us have been, that it was just fine for these mammals to be kept in captivity.

Over the years my friend  has taken her daughter to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom on a fairly regular basis. They have partaken in the participation of the dolphin & whale shows.

Now how is she going to explain to her daughter that what Shouka is being forced to do is unnatural and that it is even cruel to Shouka!

Teach them the complete opposite! Encourage your children to learn about animals in the wild.

Start making subtle changes, if you can not come right out and explain captivity to your children!

1. Simply start phasing out going to these theme parks. Find other alternatives for family outings. Instead of going to these theme parks choose more “educational”  facilities such as Marine Mammal rescue centers. They all over the United States, always in need of volunteers and they have education programs to offer children & adults.

Taking your family to a rehabilitation center offers more “educational” value than any theme park has to offer. The cost of a days trip to one of the rehabilitation centers will not empty your pocket books either!

2. Become a more proactive parent – sit down with a bowl of popcorn or a nice fruit snack and watch an educational program with your child. Today, more than any other time in history we have awesome educational programs at our grasp. The footage used in the shows will never be able to be replicated at a theme park.  The educational experience you and your child will take away from this time spent together will be ever lasting!

Not only will your child remember the information they learned during the movie, documentary etc., they will also remember the time they spent cuddling up to mom and dad.

Here is one of the best solutions to theme parks not having to keep marine mammals in captivity – IMAX 3D!

Imax 3D theaters implemented in theme parks COULD replace keeping Marine mammals in captivity who actually do not thrive in captivity. It is up to us to stop buying tickets & supporting these captive theme parks. Without the demand, there will be no supply.

These Imax shows offer some of the most stimulating, educational experiences we can have without actually being there. The up close footage, the clarity of the footage and how they have managed to pick up the sounds from underwater create the perfect learning experience.

3. Encourage yourself & your children to go out to nature to see animals.

Raising awareness towards Conservation Education also means encouraging individuals to go visit marshes, natural reserves, nature parks, beaches, whale watching etc. Being there allows you to be in the moment with Nature.  Being in Nature has proven health benefits for stress reduction, lowering high blood pressure etc.

Every time we have gone to a theme park it was stressful on us. It was hot with children over-stimulated, all sugared out running around screaming everywhere, the noise from all the rides was not serene, the crowds of people and talking blended all together. Not to mention the cost of parking and the admission price for us to get into the park. We did not spend any money on food & souvenirs, but I could not imagine what it costs a family to go to these parks and enjoy all the parks amenities.

During the protest at Six Flags Vallejo, Ca. we just participated in, I witness a man hand $900.00 to 1 teenager to be used for 6 teenagers admission and food for the day at the park. Dad was dropping them off. That is just craziness to me, when most of the profit is earned under the guise of “education”.

When you view animals in a theme park, the experience is an artificial experience.

Animals in the wild allow US to view them willingly, this is natural.  In the wild you will never see an animal forced to do anything they do not wish for human entertainment.

Generally for the most of us, if we see this type of living we begin to naturally build respect for nature & conservation. We see they have their jobs in the wild, just as we have our jobs in society. Each species plays an intricate role in nature, and one of these roles IS NOT to entertain us!

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