The terrible news that yet another Orca has died at SeaWorld is heartbreaking. Have people seen the movie “Black Fish”? The fact that we continue to keep these beautiful creatures captive and force them to perform for our pleasure is beyond shameful. I struggle to know where to draw the line on animals in captivity and have an uneasy feeling when I have visited local visitor attractions. I mean polar bears in Doncaster doesn’t seem at all right to me. To see any wild creature in a cage is hard but in certain animals the suffering is far more apparent – bears, whales, big cats and so on, their vacant expressions and pacing is evidence enough of their suffering. Other animals don’t appear unhappy, quite the opposite, but how can we know for sure their mental state? I have friends who are adamant it is cruel to ride horses and keep pets, let alone to visit a zoo. Part of me agrees with them (and it’s a big part) I too, feel it is fundamentally wrong, but then part of me wants to believe animals can form a bond with us and are happy in our company and as long as they are provided with plenty of space and natural habitat then conservation projects can be useful and allow species to thrive.
I digress… back to the whales! I was lucky enough to see humpback whales a few times in the wild in Australia in Nelson Bay and it was truly a magical experience. This short video (above) is of an amazing audio-visual performance that was part of Leeds’ Light Night celebrations. It’s a super emotive and inspiring sound and light show from back in 2015 called “Whale Song” that was projected onto the River Aire. It was so atmospheric and beautiful with the whales appearing to jump out of the river with huge splashes and haunting whale calls. It inspired me to capture the feeling in words in a poem, which I will post when complete.
I also recall singing “Ocean World” at school which was a beautiful musical score about the creatures of the ocean and the need to conserve and protect our oceans, narrated by David Attenborough. I think I was probably ten years old at the time, it really touched me. One of the songs “Cousin Dolphin” is heartbreaking. It’s a beautiful dialogue between a dolphin and a mother whale. “Long ago I lost my hope for the sea, these days I see such change, my world grows evermore strange as I journey across the sea”. “I believe my calf brings hope to the sea”. “Keep your little one clear of the nets”. Here’s a video below of the music sung by two school girls in Blackburn who sounds so pure and sweet. Our planet is over 70% water and with global warming and climate change accelerating the protection and conservation of marine life has never been so critical.