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If the Vancouver Aquarium is willing to leave marine mammals to die on beaches only because they are no longer allowed to put them on display and taught tricks in Stanley Park, one has to wonder about the real motivations of their leadership.
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As Bill S-203 winds its way through the Senate, let's show this cruel industry that using cetaceans for entertainment and profit is an abhorrent practice that Canadians no longer support. If passed, this bill would ban the import, export, display and captive breeding of cetaceans -- protections that these animals desperately need.
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The world's scientists vehemently condemn the captivity of whales, dolphins and porpoises, and it's time that we listened to them. Twenty marine mammal biologists from around the world recently signed a collective letter in support of the goals of Bill S-203, which would outlaw the practice of keeping these animals in captivity in Canada.
Unable to pinpoint a specific cause for the deaths of their last two remaining belugas, the Vancouver Aquarium was left to speculate. And speculate they did, deftly pointing their finger at the critics of whale captivity that have been an ever-present thorn in their side. Ask yourself: Are these the actions one expects from a world-class science-based conservation charity? Or are they the public relations tactics more typical of people with something to hide?
Some say that the selfie is the epitome of individual narcissism. The rise in selfie popularity seems to align with the trajectory of Western anthropocentrism, as both climb to a fevered pitch. Gone are the days when people were content to take photos where the landscape or other animals were the central features; now, humans are often centered in these shots, as though the scenes would be meaningless without a human face. The world increasingly exists as a mere backdrop for the comings and goings of Westernized humanity.
Flickr: Canadian Starhawk
It is an odd Vancouver tradition that each municipal election brings with it a debate over the fate of the whales and dolphins in Stanley Park. Recent history suggests this is because the Vancouver Aquarium is gaming the system.
The ethical dimension of confining elephants in zoos has generated a great deal of debate in Canada. Elephants are intelligent, sensitive creatures whose physical, psychological and emotional needs simply cannot be met in zoos. Releasing them to sanctuaries is the best way to express our compassion for animals.