Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Orca Project & Anne-Marie Van Dijk Team up for Highly Anticipated Book Launch Tour at Barnes & Noble's NYC Location

Supermodel Anne-Marie Van Dijk and The Orca Project's Co-Founder John Kielty are two of several celebrity guests who will be attending the July 17, 2012 book signing event at the Tribeca, Manhattan, Barnes and Noble for David Kirby's controversial non-fiction thriller called Death at SeaWorld

DK reminded, "There will be an after-party!" 

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Down the road, Anne-Marie wants to study inter-species communication between cetaceans and humans. She is helping to bring attention to David Kirby's book Death at SeaWorld 

Supermodel Anne-Marie Van Dijk has strong feelings regarding captivity, and is lending her presence at the book release to help spread the word about Death at SeaWorld.  Anne-Marie tells VOTO: 
It is time we wake up to the true nature of the orca:  Social, sentient and highly-intelligent; ill-suited to life in a concrete tank. Death at SeaWorld gives us an unprecedented look into the controversial subject of keeping orcas in captivity, exposing a dark reality in the process that can no longer be ignored. Having witnessed first hand the negative impact captivity can have on these magnificent animals, I can only praise and support David Kirby's work. -- A.M Van Dijk  

Of note, there is currently an active movement to ban "DASW" by SeaWorld supporters, including 3 online petitions that accuse David of profiting from former trainer Dawn Brancheau's tragic killing in 2010. Many captivity advocates are young people whose dream it is to become a killer whale trainer and are being lured in by stunning images of "Rocket Hops" and "Surf Rides."  Renowned killer whale expert, Dr. Ingrid Visser, added this blurb for the book's cover, and it is directed specifically at those young people:  

Death at SeaWorld will become one of the most pivotal books in the orca captivity debate for years to come, and may well be the catalyst we have all been waiting for towards seeing an end to this cruelty. At last, both sides of the story behind the events at SeaWorld are being told and the truth is finally getting out there. Every budding orca trainer should consider this the must-read book of their career.”

-- Dr. Ingrid N. Visser, Founder & Principal Scientist, Orca Research Trust

Based upon early reviews, this book will raise eyebrows about the practice of confining self-aware and free-ranging predators in small spaces, all for low pay and the possibility of injury or death. 

The killing also triggered an OSHA safety investigation regarding the practices at SeaWorld. In August of 2010 OSHA (The Occupational Safety & Health Administration) found SeaWorld guilty of "willful negligence," a decision that SeaWorld has aggressively contested in court. The case was investigated primarily by Ms. Lara A. Padgett, Safety and Health Compliance Officer of OSHA's Tampa office. Ms. Padgett declined comment for this article. 

Lara Padgett of OSHA
In the next couple of weeks Judge Ken S. Welsch will be ruling on Ms. Padgett's findings. He will either uphold the "willful" neglect, or reduce the citation. This decision, if upheld, will impact SeaWorld's plans to put trainers back into the water, as well as open the company up to potential civil litigation. It is unclear how such a precedent might impact the bottom line at other marine circuses such as the Miami SeaQuarium, which houses the lone killer whale Lolita, and Six Flags of California, which houses the lone killer whale Shouka. In the wild these females would spend their entire lives with family members.  

Many speculate that SeaWorld's large coffers may impact the ruling. We can all remember how BP was literally "in bed" with the Government's Minerals Management Service, the agency that was designed to regulate it. 

Also, SeaWorld is owned by the investment firm Blackstone.  Blackstone Group LP, is the world's largest alternative asset manager with current assets under management of about $190,000,000,000 (billion) US dollars. 

Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman made more than $220 million last year, not including stock options. His 20,000 sq ft / 35 bedroom New York home has more space than G Pool at Shamu Stadium where Tilikum has spent most of his life in captivity. "Tilly" has now killed 3 humans. 

From another special guest who will be attending the book release party: 
For nearly as long as cetaceans have been captured and placed on public display at locations such as SeaWorld, there has been a contingent of detractors who seek to enlighten the world as to the negative impacts on these highly social and sentient beings.

David Kirby's book looks at both sides of the debate. 
 As he has done in his previous works, he leads one down a path of one's own interpretation and conclusion. Through the eyes of renowned scientist Dr. Naomi Rose, David Kirby exposes the under-belly of today's marine mammal entertainment facilities and leaves one wondering if we, as humans, and as a species, have evolved beyond keeping such great animals in captivity for entertainment.
The conclusion is quite clear.
-- John Kielty, Co-Founder of The Orca Project

Jeff Ventre, Carol Ray, and Mark Simmons are seen in good times. Their stories and friendships are impacted and splintered by the intense debate on captivity after the death at SeaWorld. Read which side they end up on... 

David will be accompanied in New York by Dr. Naomi Rose, the book's real life protagonist who has been working on the welfare of captive marine mammals for almost 20 years. David tells Voice of the Orcas that...  
I am happy to report that Barnes and Noble Booksellers has offered their large Tribeca, Manhattan, store to host a reading and book signing on July 17, 2012, the publication date for Death at SeaWorld. This is really wonderful... we all agreed that Tribeca was best. The event starts at 6:00 p.m.  and hopefully can involve many of those people getting off work and going to and from Battery Park City, Wall Street, City Hall and Tribeca itself.

The models and supermodels who want to attend the after party, somewhere in a pub nearby (TBA) will love the Tribeca location  :) -- David Kirby, author of Death at SeaWorld

Although not related directly to the release of Death at SeaWorld, some remarkable comments were made regarding captivity at SeaWorld, just two days ago. They came from renowned animal activists Shane and Sia Barbi; known to most as the "Barbi Twins" and to Twitter Users as @Barbi_Twins. The sisters have a large conscientious following of pro-animal, pro-earth and pro-health activists... from all over the world. In responding to a surprising pro-captivity article at National Geographic, Shane and Sia said:

Shane & Sia Barbi had some thoughtful words for a "pro-cap" article at National Geographic this week.
VOTO recommends you check out the comments  HERE
"There has been an uproar to oppose marine life in captivity lately, like at a SeaWorld, because of all the unfortunate life threatening accidents at these marine parks, which eventually uncovered the unnatural and cruel environment for the animals in captivity. ALL wildlife deserve to live in their own natural habitat, and a zoo or marine aquarium is not even close to the environment that is natural for them. The exhibits are geared for human viewing, or an entertainment venue, which is counterproductive to studying wild animals in their natural environment. As we have witnessed in the news, wildlife in captivity eventually manifest unnatural, sometimes manic or destructive behavior in the captive animals, resulting in depression, injuries or even people getting harmed."
-- Shane & Sia Barbi 

Here are the confirmed book release events thus far for David Kirby's Death at SeaWorld. Other events will be held in Orlando, Miami and at Emory University, home of cetacean expert Dr Lori Marino. So stay tuned and please share this schedule with interested folks. Thanks!  

1) July 17, 2012 - NEW YORK CITY - Book Launch, 6-8 PM - Barnes and Noble Tribeca, NYC - After party to follow

2) July 21, 2012 - SAN JUAN ISLAND, WA - 5-7 PM - Presentation, book signing and panel discussion with Naomi Rose, HSUS, and three former SeaWorld orca trainers, Jeff Ventre, Carol Ray and Samantha Berg. Friday Harbor Inn, San Juan Island.

3) July 23, 2012 - SEATTLE - 7:30-10:00 PM - Presentation, book signing and panel discussion with Naomi Rose, HSUS, and three former SeaWorld orca trainers, Jeff Ventre, Carol Ray and Samantha Berg. Sponsored by The Orca Network and the American Cetacean Society, Pugett Sound Chapter. The Mountaineers, Seattle, WA

4) July 25, 2012 - SAN FRANCISCO - 7:00-9:00 PM - Presentation and book signing. Sponsored by Earth Island Institute, International Marine Mammal Project. The Hub, 901 Mission Street, Suite 105, San Francisco, CA

5) November 10, 2012 - SAN DIEGO - TBA - Presentation and book signing. American Cetacean Society 13th International Conference,
Whales & Humans: A Conflicted Relationship

INTERVIEW with DAVID REGARDING the Death at SeaWorld: 

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