In a recent article at Psychology Today, scientific writer, biologist, and mother, Rachel Clark referred to David Kirby's book Death at SeaWorld as a "Bellwether." Wikipedia defines a bellwether as:
Any entity in a given arena that serves to create or influence trends or to presage future happenings. The term is derived from the Middle English, bellewether, and refers to the practice of placing a bell around the neck of a... ram (a wether) leading his flock of sheep. The movements of the flock could be noted by hearing the bell before the flock was in sight.
In Rachel's words:
"I knew when I read Death at SeaWorld last summer that this book was about much more than killer whales. It was about our society, how it’s structured, and the systems we have in place that allow, and even encourage, brutalization of animals, people and the Earth…legal and corporate systems that continue to foster climate change and other instances of severe deterioration of our natural systems.
What I didn’t know, then, was that Death at SeaWorld was a bellwether, one of the first in this particular upheaval (see also Blood in the Water in Outside Magazine by journalist and Blackfish co-producer, Tim Zimmermann). Now, Blackfish is further advancing this powerful shift to a societal awakening, and to incontrovertible demands for justice."
Due in part to the success of Gabriela Cowperthwaite's film Blackfish, and also to the broadening demographic of informed citizens, Death at SeaWorld is getting into the hands, and minds, of more and more people. And that's a good thing for all small cetaceans, wild & captive.
Below, see what other readers are now saying about Death at SeaWorld, at "Goodreads." There is also a video featuring Dr. Naomi Rose, called, "The Real SeaWorld" and a video of the Southern Resident orcas. Lastly, a live Twitter feed has been embedded here that tracks the hashtag
I never knew I had an opinion on whale captivity. I was horrified at the death of the trainer at Sea World and believed it's just common sense not to hang out with killer whales. After watching the movie Blackfish recently, I was struck by the seemingly deep emotions experienced by the whales when they were captured, both by the pod members still at Sea and those taken away. I needed to know more. I know more now but this is a decidedly one sided picture as Sea World did not participate. Kirby p...more
One of the best books I have read. Everyone should pick up this book because its such an eye opener. It is very well written and interesting enough that you won't want to but it down. Prior to reading this book the documentary The Cove had put me off ever visiting Seaworld and/or other marine parks. After read this I will whole-heartily encourage others not to step foot in any Seaworld parks until they stop the shows and return eligible whales back to the sea. I remember when I was little I want...more
I read Death at Sea World knowing I would leave haunted and wanting to do more than read. he thought even passed my mind, "How much better the world might be without our grand ideas." I had little idea how the "70 cents of every dollar" that each Shamu makes for Sea World -- they're all named that, since most die or become unmanageable so quickly -- drives the decision-making and the frequently successful lobbying efforts of Sea World. I've become an advocate of gradually letting each re-learn t...more
I was actually really skeptical about this book when I first got it. It looked interesting but I thought it would be really dry. It starts off with basic orca biology and goes through the history of orca captures, early captivity and current captivity. The author interviewed the scientist in charge of marine mammal captivity at HSUS and former trainers. It definitely has an anti captivity bias but I think it comes at it from the correct angle. The incident with Dawn B was actually a very small p...more
"The Real Sea World"
'Death at Seaworld' is a fascinating and meticulously researched work that centres upon the death of a killer whale trainer at the U.S. theme park in 2010. However the work also takes on the entire history of the captivity of these whales, as well as research undertaken in the wild.
What you get to read may be argued as one-sided as it argues strictly against the captivity of killer whales, but with the evidence presented, there is no other conclusion that could be reached. It does essentially co...more
Just read it. Death at Seaworld deals with a subject I am very passionate about: whales and dolphins in captivity. Primarily orcas in this book. I've been against captive whales and dolphins for a lob time, an this book has just fuelled my passionate dislike about corporations such as Seaworld.
I could rant and rage about how they make these beautiful intelligent animals perform cheap circus tricks in order for their food, and how captivity is seriously detrimental to whales health: both physica...more
"Voice of the Orcas"