Rebuttal- Chippy (Updated)

SeaWorld Provides False Information

P.1 SeaWorld claims that their main mission is to educate their audience about marine life in a way they could never experience. One of their main target audiences is children. Many people think SeaWorld is a learning environment that allows schools to take educational tours of the park to learn all about marine life. Schools all across the country visit SeaWorld to provide their students with an interactive way of learning about different sea animals and the way that they live and interact. But is that really what they are being taught? Schools are not seeing the problem with going to these parks and they continue to give their money for what they think is an educational experience. SeaWorld has been spreading misinformation about what they are teaching these children and even telling them lies. SeaWorld is not an educational experience, it is clearly a place of entertainment.

P.2. SeaWorld is a place to watch animals interact up close and see them perform tricks for the audiences. They claim that “the parks and products of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ deliver educational experiences intended to create a deeper understanding, respect, and desire to protect all wildlife.” This is false because they do not provide you with a deeper understanding about the animals, they simply talk about the basic facts of certain animals and then have you watch a show to be more entertained. By watching them perform flips in the air you are not getting the urge to protect the wildlife because your so focused on what trick the animal might do next. Also, by watching the shows you feel anything but respect for these animals. Most people wonder how the trainers even got these animals to do these unnatural tricks. The first thought that comes to mind for most would be that the animals were probably forced, tortured, and starved until they did these tricks.

P.3. Another major claim that SeaWorld makes is that they object the film Blackfish because the two major premises are wrong. The first premise is that life at SeaWorld is harmful for killer whales and for trainers working with these animals. SeaWorld claims that the animals are living in a safe, state-of-the-art habitat. On their “Health and Daily Care” page on their website they say that “our SeaWorld trainers interact with each killer whale, every day. Their contact and the personal relationship it nourishes enable the training staff to become intimately familiar with each animal’s unique behavioral profile and to notice even the slightest differences in behavior that might indicate anything unusual.” They do not mention the dangers of working with these whales and that many times trainers miss these differences in behavior and that could be very dangerous for them. Being confined in these tiny pools causes the killer whales to lash out and sometimes severely hurt other whales. They are living artificial lives which results in them being aggressive, bored, stressed, and ill. Especially since their freedom of movement is limited because that destroys their mental health. SeaWorld refuses to say that these are true because when people know the truth about the damages these animals have they refuse to come to the parks, which results in a loss of money for SeaWorld which they do not want.

P.4. The other premise is that SeaWorld attempted to cover up the facts surrounding the tragic death of Dawn Brancheau in 2010, and the story of Tilikum, which was the killer whale involved in the incident. There is no way to cover up something as major as a death of a trainer by a killer whale. This tragedy happened during a live show and was broad-casted on news stations across the world. Everyone knows the truth about this story, which was that Tilikum had become aggressive and irritated and took his anger out on Dawn, which resulted in her violent death. Footage of the event shows that she was dragged into the pool and you can clearly see that this was no accident because the killer whale continued to violently injure her for a long time. Also, the autopsy shows that she had multiple injuries such as a severed spinal cord, broken jaw, broken ribs, she was scalped and her arm was torn off, to name some of the major and more shocking ones. Her body had to be pried from his mouth because he would not stop long after she was dead and her scalp and hair was found at the bottom of the pool. These disturbing images show that this indeed was no accident and that he really wanted to hurt her. Tilikum had clear intentions on injuring or even killing her because these behaviors have not been seen around Dawn prior to this event. Not many people know that her death was this violent and that is because SeaWorld denied her death as being aggressive and they did not blame Tilikum. In the article “Former Trainer Slams SeaWorld for Cruel Treatment of Orcas” by Simon Worrall, he talks about former trainer John Hargrove’s book which was all about SeaWorld and what really went on in these parks. Hargrove explains in his book that “a SeaWorld spokesman has denied that Tilikum’s killing of three trainers showed aggressive intent and has defended the star orca’s reentry into the performing world 13 months after Brancheau’s death, saying it “is an important component of his physical, social, and mental enrichment.”” This shows that SeaWorld was trying to cover up the facts surrounding her tragic death to make it look more like an accident than a purposeful aggressive killing. Shortly after this incident a new rule was put into place that said the trainers were no longer allowed in the pools with these killer whales to make sure another tragic event did not occur. By putting this rule into place it shows that SeaWorld was nervous that another whale would act out about its poor living conditions on one of the trainers. Tilikum has now killed three trainers and SeaWorld knows that these whales are dangerous and not safe to be swimming with so they put this rule in order to stay in business.

P.4. SeaWorld claims that the collapsed dorsal fin on their orcas is normal and is often seen in orcas in the wild. On their website they do say it could be from “spending a lot of time at the surface with trainers” but that is not the entire reason. They try to cover up the fact that dorsal fin collapse is rare out in the wild and almost always occurs when they are kept in captivity. The collapse is due to these shallow pools they are forced to live in and having the sun beat on their fin all day long. They tell their audiences that the drooping dorsal fin is normal and is completely healthy, but really it is a sign of the tissue being unhealthy and not strong. Another reason for the dorsal fin collapse is from swimming at low speeds in circles all day long. Meanwhile orcas out in the wild are able to swim at high speeds and go in straight lines, making the dorsal fin stay straight. Other causes would be stress due to confinement and dehydration, but SeaWorld refuses to say this is the cause. They are lying to the public about the reasons for this abnormality and are persuading children into thinking a collapsed dorsal fin is common, when they would rarely see one out in the wild.

P.5. Overall, SeaWorld is claiming false information and spreading lies to cover up for their own misdoings. They are tricking the public into thinking going to SeaWorld is an educational experience and that the animals are being treated well. When really they are a place for entertainment and only care about the money they are making. They make these lies in order to protect the company and to keep people coming back to their parks. Children are believing these lies and not seeing the problem with SeaWorld keeping these animals in captivity. SeaWorld is not an educational experience and it is clearly not a healthy environment for these animals.

Works Cited

Entertainment, SeaWorld Parks &. “Education.” Where Imagination Meets Nature. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2017.

Entertainment, SeaWorld Parks &. “Physical Characteristics.” Animals: Explore. Discover. Connect. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2017.

Entertainment, SeaWorld Parks &. “SeaWorld Cares.” SeaWorld Cares. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.

“Health and Daily Care.” SeaWorld Cares. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.

Worrall, Simon. “Former Trainer Slams SeaWorld for Cruel Treatment of Orcas.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 14 Apr. 2017. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

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6 Responses to Rebuttal- Chippy (Updated)

  1. davidbdale says:

    As you now understand, Chippy, you need to shift your emphasis for this argument. Quote directly from the best sources you can find that champion SeaWorld’s educational focus. Most likely, you’ll be quoting SeaWorld itself. Then use your 1000 words to refute the claims that valuable education is taking place.

  2. chippy1313 says:

    Yes I realized I did this argument wrong so I will go back and quote SeaWorld and refute their claims.

  3. davidbdale says:

    This is an improvement, Chippy. Your P2 indicates that you know the method you should be following.

    You confuse readers by trying to force two different situations into P3. Break it into two paragraphs; I’ll call them P3a and P3b.

    P3a: Start by saying what SeaWorld claims: “SeaWorld creates a safe environment for whales and trainers.” Find the quote for that claim. Then say that the film Blackfish disputes this claim of safety.
    —life at SeaWorld is harmful for killer whales and for trainers working with these animals.
    —confinement in tiny pools causes the whales to lash out and severely hurt other whales
    —periods of long isolation are even more damaging to these social animals
    —restricting their freedom of movement destroys their mental health
    —their artificial lives make them ill, aggressive, bored. It brings on early death.

    P3b. Start by saying what SeaWorld claims: “The tragic death of Dawn Brancheau was an unavoidable accident that reminds us all of the danger of interacting with very powerful live animals.” Find the quote for that. Then say that the film Blackfish disputes this accident claim.
    —SeaWorld attempted to cover up the facts surrounding the tragic death of Dawn Brancheau
    —the killer whale was killed to prevent him endangering other trainers
    —trainers are at risk for danger when working with these killer whales
    —trainers have been injured, or even killed by these large sea animals [you’ll need evidence for these claims.]
    —Footage of the event shows clearly that the whale attacked Brancheau with clear intent to injure or kill her [you really should describe what the video shows if you want to be persuasive.]
    —There is evidence that Tilikum had become aggressive [is there? You can’t really say so if there isn’t.]
    —After this a new rule was put into place that the trainers are no longer allowed in the pools with these killer whales to make sure another tragic event did not occur. [This is the best evidence of all. SeaWorld doesn’t have to admit blame; their remedy indicates clearly they know the whales weren’t safe to interact with.]

  4. davidbdale says:

    P4. It appears you don’t have any actual evidence that SeaWorld makes a claim about the dorsal fin. Do you? If so, quote it. If not, you’re merely passing along the rumor propagated by an advocacy group that wants to shut down the entertainment complex.

  5. chippy1313 says:

    I broke apart my paragraph 3 into two paragraphs which are now paragraphs 3 and 4.I added some evidence and quotes that SeaWorld said and I also added some evidence on the dorsal fin in the new paragraph 5

  6. davidbdale says:

    Improvements noted, Chippy.

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