To the editor: It is refreshing to read that SeaWorld plans on eliminating its captive breeding program for orcas. Still, these whales have relatively long life spans, meaning they can live for decades in captivity. That gives SeaWorld a generation's worth of "circus Orcas" to fill their parks. ("SeaWorld CEO: We're ending our orca breeding program. Here's why," Opinion, March 17)
SeaWorld chief Joel Manby hits the height of hubris in his piece when he asserts that his company is responsible for the change in attitude toward orcas. By capturing the whales and selectively breeding them for entertainment, SeaWorld brought awareness to the awesome beauty of these highly intelligent animals. The only thing SeaWorld can be credited with is exposing the American people to these animals.
We are no longer willing to support the organization that makes a living on the whales' exploitation. SeaWorld argues that giving up the whales it already has would amount to a death sentence for them. What SeaWorld fails to acknowledge is that there are alternatives to keeping whales in pools for the rest of their lives without meaningful social contact.
Gene E. Schwartz, San Diego
To the editor: Since the release of the documentary "Blackfish," SeaWorld has seen its stock take a dive deeper than any of its orcas ever could. To make itself attractive to the public again, and financially viable, we now see the theme park partner with the Humane Society of the United States for some serious green-washing.
SeaWorld has announced its intention to stop breeding orcas, as if the California Coastal Commission had not already made that decision for the company, at least with regard to the California park, which is by far its largest. SeaWorld does intend to continue to make millions on the backs of the whales currently held captive in its tanks.
While the end of orca breeding is a wonderful step in the right direction, the road ahead must include the release of the majestic animals at least into sea pens where they can have some semblance of a decent life. SeaWorld, and human society, owes them that.
Karen Dawn, Pacific Palisades