To the editor: To assume that SeaWorld's orcas will never be able to thrive outside their current enclosures is prematurely pessimistic. ("Are SeaWorld's whales better off staying in their glass-and-concrete enclosures?," Jan. 3)
Since the apparent inability of these innocent animals to function in their rightful homes is a direct consequence of SeaWorld's cruelty-based business, shouldn't the company be compelled to use its profits to come up with a resolution that's more fair to the whales? An independent panel of sea-mammal experts and engineers could be brought in to assess the situation and kept on the payroll until they mastermind a creative solution to this problem.
When humans have the arrogance to imprison any animal in such a devastatingly unnatural setting, it's no surprise that the end result is a man-made mess. Time to call upon those same men to fix what they broke.
Carol DiCaprio Herrick, Charlottesville, Va.
To the editor: SeaWorld is a corporation that markets its inventory to the public in the hopes of selling tickets. It's "inventory," however, consists of living, breathing beings who don't belong in cramped concrete tanks.
Protected coastal sea pens will allow orcas greater freedom of movement and the opportunity to see and communicate with their wild relatives and to feel the tides and waves. Caregivers could monitor and provide the orcas with food and veterinary care if necessary. Visitors could observe the whales from viewing platforms.
That's the SeaWorld of the future. It's time for the corporation to concede its business model is dead.
Jennifer O'Connor, Norfolk, Va.
The writer is a senior writer at the PETA Foundation.