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‘Blackfish’

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Today I finally got around to watching ‘Blackfish’ which is currently causing a stir in all the right reasons or wrong (whichever way you’d like to look at it), I would personally say for all the right reasons as it’s been raising awareness of such a barbaric business since it’s release. For those that haven’t seen it ‘Blackfish’ is a powerful documentary/film about the Killer Whales at ‘Seaworld’ in Orlando, Florida and how these amazing animals can suddenly turn aggressive, causing serious harm and even death to the trainers that work closely with them. Namely following one particular one called Tilikum.

A lot of stories that came back out of the woodwork were covered up by ‘Seaworld’, obviously to protect their wealth. As you can imagine they must make millions each year by attracting the public to view their displays. Of course it’s a success because we as humans show a desire to be up close to amazing creatures like Killer Whales and many others.

I myself have watched Dolphin shows in Barcelona and swam with Sea Lions in Spain but that in itself could have potentially gone wrong at any moment as Sea Lions can give a nasty bite and their muscley bodies give an indication to how strong they are. All animals are unpredictable and I think people tend to forget that. We don’t know what’s going through their minds.

The emotional torture the Orcas go through is beyond belief. Originally they were captured from the wild and their babies were their main targets because they would be easy to transport and train. They sent boats after them and because the Whales knew what was happening they devised a plan and split up. The males would swim one way to cause a distraction while the females swam in a different direction with their babies staying underwater for as long as possible to avoid being seen. Unfortunately they couldn’t stay underwater forever and when they eventually came up for air they were found by planes that were sent out to direct the boats towards them.

They would be captured by nets in an area with no escape and a baby would be taken from them. As Killer Whales are highly emotional mammals, capable of emotions more complex than humans they were desperately communicating with each other during the ordeal. They build very strong bonds with each other and will suffer grief at the loss of a loved one. One man in the film choked up as he explained that he felt like he was kidnapping a child from its mother. On one occasion they had ended up with 3 dead Orca’s in their nets and were ordered to cut them open and fill them with rocks to sink them.

There are many ridiculous stories but that one will always stick in my mind. ‘Seaworld’ were given the chance to have their say but refused and because the film has made such an impact they have appealed. I know there are two sides to every story but I’m not the slightest bit interested to hear what they have to say. They’re business is despicable and needs to close down along with other similar establishments.

I would like to say well done to all of the former trainers, directors and other staff that came forward to help film the documentary/film, they deserve respect for sharing their stories which must have been hard to talk about. People need to know the truth, ‘Seaworld’ can not carry on treating the Whales like they do and lying and covering up things. Thank you to those who put ‘Blackfish’ together, it has opened the eyes of the naive (through no fault of their own) and confirmed suspicions for those of us that already suspected something dodgy.

What I have written about is just a snippet of what went on in the film so I would recommend that if you care a great deal about animals and don’t like to be kept in the dark to watch this detailed and well researched documentary/film. The whole thing made me angry and heartbroken but I’m glad I watched it. I could go on and on but the only way to gain a true perspective is to watch it for yourselves. Last but not least my condolences go out to the families and friends of the trainers that lost their lives while working with the Killer Whales.

‘Blackfish’ has been broadcasted on T.V but is also available on iTunes, DVD and Blu ray.

Facebook page ‘Blackfish’

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Agana Mountains – Tenerife

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The second part of our excursion (Sat 11th May) took us high up into the Agana Mountains. The photos I took were lovely, but I feel that they didn’t do the place justice. You had to be there to really appreciate the awesomeness of this experience.

Landscape

Landscape

Landscape

Me

Landscape

Landscape

Views

A Big Price to Pay for Being Different

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Every now and then you come across a story that really affects you; and the story that I am about to share with you is no exception. I have no connection what so ever to this girl or her family, I just merely want to help raise awareness about this particular tragedy and others similar and maybe some good can come of it. I blogged this story previously elsewhere a couple of years ago and have adapted it for present readers. It’s now approaching the fifth year anniversary of Sophie’s death and I feel that its more important than ever to spread the word about hate crime and help tackle the problem in the UK and around the world.

I consider myself to be an open-minded person. My taste in music varies and my style changes as often as the wind. Most importantly I am very accepting towards people I meet no matter their background, gender or culture. As the saying goes ‘never judge a book by its cover’, the same applies to people! I think open-mindedness which includes accepting change and difference is an appealing quality for a human being to have. I would like to think in this day and age that everyone was as open-minded as me although this isn’t the case.

Some people just can’t handle it! and I would describe these people as small-minded and weak. These are people who will go to any lengths to express their disgust toward anyone who appears different or has different views to themselves. The truth is, they don’t know what to expect, they judge the cover before reading the book and assume that they won’t like it.

Now having been part of the alternative scene in the past, I have met many interesting people who have established their own individual styles in order to break away from the “norm” as some people may put it. These people whether they be Goths, Rockers, Emo’s etc are probably the most intelligent and stimulating people I know. On the inside they are no different to anyone else, they just choose not to follow the same old trends. The world would be an incredibly boring place if everyone in it were the same.

Being the sort of person I am, I was sickened and saddened by a story that I had read a few years ago about a girl called Sophie who was brutally attacked along with her boyfriend by a group of teenagers they had met in a park in Lancashire. It is believed that the pair were targeted because of the unique and individual way in which they were dressed. While her boyfriend pulled through and survived the attack, Sophie sadly died on August 24th 2007. Words can’t express how angry this makes me and many others who have heard this tragic story. People shouldn’t have to live in fear because of how they dress… its insane!

Photo taken by Robert Maltby

Sophie’s family and friends have worked hard to raise awareness since her death and strive towards a less violent society by starting a campaign in her memory. The S.O.P.H.I.E campaign has a powerful message attached to it:

Stamp
Out
Prejudice
Hatred
Intolerance
Everywhere

and is growing in popularity through the fun organised events that they put on. To find out more information about the campaign or to donate to the SOPHIE LANCASTER FOUNDATION please check out the following sites:

 http://www.sophielancasterfoundation.com/

www.myspace.com/inmemoryofsophie

http://www.facebook.com/thesophielancasterfoundation