Go Cruelty-Free This Spring Break

Imagine you were a kid in the 1960’s and someone told you that an astronaut, no, make that twelve astronauts would successfully walk on the moon between the years 1969 and 1972. While satellites, unmanned space probes and the international space station might seem like the norm today, keep in mind that the earliest computers were the size of household rooms!

Fast forward to 2017, and your teacher or professor tells you that science is on the verge of decoding the various languages communicated by dolphins and other whales. Great, you might say, but I don’t need a scientist to explain the look in a dolphin’s eyes when it’s unhappy, or afraid, or bored or all of the above.

You’d be right. No matter the facility, from the ‘SeaWorlds’ to the ‘Marinelands’ to “Aquarium X,Y or Z,’ the look is always the same. While the curvature of their jaws send the message that it’s all good, the eyes of captive dolphins tell an entirely different story.

Dolphin being taken away for "life" in captivity, Taiji, Japan

Dolphin being taken away for “life” in captivity, Taiji, Japan
Credit: DolphinProject.com

Captive bottlenose dolphin, Taiji Whale Museum

Captive bottlenose dolphin, Taiji Whale Museum
Credit: DolphinProject.com

A dolphin’s smile is nature’s greatest deception. It creates the illusion that they’re always happy.” ~ Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project

This spring break, we’re encouraging all students to say NO to the dolphin show. This includes swim-with programs, which sadly, are promoted relentlessly by the cruise ship industry. Many opportunities exist to experience these majestic, sentient mammals in their wild marine environments. From going on a licensed dolphin/whale watching boat to checking out the world’s first wild dolphin immersive virtual reality experience to becoming an advocate for causes such as dolphin welfare, the choices are plentiful.

Even if activism isn’t your thing, becoming knowledgeable about something leads to better decision-making. Your time is valuable, and so is your voice: choose cruelty-free activities this spring break and then tell a friend why you did!

Happiness is Freedom

Featured image: Wild bottlenose dolphins, Oxana Fedorova

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About Cara Sands

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It might be true that we don't recall many moments from our early years. However, Cara's first memory of a dolphin had her begging her parents to ask the trainer to let the dolphin go! The problem with captivity was evident to her, even as a 4 year-old child.

A writer by trade, Cara has researched, investigated and documented dolphins suffering in captivity. From documenting dolphins incarcerated in buildings, cut-off from fresh air, sunlight and normal socialization to researching cases of animals imprisoned in solitary confinement, Cara is a dedicated dolphin welfare advocate.

It is her belief that education equals empowerment. The more information shared, the better our choices and knowledge of how to act as a positive and respectful voice for dolphins across the world.

Cara is based out of Canada and makes time whenever possible to observe dolphins in their natural environments. She is writing her first fiction novel but knowing her, the marine world will play a prominent role in her book!

"The use of animals for entertainment is nothing more than an abuse of dominance. Some of the most sentient species on the planet have been exploited to incomprehensible levels, all due to their inherent benevolence. Ironic, considering that we turn to the abused themselves for displays of humanity."
~ Cara Sands

Author: Cara Sands
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