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When Animals Resist Their Exploitation

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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:42 AM
Original message
When Animals Resist Their Exploitation

http://www.counterpunch.com/hribal12142006.html

Kasatka, the Sea World Orca


Two weeks ago, an orca named Kasatka intentionally grabbed and pulled her trainer underwater twice-nearly killing him in the process. Kasatka is a performer for Sea World Adventure Park, San Diego. She is one of seven orca entertainers at the Southern California park. With operations in five other US locations, Sea World and Busch Gardens are owned by the Anheuser-Busch corporation. Indeed, as Susan Davis demonstrated in her Spectacular Nature (1997), these flagship zoological parks are corporate enterprises: for-profit businesses.

According to a park official, the Sea World orcas perform as many as 8 times per a day, 365 days a year. The Kasatka attack happened during the final daily show. As for the performances themselves, they are finely choreographed and composed of several acts. Each is highly complex in its routines and challenging in its stunts. These shows require skill, patience, labor, and hours of weekly practice. The orcas are, in every sense, performers and entertainers.

A considerable amount of money is invested in such flagship zoological ventures. These parks are vacation destinations. There are hotels, restaurants, amusement rides, merchandise, and special events. There are adventure camps for students. There are animal exhibitions and performances. There are extensive breeding and academic-related research operations. In truth, the global trade in exotic-animals is a multi-million dollar a year industry. The Russian government, for example, just resumed its trade in captive orcas. This is not surprising, as a single orca can be worth up to 1 million dollars. Conservation is big business.

Yet much more is happening at these zoos and aquariums than just production and profit, more than just performers, spectacle, and captive audiences. For Kasatka's action on that day was not a unique incident. It was the third such public act of violence involving herself. In 1999, she attempted to bite this same trainer during a show. He only escaped with all his limbs fully intact by quickly jumping out of the pool. After this event, Kasatka was sent, as stated by a park spokesman, "back for some additional training and behavior modification"-for in 1993, there was a similar bite-attempt. In fact, two years earlier, her father, a performer at Sealand of the Pacific in Canada, killed his trainer during a show. Resistance at zoological institutions occurs far more often than most people know.

-snip-

Another attention-grabbing act of resistance is escape. In 1922, an unidentified ape attempted to flee from the Toledo Zoo. Apparently, the ape was once an adroit bicycle-rider in a vaudeville show but was later sold to the zoo. During the escape itself, the ape was confronted by the head keeper and his armed men. After beating and stabbing the ape with clubs and pitchforks, the keeper decided to shoot the animal in the head, as this was the ape's third breakout. Escapes were so common in the early days of the zoo that the Toledo Blade printed a series of cartoon editorials: each depicting various animals running through the streets and causing havoc in the local Walbridge neighborhood. Contrary to what some readers might be thinking, time and progress have not slowed such actions.

-snip-

The most common forms of resistance, however, are those particularly unspectacular in their methods. Cheetahs who refuse to do anything. Tigers who ignore commands. Elephants who fake ignorance. Orcas who rebuff new tasks. Gorillas who break equipment. Chimpanzees who throw their shit ("scatological humor," as zoo officials call it) at visitors. One researcher marveled at how skillful the monkeys at the Los Angeles Zoo were at hitting visitors with "clods of earth" from great distances. Then there was Stuffie, the first chimp ever produced from artificial insemination. Shot to death in 1987 while attempting to escape, she was infamous at the Toledo Zoo for holding milk in her mouth for hours on end: waiting patiently until her trainers came close enough so that she could spit it out in their faces.

-snip-
---------------------------------


any living thing taken prisoner tries to escape and/or injure/kill their captors.

(even potted plants try to escape the pot)

making animals perform for money is criminal. why back when I was young I went to a Seaquarium and saw the show. I was ashamed for being there and would have released the sea life if possible.

(keeping calves in little boxes and feed them only milk so their flesh stays tender to eat is also barbaric)

america, the country that tortures (in more ways then one)
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
1. Gotta expect it. Whales are not pets or Disney cartoons.
They are wild animals.
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Teaser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
2. Sveral thoughts:
1) making the attempt to turn a sleek and sophisticated killing machine like an Orca into a entertainment venue is asking for trouble.

2)saying plants "try to escape" a pot is ridiculous.

3)there has to be a better way to make veal.
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Niman Ranch does produce veal, but I've only seen it in restaurants
And, yes, it tastes waaaay better than that crap from the concentration camps.
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. well, if you have done much gardening you know that some of them can

nt
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Kelly Rupert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. That's not "escape."
Or "trying." Plants are incapable of intent.
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. don't be so sure - flora lives are not like fauna lives but both are ruled

by survival mechanizations. example, plants will put out runners to escape the boundaries of pots or in-ground human made boundaries. trees will crack and raise sidewalks, etc.

plants put into unsatisfactory situations won't grow, prosper or bloom, etc.
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Kelly Rupert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
5. Plants try to escape the pot?
:rofl:
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Of course -- that's why I only eat free-range vegetables
They're so much happier when they get a chance to frolic in the sunshine.
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