April 16 2014 09:37 AM

Our readers tell us what they think


Unhappy ending

While I'm in agreement with the stance in your March 19 "Editor's Note" regarding the killer-whale controversy at SeaWorld, I thought the tone of your remarks took an ugly U-T San Diego-like turn in your last paragraph.

Reasonable people can disagree on just about any issue, and throughout your piece, I thought you had made a good, cogent argument with respect to SeaWorld's use of the whales. But in the end, you said you were "inclined" to be disgusted with SeaWorld's past and thought they were being "obnoxious" at their present. Those words only add fire and no light to the matter.

Are you suggesting that SeaWorld intentionally wants to harm these animals? Harm may be an effect of how they're handled, but are the trainers and other staff who work with the whales bad people? And I don't think you can be inclined to be disgusted by something. You either are or you aren't. Leave the hyperbole to the experts at the U-T. You're better than that.

Rob Cohen, Kensington

More enrichment

In your March 19 "Editor's Note," you said: "I believe you can have the research, rescue, conservation and education without the exploitation and the gaudy entertainment." My sentiments exactly.

I'd like to see all of San Diego's animal "entertainment" venues reworked for research and education purposes—remove restaurants, trinket shops, "shows," etc., enlarge animals' living spaces and provide much more enrichment for their lives.

Barbara Walter, Escondido

Spreading the bad word

Thanks for spreading the word on the hypocrisy, greed and disregard for animals displayed by SeaWorld. ["Editor's Note," March 19].

Janice Bartlett, Leucadia

SeaWorld's arcane concept

I totally agree with what you said in your March 19 "Editor's Note"—100 percent. I've never been a fan of SeaWorld. It just always seemed so fake and made-up.

Seeing marine animals in small pens, doing tricks to entertain small children and adults is asinine. It's an extremely outdated and arcane concept from back in the day, several centuries ago, when man thought it was our god-given right to conquer and control nature. Hopefully, most of us know now that this is not the case. Animals are not here for our amusement—the animals in SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo or any animals in captivity held against their own free will.

I really hope Richard Bloom's bill passes and SeaWorld is forced to become more conscious of its inhabitants and evolves with a much more environmentally friendly stewardship.

It's time for SeaWorld to redefine itself or fall into obscurity. There are plenty more tourist attractions to see and do in San Diego besides SeaWorld. I don't see us losing tourism money if the bill passes; I see the money being spent in other, better areas.

Great article. Let's keep this discussion going and continue to draw awareness to help these sea mammals that don't have a voice, like Tilikum.

Denise Milbauer, University Heights

SeaWorld needs to change

Many thanks for sharing your take on SeaWorld ["Editor's Note," March 19]. I'm a San Diego native who grew up going to SeaWorld, and it's a part of local culture, but some things need to change. Keeping orcas captive is one of those things.

So often, the pro-animal side of the argument becomes shrill, and its written attempts at persuasion are laden with exclamation marks and words in all-caps. Your piece makes the argument without the credibility-killing emotion. Well done.

Yes, let's see what Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins has to say. After the disappointing unanimous City Council support of declaring March "SeaWorld Month," it would be a bold move indeed if she came out in favor of Richard Bloom's heroic legislation.

If Los Angeles and San Francisco come out in favor of the legislation and San Diego remains opposed, it would pit city against city. I hope you'll keep readers posted on what happens with this legislation. SeaWorld news is hot-hot-hot right now.

Elaine Boyd, North Park

Editor's note: Atkins hasn't articulated her position on Bloom's bill, but she's had positive things to say about SeaWorld while attending the theme park's 50th birthday party. Meanwhile, last week, the bill stalled for at least a year when it was sent out for further study by the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife.

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