Bindi Irwin is only a few years older than I am, but we are worlds apart on our views about cramming orcas and dolphins into SeaWorld's floating prison cells. I went to jail after jumping in front of SeaWorld's Rose Parade float to protest the amusement park's cruelty to orcas and dolphins. Bindi jumped at the chance to be SeaWorld's new "ambassador" because, well, I'm not sure why.
As someone who lost a parent at a young age, Bindi seems like the last person who would be a spokesperson for SeaWorld, knowing that it has taken baby orcas away from their loving moms, leaving them thrashing and wailing with grief. Wild orcas never permanently leave their moms and pods. Please, Bindi, you should know how awful it is for SeaWorld to separate mothers and children, which it does all the time.
Orcas and dolphins in the wild have the whole ocean to swim in, and they have dozens of friends and family members who love them. They are super-smart animals who work together as a team, talk to each other using special dialects, and swim for many, many miles every day, enjoying the currents and the sights of the sea. At SeaWorld, all of this is taken away. Their world is shrunk from square miles to square feet.
Intelligent orcas with individual personalities are reduced to cartoon "Shamus." And how many audience members realize that every single orca performer, male or female, in SeaWorld's parks is called "Shamu"?!