"The dolphin smile is nature's greatest deception," says dolphin activist Ric O'Barry. "It creates the illusion that they're always happy. I think this multibillion-dollar captivity industry is built on that optical illusion."
The whales and dolphins at water parks like SeaWorld seem happy: doing backflips for crowds, eating food out of tourists' hands. But these parks actually have a dark side the public doesn't often see. While in the ocean, whales and dolphins travel for miles with their pods, but in theme parks, they're forced into extremely cramped quarters and have little contact with their own species. Highly intelligent and sensitive animals, whales and dolphins suffer while they're in captivity. Allegations of neglect, abuse, poor water quality and cramped living quarters can make these parks a living hell for these animals.
When you and your family visit water parks, your money continues to fund these inhumane practices.That's why we asked you not to buy the ticket. And many of you listened! Over the last two months, more than 10,000 people have signed the pledge to not support water parks that keep whales and dolphins in captivity.
We often think that, as individuals, we can't make a difference. In reality, thousands of people coming together can create real change. That's why we're asking you to help us continue this amazing momentum by reaching our goal of 20,000 signatures. To those of you who've already signed, thank you! Your support means the world to us. You can still help us by sharing the action with your friends and family and spreading the word. Together we can put an end to inhumane practices, allowing these magnificent animals to live their lives in dignity.
More on whales and dolphins in captivity on TakePart:
Callie Spaide is Participant Media’s Manager of Digital Social Action. Before she was changing the world on TakePart.com, she helped nonprofits navigate social media and email fundraising in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.