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People Doing Great Things

The past week has been about animals. A lot of animals.

First off I was given some tickets the Morris Animal Foundation Gala and was asked to host two tables of friends. Well that’s easy. Betty White was being honored as she’s leaving their board of directors after 42 years. What I found fascinating is that at the age of 91 she’s stepping down from the board not because she’s too old but because she’s too busy. The Morris Animal Foundation works to support veterinary medicine and by all accounts they’re doing great work. Hopefully they’ll have more LA based events because everyone knows that Marsha and I cannot resist a good silent auction.

I have to add that as the owner (yes I own him) of a grain free poodle I owe a debt of gratitude to the Morris Animal Foundation.

Just a few days before the Morris Animal Foundation fundraiser Marsha and I went to a Good News luncheon honoring Maria Shriver and we left with the following silent auction items, you can guess who got what: a $500 gift card from Paige denim, a touch screen laptop, two pair of snooty slippers, hair products, necklaces and skincare. At the Morris Animal Foundation Gala I bought some Pilates sessions and was outbid at the live auction (which is good because I was boozy and Mr. G was looking panicked when my paddle went up).

On the heels of all of this I plopped myself down in front of the TV to watch Blackfish on CNN with Jane. Most of the content did not surprise me as Jean Michele Cousteau had educated my kids and I on some of the horrors of Sea World. Blackfish did an amazing job of showing America some of the abuses that Sea World and their ilk are responsible for. Understand that Sea World has many animal shows and that the film Blackfish focused only on Orcas.

Blackfish reached a massive audience. A full three to four days after it’s premiere the #blackfish hashtag was delivered to more than 137 million timelines in just 24 hours (thanks Hashtracking).

blackfish measurement hashtag

As a point of contrast Sea World implemented their own hashtag #SeaWorldCares and I assure you their timeline isn’t pretty. When I checked their performance during the last 24 hours I noted that that there were 420,000 timeline deliveries and that I was the second most influential person tweeting on the hashtag. I am proud of this fact and suspect that a good bit of the #SeaWorldCares timeline looks like this:


seaworldcares hashtag hashtracking

I’m sure that Sea World will have a Plan B. Sea World does have a long history with bloggers. They bring local bloggers in to show them the good work they do, and I’m sure there is some good Sea World does otherwise how would those park employees live with themselves. Unfortunately saving a few turtles (apparently it’s very few) doesn’t negate the egregious harm done to the mammals in swimming pools. I will beg bloggers in every forum I participate in to watch Blackfish in it’s entirety before you listen to a single word from Sea World. When you do listen to Sea World listen closely as they call Orcas “killer whales”. Orcas are neither killers of people outside of captivity nor are they whales. They actually belong to the dolphin family. One can assume the crisis communicators will be out in full force soon trying to save Sea World’s profits. I’m hearing from a lot of bloggers that they don’t have cable so they can’t see Blackfish.

I noticed some folks don’t have CNN (really???) so if you’re one of them you can download the movie on iTunes, buy a DVD or find a screening. Here is the link for all of those options.
I’m going to make an offer to all the moms and dads out there. If you’re thinking of bringing your children to Sea World I’d like you first to watch Blackfish, perhaps even with your children. If you can watch Blackfish in it’s entirety and still go to Sea World to enjoy the animal shows I will reimburse you the cost of the movie. There is no part of me that is joking.

It’s time for us all to do something good. This is my good thing.

10 thoughts on “People Doing Great Things”

  1. Just a week before watching blackfish; the wife and I decided that a good “get out of debt” reward for ourselves in 8-9 years was to take a trip to Florida and visit all the parks.

    After watching Blackfish last night we’re now going to save money in 8-9 years by completely skipping the Sea World portion of our planned trip.

    However, the movie has also started up the questioning in my head about the potential stop at Busch Gardens and researching their history for my own piece of mind. (disclaimer… this is only a question… I have no idea positively or negatively if Busch Gardens is a decent humane place)

          1. Yes, it was at the Budweiser brewery. There was a log ride and you could take a tour of the brewery and they gave away free beer. (It was my dad’s favorite place!)

  2. When I was a child, I loved watching those shows at Sea World. As I got older, I always asked why the fins were tipping over–never got a good answer from anyone at the park (as I recall).
    I watched as much of “BlackFish” as I could; but couldn’t bear to watch the whole thing. It makes me hurt inside, to see these creatures in such a state as they are forced into by us.
    You can call it research or conservation or whatever, but the bottom line in all of it is the all-mighty dollar–and they won’t be getting mine.

  3. BAN BAN BAN SEAWORLD….. I wished that a group of us supporters would just one day go down to Seaworld with a huge projector screen and start showing Blackfish to everyone right before the entrance to Seaworld…wouldn’t that be a smash hit?

  4. THIS topic makes me angry. I’m afraid to watch that movie because I’m already very hateful towards Sea World. What is the movie’s ultimate goal? To shut Sea World down? Move the Orcas to sea pens? It’s amazing to me that we’ve allowed those animals to suffer in those tiny tanks for half a century and yet we’re so quick to rescue dogs treated in a similar way.

  5. Jessica, once I saw “The Cove” I knew that my family would never cross the threshold of Sea World. (If you are not familiar with “The Cove” it sounds very similar to “Blackfish” but swap out Orcas for dolphins. (Or is that dolphins for Orcas?)

    My daughter still thinks it’s incredibly unfair that Sea World has been forever banned from her childhood, but I’ve told her countless times she is welcome to go and give her hard earned money to dolphin killers when she is 18. (Yes, she saw the movie too, but she was young and selfish and her desire to see the dolphins and orcas do tricks overrode her compassion. She did come out of me, so I try to forgive her.)

    BTW – once I urged a mother on a community board not to take her children to Sea World (she was looking for tips on going) because of the way 100s and 100s of leftover dolphins are brutally murdered every year after the Sea World shoppers come buy the cute ones – and was called a terrible person and a bully. Oh boo hoo – poor Sea World. (You would have been so proud.)

    I don’t think I can handle Blackfish. But the good news is, I won’t be going to Sea World. Ever.

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