Look 'em in the eye
People who look critically at Niagara Falls Tourism will always point to Marineland as the trailblazer. The place that put money into advertising long before anyone else did. You have to admit that jingle that has been playing all these years “Everyone Loves Marineland” was and is a classic earworm. To be honest, most business tagged along on Marineland’s coattails for years. To be just as honest I’ve never been through the doors of the place.
As musch as I admire their business acumen I don’t don’t like the business they are in.
Animal rights activists’ have protested in front of the park for years but this week moved those protests to the owner’s home. Which I find a little over the top…your beef is with his business not his family.
Marine parks and circuses really conflict me. Years ago I rode an elephant into the ring to open the Shrine circus and was honored to do it because of the incredible work that Shriners Hospitals have done for children in North America for many years. However after my ride I went behind the scenes to see where these gentle giants and the other animals live as they travel from town to town. What I saw has stayed with me since. Huge animals forced to live in cages for a great deal of their lives…allowed out only to walk around a parking lot for a few hours or to perform for our entertainment. These are remarkably intelligent creatures who slowly who are forced into a life of drudgery and servitude. I had the opportunity, some years ago, to see elephants in their natural habitat and the difference is more pronounced than you could ever imagine. You may think iot sounds like typical media fluff but there is a light in their eyes…they communicate…you can see the difference between that and the dead eye attitude of animals who have given up and are only waiting to die. This doesn’t mean that the animals handlers mistreat them or anything of the sort…its just the nature of their captivity that is so inherently wrong.
Shrine Hospitals do unparalleled work with children. My own family has been touched by their generosity. So I’m conflictd when they come to town. I’m hoping that soon the Shrine can find another way to fund the work that they do. Something that does not include forcing animals to perform on command and live in the back of a truck. I’m afraid until that happens, just like the whale and dolphin shows, I won’t go. Whether or not you do is up to you…but if you do…do me one favor and look into the eyes of the elephants…really look. After that its up to you.