Our relationship with whales might change more rapidly than any other connection we have with our environment.
First, whales were food and fuel; then, they became symbols of environmental destruction; next, they were captive teachers and entertainers; and the relationship appears to be changing again.
Although captive whales that entertain audiences in places like SeaWorld undoubtedly inspired many individuals to learn about cetaceans (the family that includes whales and dolphins), the morality of this captor-captive relationship is being questioned. A new documentary called Blackfish looks at the impact we have on whales, specifically orcas, when we capture them for entertainment purposes. Watch the trailer below:
We now know that whales and dolphins have intelligence and levels of feeling similar to our own. Indeed, they keep teaching us things, and the latest lesson is that we need to reexamine our relationships with them (and other animals) once again. Our current approach is black with death and shame.