Sticking to the point with animal captivity

Gustavo Lopez

The thought of whales or orcas in captivity is a topic fraught with strong emotions, anecdotal evidence.

So to remain objective is something Professor Corinne Sutherland hopes students take away from her presentation on animal rights and PETA.

“To stay objective is actually important, that’s where the level of respect is,” she said.

“[PETA] is always picking at them, and I appreciate [that] because I understand that we are harming animals but I see Sea World being more objective,” Sutherland said.

She stated that the new leadership at Sea World was more open to try things when it came to the well being of whales in captivity.

The workshop centered on the philosophical side of the argument, with Sutherland talking about Immanuel Kant,Jeremy Bentham, and Peter Singer.

Kant believed that the way people treat animals is a reflection of how they treat themselves.

Jeremy Bentham did delve into animal rights but did not write complete rules regarding animals and morality.

According to Sutherland, Peter Singer formally started the animal rights.

“We could be big and let them go. That’s the best objective thing, you know, realizing that we all deserve the same planet but that’s doesn’t happen,” she said.

She added, “That’s why you have to set a board of standards, not make it a board that’s going to stall things but one that’s going to take an agenda and weigh out negative attitudes with animals.”

She believes that while both Sea World and PETA have pros and cons, but that captivity is a way that we learn and appreciate certain animals, but should be in a way that improves the quality of life of the animal.

Oscar Coward, accounting major, went to the presentation after his philosophy instructor told him about it.

“It was interesting, I liked some of the things they talked about when it comes to orcas in captivity,” he said.

He said he’s not a fan of the orcas in captivity, saying that it was demoralizing to learn about.

Coward said about what to do about the issue, “There’s a form of checks and balances we can do, to the amount we keep in captivity or finding a way of spreading the park, creating more room for them to make it easier for [the whales.]”