Notes From SW

Blue HorizonsMany research scribbles in my notebook, now a crinkled, battered thing from sitting in the soak zones at the marine mammal shows. When you see dolphins, pilot whales and orcas that close, when sharks glide right over your head, when you eat lunch next to sea turtles, you discover many facts and impressions to record for Monday morning, when you sit down with your ocean-obsessed middle grade novel and recheck the checked facts embedded in every single page. Seeing penguins and puffins up close reminded me to incorporate them into my stories. Feeding seals, gazing at rays and starfish and a swimming polar bear—such conflicting feelings I had, especially when the crowd literally screamed with appreciation when Shamu and Co. shot up from the water. Can Sea World really awaken empathy in people for endangered species? Can Sea World make people want to stop the slaughtering of dolphins, the finning of sharks, the destruction of coral reefs?

Swimming polar bear

Throughout the park a Sea World conservation policy is repeatedly, blatantly touted. But aren’t they teaching that conservation= cages? SW successfully breeds dolphins in captivity, training the young for shows. Conservation? Or an abomination? The movie Truman kept popping into my head as I watched people “interact” with the trained beauties at Dolphin Encounter. One thing was for sure: No handlers got into the pool with the killer whales.

An orca performs

And my son’s reactions? Off the charts. The love, the interest, the wonder he had for all the animals—is this where successful conservation efforts begin? With our young? Yes. Of course. Still: My heart bleeds, bleeds, bleeds…

About PB Rippey

Writer, wife, mother, grateful. Fiction, memoir, poetry, kidlit (MG), member SCBWI.
This entry was posted in fish, Me and Us, middle grade, ocean related, To Explain, Writer's Angst, Writing, Writing Progress, WTF and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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