Seaworld does not respect animal rights and should be shut down.
Debate Rounds (3)
So does Sea World respect animal rights? First we must ponder what rights animals actually have. I would like to think that animals have a right to food, a suitable environment, and other animals to socialize with. They have a right to be treated with care. The people at Sea World take pride in their "world-class standard of care, state-of-the-art animal habitats, and commitment to animal welfare" Additionally, they claim that "Assuring the health and well-being of the animals in our zoological parks is a responsibility our skilled professionals take extremely seriously". In short, these animals have it better off than the vast majority of the human population.
So do animals really have any rights? The answer to this question will change depending on your worldview. I will only cover three, so if you believe there is a commonly accepted worldview that acknowledges animal rights being equal to those of humans then please share.
The first is reincarnation. In the earliest records of reincarnation, there is a karma system. If you do good then you will have good karma. If you do bad then you will have bad karma. But how does this relate to animals? "A person who has indulged in immoral deeds . . . will attract [bad] karma which will ensure that he is reincarnated in hell, or in lower life forms". By this logic, animals are beings who were "demoted" from being human because of their wickedness in a past life and therefore have less rights or none at all.
The second is the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution is something everyone is familiar with, and many people believe this to be process by which the diversity of life on earth arose. Now there may be many evolutionists who believe animals have just as many rights as humans, but evolutionarily speaking, inherent rights are an idea that humans came up with after developing consciousness. Additionally, animals are evolutionarily inferior to humans and therefore have less rights.
The third is intelligent design, or more specifically, Christianity. I know the first two points were not specifically aimed at any religion or worldview, but since intelligent design is more than often an argument used for religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, I decided just pick a common religion to save time. In the book of Genesis in the Bible, God gives Adam dominion over all the animals of the Earth and allows Adam to name each species. God makes humanity superior to animals, and creates humankind in His own image.
The truth is that the animals at Sea World live a much better and healthier life than animals in the wild. Overhyped propaganda has made zealous animal rights activists that are often fighting for the wrong cause. There are starving people in Africa and sex traffickers in Europe, but lets help some animals escape pampered captivity into the wild they may have never known before.
I look forward to your reply.
On February 24, 2010, a massive SeaWorld orca named Tilikum killed a veteran orca trainer, Dawn Brancheau, during a show at SeaWorld Parks in Orlando, Florida. But this accident was not just that: it was an intentional act by the orca of aggression. Dawn's grevious injuries communicate that. And this act of aggression was not simply spontaneous or out of ill will by the animal, it was a result of the horrendous psychological treatment that SeaWorld subjects its orcas to. Therefore, I support the resolution and believe that "SeaWorld does not respect animal rights and should be shut down."
Today, I'll be supporting this resolution because I value Animal Rights. Animal rights are, as my opponent agrees, the right to good treatment with regards to their food, sheltering, and psychological health. Animal rights, as I will discuss later, mandate treating animals with respect, which SeaWorld does not do, but for now, let's move on to my criterion, or my way of achieving animal rights in this debate, which is shutting down SeaWorld. Now, this doesn't entail putting the animals back in the wild necessarily, but relocating the orcas to a better environment, whether that be the wild or an animal rescue center.
Let's get into my main arguments in this debate, or my three main contentions.
My first contention is that Animal Rights Need to Be Respected. Animal Rights Need to Be Respected.
My opponent mentioned three different world views in his first rebuttal which would provide a context for valuing animals less than humans, but I would like to clarify something quickly: I'm not advocating that animals should be valued equally to humans. I believe that humans should be able to enjoy the benefits of animals, for example, I do eat meat. However, I do believe that just as humans do, animals have some basic rights: food, adequate shelter, and psychological health. No matter what worldview you subscribe to, animal rights do matter.
My second contention is that SeaWorld Does Not Respect Animal Rights. SeaWorld Does Not Respect Animal Rights.
Under this point, I'd like to respond to my opponent's evidence saying that SeaWorld treats animals correctly. He used SeaWorld itself as a source for proving that this organization treats its animals respectfully. However, SeaWorld is obviously biased. If my opponent can provide a reasonable and unbiased source for proving that SeaWorld does treat animals respectfully, that will be totally legitimate and valid. But SeaWorld is not an unbiased source and should not be considered as an example in this debate round.
So let's look at the real evidence from a primary source: former orca trainers. In the popular documentary film, Blackfish, former SeaWorld orca trainers discuss how the treatment of these majestic animals was horrendous. John Hargrove, former SeaWorld trainer that left the company after the death of Dawn Brancheau, says this in an interview with NPR: "As I became higher-ranked, I saw the devastating effects of captivity on these whales and it just really became a moral and ethical issue". He goes on to discuss how SeaWorld took calves away from their mothers on over 19 occasions, when they say that they never did anything of the sort by construing the facts, and also how this organization separated whale families for sale and the whales themselves emitted long-range cries to try to communicate with their family members for hours on end. Jane Goodall, well-known animal activist, says that the small cages SeaWorld puts orcas and dolphins into create an "acoustical hell" because the sounds constantly bounce off all the walls and back at them. What better sources for information than people that know animals, and specifically, people who worked with these orcas as trainers? SeaWorld is a business, not an animal protection organization, and as a result, it makes compromises on animal rights, some more grevious than others.
So what's our conclusion from these two statements? It is my third contention, and that is: SeaWorld Should Be Shut Down. SeaWorld Should Be Shut Down.
In fact, measures have been taken against SeaWorld in the past. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) fined this corporation for putting its workers in dangerous situations, and in a later motion which was upheld, OSHA "banned SeaWorld from permitting its personnel to enter the tanks to train and perform with orcas, a practice known as water work". But these measures don't end what is the real problem: psychological treatment. The only way to keep orcas mentally stable and healthy is to release them from the dreadful captive environment they live in for the single purpose of entertaining humans. They may go to animal rescue programs that give the orcas proper care, or they may be released back into the wild. But all of this evidence has communicated this simple fact to be true: SeaWorld does not respect animal rights and should be shut down.
"But though SeaWorld denies it, this was a horrific, aggressive event. SeaWorld"s expert witness, Jeff Andrews, said that Tilikum was never aggressive with Dawn. What"s so outrageous about that is that he didn"t just drown Dawn. He dismembered her. He tore off her left arm and scalped her. Her scalp and full head of hair were on the bottom of the pool. He severed her spinal cord. And he never gave her body up. They had to forcibly take the body away from him. These are graphic details, but people have a right to know the true nature of what happened and not have it sugarcoated because it"s painful to hear", says John Hargrove. In response to what happened to Dawn Brancheau and others at SeaWorld, these grievous acts of animal rights abuse need to stop.
On to the debate...
I think we have overlooked one obvious question here. Do animals have the right to freedom? Before I answer this, I will ask a similar question: Do humans have the right to freedom? Because we live in the modern world, people often jump to the conclusion that freedom is a basic human right. But really, it isn't. Humans may be just another byproduct of evolution, and even the Bible condones slavery. Now if humans don't have the right to freedom, then why should animals? The answer is simple: they don't.
Now I don't entirely disagree with your argument. I think you have made some very good points so far. But the fact is that the only example you've given of Sea World's mistreatment of animals is that of the Killer Whale which is a very difficult animal to maintain. This is only one example among the tens or hundreds of other animals Sea World keeps in captivity, and therefore falls under the hasty generalization fallacy. It is less likely that Sea World mistreats its animals and more likely that Sea World has difficulty maintaining the psyche of such a large and intelligent creature like the Killer Whale. As such, the psychological issues you mentioned are more likely due to a lack of competence than a lack of respect.
There are laws protecting the treatment of animals. If Sea World consistently violates those laws, then they should be shut down. However, they have done nothing that goes against the explicit laws of the government, and therefore should not be shut down.
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DrFuzenstein forfeited this round.
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