I have a pretty vivid memory of the first time I saw a killer whale. I was a kid, maybe six or seven years old. The whale was in a tank, swimming around in bright blue water and jumping out on command to soak the audience and delight everyone with his tricks. It was exhilarating, being up close like that. Years later, I was able to see a killer whale in the wild while I was in British Columbia, and again I was in awe. But I couldn’t help but feel guilt over my initial experience with these beautiful creatures. While I admit that, as a child, I loved every minute of that show at the theme park, as I grew up I understood how wrong it is to hold killer whales in captivity. I’m learning a lot from Mark Leiren-Young’s The Killer Whale Who Changed the World. If you’re interested in how these whales went from being seen as killers to being respected as orcas, I highly recommend this book. It’s absolutely fascinating.
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