The Killer Whale In The Film

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Introduction The killer whale has one of the few names in the animal kingdom that sounds distinctly like a super villain. While scientifically known as an orca, the term killer whale builds much more intrigue and excitement for corporations that are advertising their orca performances. For example, the orca Tilikum drew in crowds with his performances under the title “killer whale” for many years. Tilikum awed the audience as he propelled himself from the water and into the air in astonishing acts of flight that seemed to defy the proportions of his own body. The audience screamed with glee when Tilikum would land on his side and produce a splash that enveloped the front rows. The visitors leaned forwards to capture the perfect…show more content…
In her writing “Visible and Invisible,” anthropologist Erica Fudge focuses on the tendency of humans to associate an animal with an identity after it becomes relatable to the human experience. This grants the animal a moral value above that of the multitude of other animals suffering by humankind’s hands. When Blackfish revealed Tilikum’s tragic backstory and framed him as a child stolen from his family and imprisoned by a corporation, he was no longer seen as property or the violent beast described by his title “killer whale.” Instead, he gained recognition as an emotionally and intellectually complex individual who deserves better than what SeaWorld had been putting him through. This individuality enhanced the public perception of Tilikum and pushed the general population to condemn SeaWorld’s actions. In the end, this humanization of Tilikum forced SeaWorld to effectively end its orca…show more content…
A safety bubble has enveloped around much of modern human civilization in which human and animal interactions are either completely controlled or restricted. The few animals that are still a part of modern society have been reduced to the role of pets or zoo animals, and for the first time in history, the animal world is no longer a constant threat to the general population. As modern civilization expands and develops more of the world we inhabit, the animals in our way are either accepted as non-threatening or are exterminated for our own safety. However, Western society has become overconfident, and we have begun to think of our safety as a constant fact of life. Thus, when a non-domesticated animal such as the orca is placed in captivity, a conflict is created between the excitement that comes with such a unique, wild animal and the actual threat that this animal poses. In “Why Look at Animals?” John Berger discusses a similar scenario of an English woman who won a contest that allowed her to cuddle a lion. This woman viewed the lion like a pet rather than the dangerous beast that it was, and in the end, she required hospitalization for throat wounds. Berger writes on this topic that “the life of a wild animal becomes an ideal, an ideal internalized as a feeling surrounding a repressed desire” (Berger

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