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Question for those against dolphin swims/rides...


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#1 RyanAmanda

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    Posted 07 May 2008 - 01:16 PM

    First off, I don't mean to get anyone upset or anything like that - I'm just curious and I figured someone could enlighten me from my ignorance. :)

    I was reading a post and someone made a comment about being 100% against swimming with dolphins (like you can at Dreams Cancun). At first I thought, yeah maybe swimming with dolphins isn't very animal friendly. But then I was thinking, what's the difference between dolphin rides and horseback riding? Both the horses and dolphins are kept in pens, and they're both there for human enjoyment. Personally I don't see anything wrong with horseback riding so by that reasoning, there should be nothing wrong with dolphin riding :S

    We were planning on doing a dolphin swim but reading that one person's comment has made me totally rethink it for reasons I don't even know..lol...so any thoughts would be appreciated! :)

    #2 jajajaja

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      Posted 07 May 2008 - 01:19 PM

      Ok I totally haven't researched any of this, but I think it wasn't because of the act of "riding" the dolphin, but more for the lack of care given to the dolpins. Meaning they are kept in too small of living quarters and not enough mental stimulation, etc.

      Hopefully others will chime in and give you more information!
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      #3 Jacqueline

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        Posted 07 May 2008 - 01:42 PM

        I'm not too sure. I always tend to "feel bad" for animals that are used for human enjoyment...hahaha I know that sounds funny. Like circuses, horse racing, dog racing, horse carriages in down town Philly, and I can go onnn. A lot (not all) of times the animals are mistreated and not cared for properly. BUTTTT I am working on getting over that and I have to remember that not all people or places abuse the animals. I've gone horse back riding and the horses lived like kings, and I've also gone (in Cabo actually) and I wanted to cry when I saw how the horses looked (cuts, skinny, hand shy, standing on beach in steaminghot weather with no shade) Another time they had dolphins and (to me) didnt look healthy, and they didnt have much room. But again, I'm not going to say not to do it, because it def depends on where you go.

        **Do research before you book anything thats all you can really do. I personally won't do things like that anymore unless I know for sure they aren't mistreated. Hope that helps :o)

        #4 rodent

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          Posted 07 May 2008 - 02:11 PM

          Here is the big difference in my opinion. I do not claim to be an expert on this, but I have read up on it quite a bit. I had planned to swim witht he dolphins during my honeymoon and a friend told me I should look into it first. I was so glad she did.

          1. Dolphins are highly intelligent animals that need very complex social interactions. Sort of like how a human would lose their mind being trapped in a small room, but a goldfish can be content in a little bowl. Parrots, which are also very intelligent, needs lots of social interaction & stimulation too. Humans, Dolphins & parrots are all on the top of the IQ list. Horses, dogs, cows, are not as intelligent & therefore don't always have the same needs. A horse might be perfectly content in a stable as long as it also has room to run.

          The repetitive behaivor that dolphins are known for, actually isn't a dolphin personallity trait. I think it's called stereo behavior. it's a really bad sign in the animal world that the animal is bored and not right mentally.

          2. Horses are domesticated, dolphins are not. Horses are also breed in captivity and not captured in the wild. Dolphins are captured and often injured or killed in the process. I would not approve of a horse riding facility that did not treat horses the way they needed to be happy. But, it's much easier because a horse can be housed in a stable or barn & then share a large area for running. I believe dolphins need more room to roam. The swim large distances each day.

          3. I do not like how these places promote themselves as eco-friendly or dolphin loving. If they loved dolphins they would not be exploiting them for money.

          I am glad you brought this topic up. I do not judge people who decide to swim with the dolphins, but I would like them to atleast look at the truth behind it first before deciding to do it.

          #5 rodent

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            Posted 07 May 2008 - 02:19 PM

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by Jacqueline
            I'm not too sure. I always tend to "feel bad" for animals that are used for human enjoyment...hahaha I know that sounds funny. Like circuses, horse racing, dog racing, horse carriages in down town Philly, and I can go onnn. A lot (not all) of times the animals are mistreated and not cared for properly. BUTTTT I am working on getting over that and I have to remember that not all people or places abuse the animals. I've gone horse back riding and the horses lived like kings, and I've also gone (in Cabo actually) and I wanted to cry when I saw how the horses looked (cuts, skinny, hand shy, standing on beach in steaminghot weather with no shade) Another time they had dolphins and (to me) didnt look healthy, and they didnt have much room. But again, I'm not going to say not to do it, because it def depends on where you go.

            **Do research before you book anything thats all you can really do. I personally won't do things like that anymore unless I know for sure they aren't mistreated. Hope that helps :o)

            I do not think you need to get over your dislike of circuses or dog/ horse races. I will not support any of these. Have you seen what happens to a greyhound once they can no longer race? Animals exploited for profit are rarely treated properly. The lions & tigers who entertain are not doing it because they enjoy it. They get them to do that stuff out of fear & intimidation or food deprevation. I read something about how the lion tamer assumes the role as alpha lion & the weakest lion will do whatever he makes him out of fear. This one is the star of the show.

            But, I do feel like there are ethical ways to interact with animals. Mostly, domesticated animals. Like dogs for example. If you have a dog that enjoys agility training, that's great. it's a great way to exercise the dog & play with them. I have little experience with horses, but I do think they enjoy similar stuff. My friends with horses say they bond with their horse so riding the horse is enjoyable for both. I don't know how we can really know what an animal likes, but I feel like I can tell my dog wants to play these games too. So I think domestication is the big difference.

            #6 michelle08

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              Posted 07 May 2008 - 02:20 PM

              Hmm...I am no help....I love animals but I guess I'm selfish because I never look into the animal rights part of things.

              I think it's a personal preference...if you have issues w/ places treating animals badly and you are concerned then research it and see if it's a good facility that you feel comfortable with...

              If you don't have issues with it then just go and have fun!

              #7 lambert13

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                Posted 07 May 2008 - 03:29 PM

                I'll start of by saying that much like Morgan, I am 100% against using animals for human enjoyment. To me, the whole swimming with dolphins is disgusting, inhuman and bad for both the animal and the human.

                1. Dolphins are captured in the wild, torn away from their families and then kept in captivity until they are no longer needed. They are highly intelligent and they are shown to actually mourn the loss when one member of their group dies. Ripping a dolphin from their group is akin to them dying.

                2. The conditions they are kept in are usually horrible. The water is loaded with feces, algae and other pollutants. The 'cage' structure traps all sorts of debris in the area where the dolphins are kept and that you swim in. A lot of them try to tout that they are kept in an ocean setting. That does not matter. The water is still disgusting.

                3. Dolphins will attack humans. Especially when kept in captivity and used as a toy constantly. Watch the show on the Discovery Channel about dolphins attacking people in these types of encounters. It can be vicious and even deadly.

                As for horses......

                I can accept some uses of them as they are a domesticated animal. Most uses have the same contempt from me.

                1. Riding horses in the tropical heat and making them trudge through shoulder height water makes me sick. Again, just my opinion. There are some tour operators that treat the animals very well though. There is one outfit in Jamaica that rescues horses and brings them back to health by using some of the riding tours as a sort of physical therapy. Them, I applaud.

                2. Carriage rides through cities makes me sick. Most of those horses are kept in warehouses with concrete floors and no heat/air conditioning. That is very very bad for them. Those people that treat horses like that need to fucking die in my opinion.


                Those are just my opinions and trust me that I respect whatever you feel you should do. You will just never find me participating in any of that.

                #8 rodent

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                  Posted 07 May 2008 - 03:50 PM

                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by lambert13
                  I'll start of by saying that much like Morgan, I am 100% against using animals for human enjoyment. To me, the whole swimming with dolphins is disgusting, inhuman and bad for both the animal and the human.

                  1. Dolphins are captured in the wild, torn away from their families and then kept in captivity until they are no longer needed. They are highly intelligent and they are shown to actually mourn the loss when one member of their group dies. Ripping a dolphin from their group is akin to them dying.

                  2. The conditions they are kept in are usually horrible. The water is loaded with feces, algae and other pollutants. The 'cage' structure traps all sorts of debris in the area where the dolphins are kept and that you swim in. A lot of them try to tout that they are kept in an ocean setting. That does not matter. The water is still disgusting.

                  3. Dolphins will attack humans. Especially when kept in captivity and used as a toy constantly. Watch the show on the Discovery Channel about dolphins attacking people in these types of encounters. It can be vicious and even deadly.

                  As for horses......

                  I can accept some uses of them as they are a domesticated animal. Most uses have the same contempt from me.

                  1. Riding horses in the tropical heat and making them trudge through shoulder height water makes me sick. Again, just my opinion. There are some tour operators that treat the animals very well though. There is one outfit in Jamaica that rescues horses and brings them back to health by using some of the riding tours as a sort of physical therapy. Them, I applaud.

                  2. Carriage rides through cities makes me sick. Most of those horses are kept in warehouses with concrete floors and no heat/air conditioning. That is very very bad for them. Those people that treat horses like that need to fucking die in my opinion.


                  Those are just my opinions and trust me that I respect whatever you feel you should do. You will just never find me participating in any of that.
                  Thanks Jason, I'm glad you shared your knowledge of this. I think you know more about it than I do.

                  I agree with what you said about horseback riding & the carriages. It is all about how well the horse is treated & taken care of. Horseback riding can be done ethically, so research the place first. Swimming with the dolphins can never be done ethically, unless you are in the ocean & some dolphins just happen to show up. The open water swims are just a scam to try to make it look OK.

                  I did go horseback riding when I was in cancun 10 years ago. It wasn't something I was interested in doing, but the family I went with insisted I come along. If I were ever to do it again, I would research the tour provider. I didn't really think about the heat, but we had horses in South Texas & it was hot. The stables & facilities looked really nice. The horses all seamed healthy too. But, I really don't know much about it. I was just told the day before we left that I had to go.

                  Are there good options for horseback riding in Cancun/ Riviera Maya? Any place like the place in Jamaica?

                  I think the key for doing anything with animals is to do a little research & see if it's ethical. A great alternative to swimming with dolphins is to go on a dolphin watching or whale watching tour (that is done right where they don't invade the animals space).

                  #9 TATrisha

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                  Posted 07 May 2008 - 04:36 PM

                  Oh goodness. If you ever want to be ripped a new one, go onto TripAdvisor and ask about dolphin swims in the AKumal forum. Oh it's just hilarious!
                  Ok, I did this in Mexico. We went to Xel-ha and I loved every minute of it. yup, I'm a terrible person, I know it. I'm sorry. And I do feel bad for them. It did comfort me to know that their dolphins are not captured from the wild. Sure, 20 years ago the orginal couple were, but now every dolphin on their facility was born into captivity and they are it's family. Made me feel slightly better.

                  Ok, just a devils advocate saying. You say it's alright if the animal is domesticated... who is to say what is domesticated? Who has the right to say that one animal is stupid enough so it can be domesticated? Horses are wild animals, people just chose to domesticate them. I guess i just never really understood that point of view. Sorry

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                  #10 rodent

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                    Posted 07 May 2008 - 06:16 PM

                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by Tlseege
                    Ok, just a devils advocate saying. You say it's alright if the animal is domesticated... who is to say what is domesticated? Who has the right to say that one animal is stupid enough so it can be domesticated? Horses are wild animals, people just chose to domesticate them. I guess i just never really understood that point of view. Sorry

                    Domestication of horses & dogs was done in BC times. So it wasn't a judgement of they are not as intelligent, lets domesticate them. I don't think this is something we should be deciding. Most domesticated animals we chosen either for work or food. It was more of a way for man to survive.

                    Domestication isn't an arbitrary thing either. There is a genetic and behaivorial change to the animal. It's not like today we are declairing dogs as domesticated & dolphins as non-domesticated.

                    Here is a list of info about dolphin swims I had bookmarked when I first started looking in to it. I'm not trying to attack anyone. But, I was glad to see this thread was started to get the info out there.





                    53% of those dolphins who survive the violent capture die within 90 days.

                    The average life span of a dolphin in the wild is 45 years; yet half of all captured dolphins die within their first two years of captivity. The survivors last an average of only 5 years in captivity.

                    Every seven years, half of all dolphins in captivity die from capture shock, pneumonia, intestinal disease, ulcers, chlorine poisoning, and other stress-related illnesses. To the captive dolphin industry, these facts are accepted as routine operating expenses.

                    In many tanks the water is full of chemicals as well as bacteria, causing many health problems in dolphins including blindness.

                    When a baby dolphin is born in captivity, the news is usually kept secret until the calf shows signs of survival. Although marine mammals do breed in captivity, the birth rate is not nearly as successful as the one in the wild, with high infant mortality rates.

                    Wild dolphins can swim 40 to 100 miles per day - in pools they go around in circles.

                    Many marine parks subject their mammals to hunger so they will perform for their food. Jumping through hoops, tailwalking and playing ball are trained behaviors that do not occur in the wild.

                    Confined animals who abuse themselves (banging their heads against the walls) are creating stimuli which their environment cannot supply. Dolphins in captivity tend to develop stereotypical behaviors (swimming in a repetitive circle pattern, with eyes closed and in silence) because of boredom and confinement. This is equivalent to the swaying and pacing of primates, lions, tigers and bears confined in cages.

                    Dolphins are predators of fish and spend up to half of their time in the wild hunting for food. Supplying dead fish results in less exercise and lack of mental stimulation, thus causing boredom.

                    When trapped together, males often become agitated and domineering. This creates pecking orders (unknown in the wild) and unprovoked attacks on each other and the trainers. In the ocean, although fights are not unknown, the wild dolphins have a chance to escape.

                    THEY WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE....
                    Dolphinariums claim that their mission is to protect dolphins in the wild through research and public education. Those are nice words but facts speak louder. If dolphins are so happy in captivity, why do they die so fast? Why the secrecy about their mortality rates? There would be fewer spectators if people knew how many animals were "dying" to amuse them. Perhaps if the death records were displayed at the entrance, no one would buy a ticket.
                    Education?
                    Most dolphinariums have made little or no contribution to education about dolphins. Jacques Cousteau believed that captive dolphins are conditioned and deformed and bear little resemblance to dolphins living in freedom in the sea. It's like studying human psychology only in prisons, which leads, obviously, to misinterpretations and absurd generalizations. As people learn more about the wild cetaceans, they pity more the captive ones. As TV, computers, and virtual reality become greater educational tools, the justification for keeping captives on display disappears.
                    Research?
                    We blindfold dolphins to study the efficiency of their echolocation system. We put probes in their larynxes and nostrils to examine their sound production. We train them to push buttons and levers, to choose between materials and colors, we teach them to speak. We clamp them down, drill holes into them, and dissect them. Why? They do not exist as subjects for agonizing experiments by man. Dolphins suffer no less than humans. The only way scientists should study dolphins is to swim with them in the wild. No argument can rationalize the forced confinement of these highly intelligent creatures. Dolphins are innocent sufferers in a hell of our making.

                    The Good News is...
                    Fortunately for the dolphins, more and more people are becoming concerned about dolphin suffering, and uncomfortable at sea circuses. Citizens are now speaking out loudly that dolphins and whales belong in the ocean. This is the only hope. Imagine this: A theme park has a dolphin show and nobody goes. The owners will soon close down. There would be no dolphin shows if no one paid to watch them.




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