Have you ever been to the zoo to see animals you've never seen before or to a water park to see dolphins put on a show? Could you imagine a world without them?
Our junior high students were asked the same question after watching the overwhelming documentary "Blackfish", which raises the controversial issue of captive whales. It tells the story of a killer whale taken away from its family to a water park in order to be trained and perform and attempts to explain how it ended up killing three people. The children's responses on the question of whether animals should be deprived of their freedom were extremely moving.
One student wrote: "These animals were free, like us, but we went and caught them, we took their freedom away because we wanted to entertain ourselves by watching them become clowns for us."
Another one added: "We don't learn about animals by visiting them. We just see them in the cage only for a few minutes. I think that zoos and circuses are just prisons."