A Killer Whale And A Human Walk Into A Bar…

What would a killer whale and a 37 year old female have in common?  A lot more than one would think…

I would like to preface this blog by saying that you should take the opportunity to watch “Blackfish” by Gabriela Cowperthwaite.  This 60 minute documentary airing on CNN  will give you some food for thought…for me, it highlighted the fact that all of life is really intrinsically linked.  We just don’t take the time to notice it.

Although the bulk of the conversation during the documentary centers on one particular whale at Sea World and aggressive events that have happened over the last several years, there are other interesting themes that are touched on during the discussion (i.e. money-the crux of a lot of evil).  Surprisingly, as I watched, I kept relating issues with this particular whale to myself, and things that have happened in my own life.

  • dorsal fin collapse-seen in most captive orca whales (take a look at an orca in the wild and one held in captivity and tell me that picture is not worth a thousand words..).  Then, look at yourself.  What happens when you are tired, depressed, overstimulated, separated from your family, overworked, unfulfilled and just plain bored?  The image of a slug comes to mind.  What happens if you are left to your own devices-in your own space doing what you love to do the most (while surrounded by the people who bring out the best in you)?  I’ll help you out:


Peace, fulfilment, physical satisfaction…note open posture and strong fin (or arms and legs) positioning.  A human in their natural environment-mentally, emotionally and physically.

  • aggressive/assertive/dominant behaviour-imagine yourself in your job…repeatedly asked to deliver on tasks, constantly being evaluated for performance, working alongside fellow employees but also being in some level of competition to be the “best”.  And what if it was a job you really didn’t like-one that served no higher purpose for you…one that may provide some financial security but does nothing to fulfill your innermost longings?  What if you were repeatedly sacrificing your own integrity…maybe for the sake of thinking “well, this is what I SHOULD be doing because I am a responsible person?”.  Could it lead to some of these feelings?  Yup.  Easy to extrapolate this example to an animal being made to perform to feed the financial hunger of some large corporation.
  • loss of spirit-at one point during the documentary there is discussion of the main performing whale…and his deterioration in “personality” and performance desire over the last few years.  There is a clip of this massive creative floating in one spot in his enclosure…for hours.  Strangely, it is not a “floating” image that you would equate with relaxation or contentment.  The whale is positioned awkwardly and it appears as though he has just given up mid-action.  How many times as this happened to you-beaten down, overwhelmed, feeling alone.  We’ve all had these moments.   When the fire inside is getting dimmer, it’s hard to harness the fuel to get it going again.

It is easy to forget, but amazing to remember how linked we all are and just how similar our behaviors and emotions can be.  When you watch a human being in their “element” (doing something that feeds them physically, emotionally, spritually and mentally) it becomes apparent that all life forms have an “element” and are only truly living when they are in that space.

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