Empty the tanks

By Glauce Fleury

If you look in the eyes of animals in captivity, you’ll realize how miserable they are. So if you care about your dog or cat, try for a moment to transfer this feeling to other animals. They get sad, angry and happy, just like you and me.

GF_EmptyTheTanks_Meredith
Meredith Liguori, blogger

Ending animal captivity is the right thing to do, and one of many beliefs I share with Meredith Liguori, a blogger from New Paltz, N.Y.

Living 5,000 km away, we could’ve never met. But there’s Internet, so I came across her blog post on SeaWorld.

Meredith and I agree that animal exploitation should stop. I admit I’ve been to zoos and aquariums when younger, but now I know better. What was a fun day as a child turned out to be a sad realization as an adult.

On May 7, Empty the Tanks, a worldwide event, marked one more year of pacific protests against animal captivity. Canada joined a vast group, including the US, Mexico, England, Spain, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Japan.

GF_EmptyTheTanks_GregorRobertson
Source: VanAquaFacts.org

In Vancouver, B.C., a protest was held at the Vancouver Aquarium, where belugas and dolphins are kept in captivity. Canadians have been outspoken and, right now, there’s a petition being discussed.

This petition, which you can sign by June 18, calls upon the House of Commons to pass Bill S-203, Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act, when it reaches them. This bill was tabled in the Senate by Senator Wilfred Moore.

Debates about animal captivity have been recurrent. Canadian filmmaker Gary Charbonneau has recently released the documentary Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered. The aquarium said the video is not grounded in truthsued Charbonneau for alleged copyright violation and faced criticism.

GF_EmptyTheTanks
Source: VanAquaFacts.org

I’m not sure how this is going to end, but I have no doubts that organizations like Vancouver Aquarium and SeaWorld should empty their tanks.

If animals need care, assist them and let them go when they’re healthy. We don’t own them to make profits out of them, and that’s one of the points that triggered Meredith’s post on SeaWorld.

See the interview below:

Why do these types of organization make you so angry?
Because it’s all centred on making money off of the enslavement of animals. SeaWorld has issued commercials and campaigns saying they care about their marine animals and are giving them a better life than they’d have in their natural habitat, when in fact that’s completely wrong. I hate the fact that SeaWorld calls Blackfish “propaganda.” In reality, it presented the cold hard facts and couldn’t, by any means, be classified as propaganda.

What was your major concern when you wrote your post on SeaWorld?
The fact that they capture and breed animals that are not meant to be kept in captivity, and treat them extremely inhumanely.

What can we do as a community to encourage these organizations to change attitudes?
To educate others on why they shouldn’t support them. Without sales, for example, SeaWorld has no reason to exist.

Why do you believe SeaWorld has kept orcas in captivity even after so many protests?
Because they want to make money. They don’t care in the slightest if their animals are happy and well taken care of.

If we all had the “I’m just one person” mentality, nothing would ever get done! To flip that around, if we all have the mentality of every little bit counts, then we can make some major changes together.

When did you start your blog? Why?
A couple of months ago, I realized that I’d been suppressing the urge to start a vegan lifestyle blog. Why I had been suppressing those feelings, I have no clue. But a couple of months ago I decided what the heck, I mind as well try. It took me a couple of months to do some research on other vegan blogs, WordPress and topics that I wanted to discuss. I started Conveniently Vegan because I want to show others that, contrary to what they’ve heard, it’s extremely easy, fun and rewarding to be vegan!

How do you decide what you blog about?
I blog about anything that concerns animals and anything that (I hope!) other people want to hear about as well.

When did you go vegan? In which circumstances did you make your decision?
I went vegan only a few years ago, but went vegetarian when I was a kid. I remember sitting at the dinner table looking at a chicken patty and deciding then and there that I never wanted to eat another animal again, and I never went back! I went vegan because all of the ethical principles of veganism are the same as vegetarianism. If you don’t want animals to suffer — and that’s why you’re vegetarian — then there’s a 99% chance that you should probably just be vegan. I don’t mean this in a preachy sort of way. If you’re happy being a vegetarian, then that’s great and you do you! I just wish that I’d come to this realization sooner that animals suffer a great deal in the dairy and egg industries, arguably more than in the meat industry.

Some people say they can’t go vegan because it’s too hard. How was your initial experience?
The purpose of my blog is to show others that going vegan isn’t hard in the slightest, so I’m glad you asked this question! My initial experience of making the switch to veganism wasn’t hard in the least bit. Once I was passionate about the issue, it didn’t at all even occur to me that I wasn’t able to eat certain things anymore. I also really broadened my food horizons when I went vegan, so it turns out that I eat a wider variety of food now that I’m vegan than when I wasn’t.

How is it to be vegan where you live? Do you find vegan options when you do groceries or go out for dinner?
My city is pretty vegan friendly, but I’ve found that it’s easy to be vegan pretty much anywhere you go. Sometimes you just have to get thrifty with things, but who doesn’t love getting thrifty?

Photo credit (beluga): Jason Pier via Flickr

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