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Whales in Captivity stamp by Seolhe Whales in Captivity stamp by Seolhe
Edit: This is going to be remade in the near future! This was made several years ago and while I still stand by my opinion on keeping cetaceans in captivity, this definitely needs to be updated.

I'm generally not against keeping wild animals in captivity, but I am strongly against keeping whales and dolphins in captivity. This is a subject very close to my part, and that I'm very passionate about, and not only because orcas are my favourite animals.
I'm mostly going to use examples using orcas, as I'm more educated on orcas than other species, and know the full details much better, but this also applies to other dolphins and whales.

Unlike most animals in captivity, which usually leads longer, healthier lives, whales lives are drastically shorter in captivity. Female orcas in the wild are known to be able to reach an impressive age of 50-80 years, in captivity, they rarely survive past 20-25.

Even worse is the social aspects of life in captivity. Orcas build amazing, strong bonds with their family, which they usually stays with for life. When taken from them, they become lonely, anxious and depressed. But that's not all there is to it. You see, orcas communicate with a very advanced language, and it's been scientifically proven that orcas from different regions use drastically different "dialects". Marine parks such as Seaworld shows no respect for this when forcing orcas from completely different locations into the same tanks. The orcas can't communicate properly with each other, and this often results in violence, and sometimes even the death of the animals.

Orcas in captivity often develop behaviour problems from the stress they are subjected to. This often takes the form of aggression, both towards other orcas and humans.
There's been a dramatic amount of incidents where captive orcas have seriously injured or killed their trainers, but this aggression towards humans is not natural, as there have never been any cases of wild orcas killing humans.

What makes it all worse, at least in my opinion, is that keeping whales and dolphins in captivity is not only cruel, it also doesn't serve any purpose beside from entertainment. There's no serious conservation efforts involved, you can't really do any proper research on them as they're so far from their natural state of existance, and the excuse of education is nothing but a thin veil to hide the ugly fact that greed and human entertainment is the only reason these intelligent, social and amazing animals are being so poorly treated.

And I'm not even gonna mention all the neglect, abuse and corruption going on in the marine park business >_>

Final words; please, do not support the act of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity. If you want to see orcas, dolphins or whales, you can see them in the wild, without causing enormous amounts of stress and pain and death for these beautiful animals. Thank you.
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:iconluckystarhun:
LuckyStarhun Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm also against entertainment captivity, I think marine parks should close. However, by educational captivity I mean completely other things that does not involve marine parks where the sole reason of captivity is to make the animals perform. There are other places where dolphins can just be as they are, where they are researched, because doing doing research on dolphins and whales in captivity does not necessarily mean cruelty to animals.

So, I am not against those locations where marine biologists deal with dolphins and orcas, and they should be open to public. Why, I will tell you: let's face the fact that people who work 8 hours a day and some don't even earn much money won't travel to the sea (they might be living very far from it) to take a boat to see dolphins. It would be their least concern, really. They won't do research either and if they don't have the possibility to watch cetaceans closer to them, they just won't watch them. The consequence is that these people (and more imprortantly, their children) will not be sensible to topics like dolphin slaugher, because why should they care, they don't even know what are those animals (ok, that's an exageration). It is so incredibly far-fetched from everyday reality to expect people to take on whale watching tours! These people could be bound to dolphins if they saw them. Many people can only buy a family ticket to a zoo and if we speak of cetaceans, they should be shown in a decent way in marine centers, and not by seaworld of course. It is worth nothing. So dolphins and whales could be shown too, but only by taking into consideration the animals' needs first, not forcing animals from different locations to the same tank etc., no premature breeding, and providing more place. There should be a law about the minimum area dolphins are kept in. Seriusly, in the European Union the size of chicken enclosures is regulated and tons of stuff like that so why not, really? (and of course law should be enforced) There are things to be done to ameliorate the conditions, let's just not go back to the '70s where cetacean captivity started. Back then the conditions wre terrible but since then there has been an expansion of knowledge about cetaceans. Of course seaworld does not give it a crap and is still at the 1970s' level in terms of captivity but this does not mean this is the only way, as obviously seaworld is not the only one to keep whales though it's the most known. If people put aside greed, there would not be so many problems in sea parks >_<


Some remarks about what you said about other wild animals in captivity, don't make it look like whales are the only ones who suffer from captivity just because more people speak about them. They are not the only ones who live shorter and suffer from stress (these are the grazers who live much longer and more happily, no predators, haha), captive wolves for instance are pretty violent amongst themselves because of stress and can cause severe injuries while in the wild, serious injuries caused by pack members are rare. Elephants, especially in less developed countries, often injure or kill their handlers due to bad care (and sometimes their family was killed before and they get into the zoo in a traumatized state, let's not go into circus elephants now), just because developed countries have developed zoos and better care, it is not true for all zoos. I did not want to go to zoos in my country when I was younger because of the bad conditions that have only just started to improve. For many years I thought for example that wolves cannot handle captivity but I learned that given the appropriate conditions, they can, and in many sanctuaries they live a happy life. So whales are not exceptional, they can be treated better if the seaworld bullshit is put aside and they should cease to be the number one factor in opinion making. Seaworld has apparently two options, either they listen to researchers and make changes or they close.

To conclude, I agree seaworld should be banned but seriously I think if whale captivity (with the purpose of research and education, seaworld is NOT an educational center) was banned, the whale killings would increase because marine parks still keep the hot topics alive, it's because of them whale issues reach more people (although seaworld is causing them, but ehh). Believe it or not, people can still get to know whales via those establishments and some may ponder for a while about whale conservation and then some may consider taking on a whale watching boat trip. These are only my views which are less likely to change, but maybe. Feel free to argue if you don't like, just don't bash.
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:iconshark235:
shark235 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Watch how this wild dolphin puts on his own show. m.youtube.com/watch?v=jM6WTXSm… (17:51)
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Aw, Fungie! I've heard about him before :)
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:iconorkydorky:
OrkyDorky Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Its kinda  a shame that DA Avertises seaworld so much 
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
They do? Like, do they feature adds for them or something?
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:iconorkydorky:
OrkyDorky Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Yea like in the sides
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I guess I never noticed seeing how I've had a premium membership from years. But man, that sucks :/
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:iconorkydorky:
OrkyDorky Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
yea :/ they just avertised that  "sea cages" will be bad for them :/
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Hahaha, I still can't get over the "sea cages" thing, still can't believe they actually said that. Doesn't exactly make SeaWorld look very professional, lol.
But really though, can't say I'm surprised to hear that, I bet SeaWorld are trying their hardest to try and make anti-caps look bad. Whatever they can to try and save their sinking ship.
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:iconorkydorky:
OrkyDorky Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
yeah ikr  Im pretty sure those "sea cages" are more net XD
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I mean, it's just so ironic for them to label these sea pens "sea cages", when they would be both bigger and providing a richer environment than SeaWorld's tanks. I mean, what does that make their tanks, "land cages"? It's honestly just embarassing :P
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(1 Reply)
:iconcobracatdragon2898:
CobraCatDragon2898 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2016  Student Digital Artist
It sounds like you ate Blackfish for breakfast.

Corky and Lolita are in their 50's, you are aware of that, right?

How about Tilikum and Ulises? They're in their 30s, while Kasatka and (I think, correct me on this) Katina are in their 30s or 40s.

Wild orcas have never killed a human but there have been injuries and bumpings reported. The number is so low because of the fact we humans just don't swim in the same waters wild killer whales swim in.

I could go on with this, but my computer wiped out half my comment and I'm too lazy to try and retype this simply because I might get Blackfish regurgitated into my feed.
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
This stamp, and it's commentary, was done in 2012 (before Blackfish came out, btw, but nevermind). This was when I was still new to the subject, so obviously my arguments are a bit crude, and could use some updating, which is something I have actually been meaning to do, so thank you for the reminder.

I am aware that there are exceptions. Orcas like Corky and Lolita are indeed on the older end of the scale, but they are in the minority.
Here is a complete list of orcas that have died in captivity, including statistics about their origin and how long they spent in captivity: www.orcahome.de/orcadead.htm
Looking through the list, you'll see that only a small minority is past the age of 20, and not a single one is above the age of 30. This is out of the 164 orcas that are known to have died in captivity. So being able to say that 5 or 6 individuals have reached an average age for a wild orca isn't saying much when compared to the vast number or orcas that didn't even come close.

Also, if you're going to use Corky as an example of how good captivity is, why not mention all of her 7 calves, neither of whom made it to their first birthday?
And I don't feel it's fair to brag about Lolita's age without also remembering her former tank mate Hugo, who died at the age of 15 from a brain aneurysm after repeatedly smashing his head against the walls and windows of his tank. But I suppose you'd rather just sweep orcas like those under the rug seeing as they're not conveniently supporting your case.

It is true that there has been a few incidents of orcas causing (mostly minor) injuries on humans in the wild, although none of the cases seems to have been very aggressive in nature, if at all. In fact, there are only 6 recorded incidents involving wild orcas, only one of those involved an orca biting a human being (the Hans Kretschmer case in 1972), and most of the incidents involved the orca mistaking the human in question for prey. None of these incidents are comparable to the many intentional and aggressive attacks recorded in captivity.

As for "humans just don't swim in the same waters wild killer whales swim in", this statement is obviously false. People DO swim in the same waters as orcas. In fact, a lot of people intentionall swim with orcas, in very close proximity to them. Just to mention a few examples:
- Orca researcher Ingrid Visser regularly swims with wild orcas in New Zeeland. She does this under a research permit. There are countless photos and videos featuring her doing this, including an entire documentary about it.
Example:
s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/o…
- There is a growing whale watching industry in Norway which includes swimming with wild orcas. People come to Northern Norway every winter to swim with them. I would know, I went there myself earlier this year.
Example: i.ytimg.com/vi/PnvdiFruV28/max…
- Just last month a kayaker in New Zeeland (illegally) got out of his boat and took a swim with an orca, and cases like these are not exactly uncommon.
www.upi.com/Odd_News/2016/09/0…
In fact, here's another example of someone swimming with wild orcas in New Zeeland:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt4zHx…
And while we're at it, another example:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ3mDX…

I could go on, but I think you get the point. Saying that people doesn't swim in the same waters as orcas is just completely inaccurate.

Finally, if you want to keep discussing this, you're welcome to do so, but stop bringing up Blackfish as if that's the be-all, end-all of the anti-captivity movement. People have been oppossed to cetacean captivity for decades. This photo here shows protesters back in the mid-60's: cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/80…
It wasn't Blackfish that made me become against cetacean captivity, in fact, it didn't really change anything about my opinion at the time I saw it. What made me take the stance I have are actual facts and statistics combined with the statements and testemonials made by countless scientists, marine biologists and experts in this subject, so stop pulling that Blackfish crap as if it makes you look superior.
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:iconcobracatdragon2898:
CobraCatDragon2898 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Back then, where Corky was at, the pool's facilities were quite poor in quality and it was sheer bad luck on Corky's side. Here's a YouTube video documenting her life (not made by me): www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuPo_Y…
And here's a video documenting Lolita's life: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFKuPN…

And the whole people-in-the-same-water-as-orcas, I meant that we don't interact 24/7 with wild whales 365 days a year, unlike whales in marine parks and zoos/aquariums. In captivity, there have been over 200+ whales for more than 50 years and millions of interactions. 4 deaths, and 12 attacks have resulted in injuries.
And most of the attacks are bumping, tail flukes smacking, coming at trainers with mouth open, etc.
(for further reading, here: orcinus-ocean.tumblr.com/commo…)

What, the employees fired for bad behavior towards animals, the ones with little to no experience with the whales, and/or the ones who weren't even working at the park when something big happened? Or the one who said, "Stay out of the animal's proximity and you won't get killed?" 

I'm OK if you are against cetaceans/any animal in captivity (there are some bad aquariums/zoos) but saying free them/empty the tanks all just gives me the impression on how much you care about the animal's welfare.
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Edited 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
First the Blackfish bullshit and now this "empty the tanks/free them" shit. Maybe you should read what I actually write before you start spewing these accusations.

Look, I never said *anything* about "emptying the tanks" or "freeing them all". I never said that captive cetaceans should/could be freed. I am opposed to releasing any captive orcas (the only potential exception would be for recently captured Russian orcas where there *might* be a tiny chance of a release being successful).
I'm well aware of all the problems with releasing captive cetaceans, especially orcas with their complex social structures. And honestly, most of the reasons they can't be returned to the wild stem from the effects of captivity, whether it's poor physical health, broken and drilled teeth, hybridisation, lacking necessary survival skills, generally not having a family pod to be returned to (which is also related to the problem of hybridisation), etc.

I think sea pens *might* work in *some* instances, but it's not a universal sollution. In general I advocate for breeding bans and phasing out the captive population, combined with ending circus-like shows and improving the living conditions of the animals still in captivity.

So please stop putting words in my mouth.
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:iconorkydorky:
OrkyDorky Featured By Owner Edited Oct 3, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Most anticaps know not to release them into the wild especially captive born one ones Most anti caps want a seasanctuaries to be buldlt  so whales like lolita and corky can retire and be put into the natrual ocean again without being put back into the wild and not proform and be in a crowd, Ya understand what im saying love?
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:iconcobracatdragon2898:
CobraCatDragon2898 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2016  Student Digital Artist
If I can believe that, I can believe anything.
But what about the extremists who think that $camtuaries aren't enough?
Sea pens can only create more problems because these whales aren't used to unfiltered ocean water. Not only that, wild whales and former captives (if we somehow go there, I pray we don't) will transmit diseases from one another.
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:iconorkydorky:
OrkyDorky Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
just lettin u know ;)
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:iconorkydorky:
OrkyDorky Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
k
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:iconcargirl9:
cargirl9 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2016
I agree with you to 100% that whales and Other animals should be Free.
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I should clarify that I'm not opposed to keeping all animals in captivity, only the ones that cannot thrive in a captive setting, such as whales and dolphins. I do support well-managed zoos, and as long as an animal's physical, mental and social needs can be met, the animal isn't used for entertainment purposes (circuses, dolphin shows, etc.), isn't used for exploitative and abusive interaction programs (cub petting, elephant rides, swim-with-dolphin experiences, etc.) and is contributing in a positive way to conservation, education and research, I don't have a problem at all.
It isn't about an animal's right to freedom for me, it's about animal welfare and not causing harm and suffering in the name of entertainment.
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:iconcargirl9:
cargirl9 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2016
Oh rigth. As Long they are treated well it's fine. And if the zoo or sea world helps them and thier spieces it's Good too. I was thinking about the events of Black fish and the Cove, that's make me angry.
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, that's exactly my opinion :)
I'm not a fan of SeaWorld in general, even outside of their horrendous treatment of their orcas. They're not a reputable zoo, they are an amusement park, and the sole reason they keep animals at all is to exploit them for entertainment. They can try to pretend that their breeding programs are valuable and that they are helping raise awareness and educating the public all they want, it's really just a sad attempt to make their shitty practices look better.
I won't deny that they do some good in the field of rescue work, but one good act won't justify all their bad ones.
And yeah, both Blackfish and The Cove left a big impact on me, although I already held these beliefs before I watched either one of them.
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:iconcargirl9:
cargirl9 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2016
Yes, i've read about some breeding programs and Most do not end very well. I have never been on a sea world but i do not plan either. I,am insted a wwf member and helps with the marine life.
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm most familiar with SeaWorld's (thankfully now ended) orca breeding program, which was a catastrophe. With a pathetically shallow gene pool, several inbred calves (including mother/son offspring), an endless list of dead calves, mothers being bred way too young and way too often, all while still being forced to perform even while heavily pregnant, another long list of mothers dying from various birth complications not to mention calves being rejected by their mothers or forcefully separated from their mothers at young ages. It's a good thing they ended that mess, but really, unless they wanted to end up with a bunch of inbred whales, their only other option would be to capture more whales from the wild, which they never would be able to get away with in this day and age.
Unfortunately, none of that applies to their other cetaceans, meaning they are still free to breed and exploit their bottlenose dolphins, belugas and any other whales they have in their parks.

I've never been to SeaWorl either, not living in the US and all. I've never seen orcas in captivity, rather, I was fortunate enough to get a chance to see them in the wild earlier this year up in northern Norway. I have however seen bottlenose dolphins in captivity when I was younger, something I now deeply regret.
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:iconcargirl9:
cargirl9 Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2016
There is a somekind of sea world in Stockholm in a park called Kolmården i have heard some bad thing about it.
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
It's not related to SeaWorld, which is a particular company based in the US. There is indeed a dolphinarium in Sweden (although not based in Stockholm, it's closer to Norrköping) as part of the Kolmården zoo. I did visit Kolmården and it's dolphinarium twice when I was younger and not aware of the problems involved in keeping cetaceans in captivity, but since then I have pledged not to visit the park as long as they keep dolphins, and I have been speaking out against them both on here and on other sites like facebook and tumblr.
Although old, this deviation is all about my experience with seeing the dolphins at Kolmården back in 2009:
My experience with captive dolphins by Seolhe
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(1 Reply)
:iconelizabeth-senpai:
Elizabeth-Senpai Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
I can agree. Orcas deserves to be free in the wild in the oceans.
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Having seen them in the wild, it's even more obvious that it's where they belong.
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:iconelizabeth-senpai:
Elizabeth-Senpai Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
True.
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:iconmiddyrose:
MiddyRose Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes! I agree so much. Orcas are my favorite type of dolphin (Sea animal in general) And it's so disgusting how they abuse them in captivity. It makes me so sad.
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Orcas are my favourite animals, period, but I would have been just as outraged regardless of that fact. The exploitation of any animal for entertainment is disgusting, and keeping animals that can't thrive in a captive setting, especially when they serve no actual purpose, is just plain terrible!
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:iconmiddyrose:
MiddyRose Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah I totally agree. It's just so sad.
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:iconorkydorky:
OrkyDorky Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree i mean how would you like it if you where taken away from your loved ones in put in some small room getting fed weird food by jumping around and getting bullied?
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, exactly.
These are intelligent, socially complex animals, and we're treating them like circus clown. The conditions they live in are shameful, and it's time to put an end to this pointless exploitation.
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:iconorkydorky:
OrkyDorky Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
yea there not some dog or fish they are intelligent wild animals used to swimming miles a day with there family you can just lock them up givenig them dead fish 
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:iconelectricexploder:
ElectricExploder Featured By Owner May 11, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I watched The Cove and Blackfish in my oceanography class. It's so sad what people are doing to these creatures, just for money. It just makes me really sad :c
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner May 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
It really is incredibly sad. The things people will do for profit :/
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:iconelectricexploder:
ElectricExploder Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah > <
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:iconwaveoffire:
WaveOfFire Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
YAWS! THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW! 
btw if you've heard of Miami seaquarium, Hugo there male orca committed suiced because of captivity! Look up Hugo orca for more info.
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, I know about Hugo, his story is so sad. While it's hard to define it as a suicide, we can't know his intention was to kill himself, he did die from self-inflicted injuries by repeatedly smashing his head into the walls of his tank. And poor Lolita hasn't seen another orca since his death.
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:iconwaveoffire:
WaveOfFire Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
He was quite possibly the only family ever seen since. :(
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:iconzuko-agni:
zuko-agni Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
 LOVE this stamp.
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :)
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:iconlittlecloud430:
littlecloud430 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my gosh,agreed. I went to SeaWorld several years ago and when I look back,I feel REALLY guilty. The poor orcas are kept in these puny pools of water like,WTF why SeaWorld?!
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I absolutely understand. I haven't been to SeaWorld or any other place that keep orcas, but I have been to a zoo here in Sweden that keep bottlenose dolphins twice, once as a small child and once as a teenager, and looking back on it, I really feel a lot of guilt, and in hindsight, I can't understand how I could think that was ok. All we can do is learn from our experiences and try to make a difference.
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:iconordam19:
Ordam19 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
 I agree OVER 9000% with your description.
Vegeta (Over 9000) [V2] 

I recently read some shitty, hypocritical article about how whales and dolphins weren't "smart enough to be free" and that they were "just simple, marine animals". The article states that marine creatures have no concept of freedom and don't have a real "reason" to be free. Ain't that hilarious?! 
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha, thanks ;D

Wow, that's just ridiculous. There's so much wrong with that entire argument.
Saying that whales are not "smart enough to be free" is ridiculous on so many levels. Like, first of all, they are among the most intelligent animals in the world. Secondly, even the most unintelligent life forms can make it just fine in the wild. And finally, whether they are smart or not, and whether they have a concept of freedom or not, is completely irrelevant in a discussion about animal welfare. Mistreating and abusing animals isn't just wrong if the animals in question are smart.
Talk about failing to understand the issue, haha XD
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:iconordam19:
Ordam19 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
IKR?! I couldn't of said it better.
No wonder that article's only gotten one complement out of the 194 comments! The author only uses common sense as her weapon, sees it perfectly fine to rip animals from their homes just for entertainment, and calls people immature for disagreeing but claims herself as an animal lover. No, I disagree! 
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:iconseolhe:
Seolhe Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Sadly, I'm not surprised >_>
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