The kickoff to Atlanta Pride is being held at the Georgia Aquarium, because nothing says glamour like whales who live in tanks that are the equivalent to a full-grown person being confined to a bathtub!
Seriously, as if it's not bad enough that we take some of the most sensitive and intelligent creatures on this motherfucking planet and put them in aquariums to be gawked at by kids banging on their glass tanks as if this cruelty is some kind of rite of passage. Now you wanna throw a party at one? I don't get it. Parties are supposed to be fun and carefree. Especially a Pride kickoff party. The only thing in cages should be go-gos! Pride is about all these wonderful things like love and unity and respect, and you're going to make a bunch of defenceless creatures suffer for it? To me, that goes against its very essence.
Thank the lord for Glee's Jane Lynch, who is reppin' the human beings with decency and common sense! Here's her plea to Buck Cooke, director of Atlanta Pride.
“These parties are supposed to be loud and boisterous—it’s a celebration! However, animals shouldn’t have to suffer for the sake of a party. Many of the marine mammals at the aquarium are extremely sensitive to sound, and large parties create an even more stressful environment than they already endure in captivity . . . Since the kickoff party sets the tone for all of Pride, will you please consider moving it to one of the many alternative venues that Atlanta has to offer?”
The Georgia Aquarium was quick to issue a public response defending the party, labelling those concerned about the welfare of the animals "extremists":
"We think that Ms. Lynch, who is a friend of ours and visited our facility with her family in the summer of 2011, has been given some inaccurate and distorted information by a particular animal rights extremist group with questionable credibility and a history of public relations stunts, which is unfortunate. She has never attended the event for which she is advocating a move, so she would not know how we strictly monitor music volume and sound levels – levels which were determined and are strictly monitored based on what the scientific community knows about the hearing thresholds in certain marine mammals. So we’ll certainly give her the benefit of the doubt!
In any case, when given the facts, I’m certain she will understand that even during the events we hold here in our state-of-the-art facility, the world’s largest aquarium, our animal care experts (with a combined hundreds of years of experience in caring for aquatic animals) always place the welfare and well-being of our animals first."
Sorry, but if the aquarium really placed the welfare and well-being of the animals first, they'd respect their natural habitat — and leave them there.
I mean it about their sensitivity and intelligence. If you want to see for yourself, just check out The Cove. It's about Flipper's former trainer, Ric O'Barry, who, after seeing Flipper depressed and eventually committing suicide (yes, dolphins can do that, watch the movie!), became a dolphin activist. The documentary gives an education you ain't learning at the Georgia Aquarium, that's for sure.