If you have a cat or dog you know that a shiny coat, sleek body shape and happy demeanor are signs of a healthy animal. We spend tons of time and money caring for our pets so they live happy, healthy lives.
Caring for animals is time consuming and expensive. While they do provide value - companionship, guardianship, pest control - we care for them because we love them and don't see our pets as a line item on a financial statement. This is the outcome of thousands of years of bonding. Humans have evolved alongside dogs and cats.
Our investment in our pets pays off by providing a living creature with a life worth living.
I have a working dog and a lot of my life revolves around keeping this creature well - both physically and mentally. As a result, she is always ready to go! She has an enviable zest for life.
Unfortunately, this is not true for all captive animals. Many animals are indeed line items on a financial statement.
There's something eerily familiar about all this
Most zoos exist to make money. Many are not charities and the animals they display are seen as depreciating assets that exist to generate cash flow. Many zoo owners do the bare minimum to support their animals. Just enough to keep them alive. But nothing to help them truly shine as intelligent creatures.
If you've been to these zoos you can tell. The animals look sick. Their sterile enclosures are restrictive and unstimulating. They pace frantically but meaninglessly. They engage in self-destructive habits. They smash their heads against the wall. They kill each other. They die.
Yet, these animals still perform their tricks for their human captors. After all, they want to eat and don't want to be punished.
Since 2019, 15 whales have died at MarineLand
There's something eerily familiar about all this
The other day I was downtown and noticed how decrepit, unkept and joyless everything and everyone looked. Worse, everyone looked sickly - either physically or mentally.
Look carefully and you'll see open drug use, human excrement, despair and disease everywhere. Even those dressed in professional attire looked like depressed animals removed from their natural habitat. They were perhaps the saddest of all because they're the ones performing tricks for food.
We're a sad species living an unnatural life that is getting worse with every passing day.
Want healthcare? Want a roof over your head? Want to eat? Want to save a little money? Want the occasional joys of life? Then you'll need to sell your health, time and soul. There is a one-in-a-trillion chance that you were born and you have only one life to experience. Yet, many of us are forced to hand over most of that life to our captors.
I'm not trying to blame any individual person or group, although those in power love to create scapegoats for our suffering. That's not the point of this article. We're all just trying to survive. It's the system and those who control the system that are squeezing the joy out of humanity.
Outside of the well-manicured constructs of media and oases of opulence, humans are just like the animals at MarineLand. We're broken, disheveled, angry, unhealthy, understimulated.
We're kept alive by metaphorical feeding tubes filled with gruel, coerced to produce under the threat of destitution.
Most humans are kept alive using minimum investment possible into food, shelter and healthcare. We're seen as disposable and are just line items on a financial statement. You could die at your desk tomorrow and your boss's biggest concern would be replacing your productivity.
It's not profitable to ensure we're happy, healthy and raring to go. Instead we're kept alive by metaphorical feeding tubes filled with gruel, coerced to produce under the threat of destitution.
While humans can roam free, we live in mental and emotional confines. Like rats in a cage we are angry, stressed, depressed and act out through violence. Sick, physically and mentally, we have more in common with the whales at MarineLand than we know.
If you're happy and living a fulfilled life count your blessings, because you're the exception. Or you're simply still too young to have the hope eviscerated from your body.
Most of us are coping, some better than others. Drugs, medication, addictions fill the void. The societal machine is ruining many of us.
You might say that it has always been this way for most of humanity throughout history. You're probably correct, but it doesn't make the situation any more right.
Believe it or not there is a segment of society that doesn't live like abused zoo animals. We idolize these people - the celebrity class - because we aspire to live their well-manicured, stimulating lifestyles. The Marie Antoinettes of the world thrive off the adoration of the peasantry, but need us to remain in metaphorical human zoos so they retain power and wealth.
The entire system is built off the back of human suffering, bread and circuses. And as long as we accept it, we will continue to suffer like orcas living in an overcrowded aquarium.