Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Corporation and the Captive Fish

    Greenwashing (a compound word modelled on "whitewash") -- a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization's products, aims, or policies are environmentally friendly.
    Sea World's announcement that it will discontinue its killer whale shows in San Diego is classic greenwashing. The corporation still intends to continue breeding killer whales in captivity. The corporation still intends to continue keeping those highly intelligent and family-oriented animals in concrete troughs, isolated from their natural family units. The corporation still intends to continue exploiting them for profit. The corporation is an unreconstructed dick.
    The corporation makes its supposed "reform" under severe pressure. The 2013 documentary Black Fish moved the public against Sea World's cruelty, which has ended in death and injury for some Orca trainers because the conditions of captivity actually make some killer whales psychotic.
    Sea World stock has plummeted. Ticket sales at San Diego have flat-lined. The paying public has decided they don't like this corporation and the way it's making money.
    What gives away the greenwashing is that while the company announced no more Orca shows at Sea World San Diego (by 2017, mind you), the company remained mute about identical Orca shows at Sea World San Antonio and Sea World Orlando, where protests have been more muted. No more Orca "shows," the company told its investors; now they're gonna have an "orca experience."
    Seriously? If there ever was a distinction free of any actual difference, it's that promise.

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