Tilukim, Orcas And Freedom by Rick London

What is it about whales and dolphins?  I’m sixty-one and as an aging boomer was brought up like most other aging boomers, to believe cetaceans (whales, dolphins etc.) were happy campers in tanks/pools.

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“Can’t you see them smiling, Rick?”  Why would a ten year old question the sage advice of ones parents?  If I’d known then what I know now, I’d be questioning quite a bit more.  But c’est la vie.

Fortunately my parent’s distancing and eventual abandonment of me, eventually led me to the love of domestic animals and later wildlife and nature and now all of the above.    Meeting my wife Lee reinforced that love of nature and wildlife and we explore everything together.  One couldn’t ask for more. I thank God daily.

I’ve thought about them and created cartoons about them long before they re-evolved into the news.  Seaworld’s “pride and joy” Tilikum, a bull orca, is dying.  He was their prize catch back in the early 80s. He’s weighed 12.5 thousand pounds. More than half the orcas now at Florida’s Seaworld share his genes. Imagine how much money that saved them in pursuing more.  They became a “puppy farm” so to speak, being every bit as much in the orca breeding business as in cruel entertainment.  

And though my beloved wife Lee and I live on the ledge of a National Park/Forest, it is very easy to forget when one lives inland, in the mountains as we do, that Orcas and dolphins are every bit as wild as the creatures we have grown to love in our forest.

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Cetaceans must live in the wild.  In their case it is the ocean.  That is for numerous reasons.  A few but surely not even close to all are their need to swim for miles (sometimes 30-50 per day).  Another is that they communicate via very high pitch shrill sounds.  When communicating in a tank/pool, that sound echoes off the concrete walls, driving each of them insane.  So when they kill or injure a trainer, it is not because they are vicious animals, it is because they are tortured and in terrible pain.  The type attacks do not occur in the wild. In fact, quite the opposite.

Though I’ve done my share of reading, given my Autism, I don’t always retain it. However, my patient beloved wife Lee, has a way of explaining it to where it is not slanted, but simply independently researched (and double independently researched facts).

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That is one reason I have taken it on as a personal cause. Without going into detail, I experienced narcissistic torture as a child well into adulthood.  Without the help of 29 years of therapy and my wonderful wife Lee, I am not sure I could have gotten past “those dark ages”.

I hereby offer a percentage of all my orca gifts in my RickLondonGifts.com/LTCartoons.com line to benefit cetacean captivity.   And I won’t stop in my lifetime until/unless Orca/Dolphin captivity prisons such as Seaworld et al close their doors.

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Rick London is a writer, musician, designer and cartoonist, environmentalist and animal activist.  He is best known for launching Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts from a metal shed in rural Ms in 1997.  He is married to Lee Hiller-London (Lee Hiller) who is a nature photographer and designer and owner of the popular nature/wildlife blog Hike Our Planet.  To see Rick’s orca gifts whose sales benefit orca causes visit his Orca Store.

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The Story Behind The Londons Times Cartoon “Orcastra” Cetacean Captivity

“Orcastra” by Google’s #1 Offbeat Cartoon “Londons Times Cartoons” (LTCartoons.com)

 

 

One of the things I love to do in life is play with words.  That’s easy.

One of the things I long to do in the world is make positive changes.  That is easier said than done.  In my college days, it seemed like I could wave a magic wand and change would happen.  That is part of the wonderful delusion of youth, but it felt good nevertheless.  Not voting for Nixon at age 21 was “really cool” and “helped create change”.

Today I realize all the legal jargon, kabuki theater, etc that keeps change from happening, that really should be happening.

Here is a for-instance.   When SeaWorld and similar entities launched their ventures, it was a good thing.  It was very difficult for humans to get close to wild sea mammals, and this seemed an ideal way to do so.

However, studies were being done at the time and it did not take long before oceanographers and other scientists realized that such animals have feelings very similar to humans, thought processes very similar to humans, and were basically family animals.  They also communicate using extremely loud shrill sounds.  When these sounds bounced off a concrete wall such as a pool, it echoes again and again driving the animal insane. Not some of the time, but every time.  Though we see smiles on the faces of Orcas and dolphins, those smiles are simply the structure of their jaw bones.  They are not smiling but crying miserably. Most are suicidal and some are homicidal as we have seen.

Investors have a great deal of money in these entities and are not about to let them go without a fight.

And of course being a “little guy” or a “cartoonist”, all I can do, at most, is speak out with my humor/cartoons and on social media to help gain attention to this atrocity. And I will continue to do my part until I can no longer do it.

Orca cartoon items are wonderful gifts and collectibles.

To view my Orca collection of clothing, eco-friendly bags, pillows, lamps, playing cards, mouse pads and much much more…..

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