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I couldn't stop listening. Anyone who has seen Blackfish definitely needs to read this. Thank you, John Hargrove, for speaking out about the truth behind Sea World's killer whale program and the first-hand, eye-witness truth about the dangers faced on all sides when whales are kept in captivity for public spectacle.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
I remember my sister and I went whale watching once over in the Pacific Northwest. From our boat, we could see another one almost tipping over because everyone was crowded on one side, oohing and ahhing at a multitude of orcas who were watching the humans just as intently, "smiles" on their faces. It was hilarious, and they were, and are, the most precious, gentle creatures imaginable.
So this book is a real kick in the gut, and some of it is so brutal that it's downright painful to hear. But it needs to be listened to because only public awareness and action will stop it. I've always believed that by turning away to spare myself pain, I'm only perpetuating the pain and suffering of others.
Hargrove spares nothing here as he spent countless years at SeaWorld and, he admits, was a believer for so long. These animals were denied food as punishment, were put in pens with other whales who would attack. Captivity caused almost constant aggression, illnesses, neurotic behavior (like eating paint and sand): all unheard of in the wild. And this is what the whales live with year after year, one agonizing day at a time.
The separation of mothers and calves caused me grief, and SeaWorld's artificial insemination program is so graphically described that I can't help but think of it as one of the grossest violations possible.
This is an extraordinary book, and though I've listed only the things that incensed me, there are other enlightening and inspiring things. (Phew, right?) It drags a bit at the beginning, but it's well worth the credit.
If killer whales and man are the two "apex predators," man is by far the more brutal of the two...
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
Very informative and haunting in some parts. I hope one day these magnificent animals are left alone to live a normal life.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
It is a wonderful insight into the world of captured orcas, the truth being told and bringing out the sad truth about the people and Wales exploited by Seaworld.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Beneath the Surface in three words, what would they be?
Haunting, gripping, unforgettable. A book that was captivating from the beginning. Wish it was longer!
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I watched the movie Blackfish a few months ago and found that really interesting, so when this book turned up I jumped at it. I did not realize that killer whales were still kept in captivity and made to do tricks. Added to the ethical and animal rights issues is that of corporate greed which makes it even more compelling. There are so many reasons why it shouldn't be happening and this book makes that even clearer than the film. It is very easy listening I got through it fast because I just couldn't put it down. If you were captivated by Blackfish you need to read this book.