Shame, Resorts World, shame

17 Responses to “Shame, Resorts World, shame”

  1. 1 Singa 15 August 2011 at 23:42

    Powerful message. But for it to be truly effective the circulation must be wide enough.

  2. 2 Victor Chen 16 August 2011 at 00:18

    Where were these folks when Seaworld first opened? Underwater World? Using kids and emotive music with a catchy chorus is nothing new, so is keeping dolphins in captivity. Much as I don’t see anything fantastic about RWS keeping dolphins for entertainment, I think these people calling for the release of the RWS dolphins should broaden their campaign to include institutions/theme parks if they want credibility. I’d bet my bottom dollar that half of these kids went to the zoo on a primary school excursion and enjoyed the sealion tricks.

  3. 4 Mike 16 August 2011 at 00:38

    As much as I agree with the message of not exploiting dolphins (and even there I can be ambivalent*), I don’t agree with the use of children as message bearers, in this sense, literally. Just like how the mind recoils when we consider the prospect of child soldiers, we should try as much as possible to leave children out of issues which have little direct import on their lives. The authors of this video are obviously trying to pull on heart strings, which to me, dilutes and vulgarises the message. It is enough to argue from the perspective of ethical treatment of sentient species to lead toward the banning of such acts.

    * With regard to ambivalence, I am not sure of the specific circumstances of the RWS enclosure, but I suppose a case could be made that to a very limited extent, a dolphin could have a fairly comfortable existence in captivity. Yes, a gilded cage still, which will anger absolutists who disagree with any form of animal confinement. However, a case could plausibly be made that a selective exploitation of a limited number of animals could lead to more interest in protecting the species and others like it. Not that I would accept it, though.

    • 5 Poker Player 16 August 2011 at 12:24

      “Just like how the mind recoils when we consider the prospect of child soldiers, we should try as much as possible to leave children out of issues which have little direct import on their lives. ”

      Commercials? Advertisements? Donation drives?

  4. 6 ThePasserby 16 August 2011 at 11:21

    Dolphin shows are money-makers simply because enough people enjoy shows like this. One could demand that corporations stop putting up such performances, even going to the extent of making it illegal, but ultimately, it is the consumers who should be educated.

  5. 7 wikigam 16 August 2011 at 16:19

    Abuse of “Children Right”

    1) Why use the kids for this protest ? Did the kids know that such activities may relation to political agenda and business benefit ( between 2 IR in singapore). Do the children understand what mean as ” Animal Right” or ” Green Organization ” ?

  6. 8 Anonymous 16 August 2011 at 16:52

    i’ll say let all the animals go, including the ones that are bred and slaughtered for food. I don’t fall for anything less than that.

  7. 9 Anonymous 16 August 2011 at 17:46

    Let the dolphins go…why stop there? What about those in the zoo, the bird parks, in the aquariums etc etc.?

    • 10 yawningbread 16 August 2011 at 20:33

      The difference is that a moral distinction can be made between animals bred and raised in captivity and those caught from the wild. In the first group, the animals are already used to controlled conditions and would not know how to function in the wild, especially if they are social animals. The second case inflicts the tragedy of capture and separation from the social group they belong to. Beside the act of capture itself which is morally problematic, the actual practice of capture inflicts collateral damage, usually killing. To capture a young wild animal, often the mother has to be killed before she attacks. To capture an adult female, usually the young are left orphaned and may soon die. Ethical zoos nowadays do not accept animals caught from the wild.

      The difference between Singapore zoo/Safari Park and RWS dolphin exhibit is precisely this moral difference.

      • 11 Ian 17 August 2011 at 10:10

        So if RW breeds the captive dolphins and free the rest after they have made enough young dolphins, would this now be a problem?

      • 12 Anonymous 18 August 2011 at 00:51

        social animals are such because they were made to… since long ago. 100 years down the road if technology and affluency enables the masses to breed and raise dolphins, doesn’t that make them ‘social’ animals too? Besides, to contend that ‘social” animals not being able to function in the wild is grossly speculative. Sure.. some wouldn’t be able to survive… but the stronger ones would definitely find a way.. Nature always finds a way out.. its called Evolution.

  8. 13 RAR 16 August 2011 at 17:55

    One of the key draws of Resorts World is Universal Studios. So using kids seems a reasonable manipulation to make parents think before buying tix.

  9. 14 Richard Lee 17 August 2011 at 08:34

    Mike, any effort to help kids empathise with fellow creatures and understand the we are not alone on this earth is worthwhile. Or are you of those who doesn’t believe in Moral Education?

    Never underestimate the Moral Intelligence and Capacity of our children. It is later on in life that they may start to learn to (mis)use others, both human and others, for profit.

    Of the 27 dolphins captured for Resort Worlds Sentosa, two have died.

    • 15 Mike 17 August 2011 at 22:53

      Sure, children should learn about fellow creatures and develop empathy for other sentient species. There are some difficulties with that, in that it can be hard to justify why we protect some species (ooh cute!) but not others (ooh delicious!), but that is not what we’re discussing here.

      My objection is that in this video production, the use of children, to me, is slightly suspect, in that: (i) I am not so sure that these children have not been manipulated into taking the positions they profess on camera; and (ii) the use of children as mouthpieces seems a little too ingenuous to me.

      Now, I am not saying that these children cannot hold a well justified, sincere belief that the dolphins should be released, but I wonder why the need to make use of children to communicate the message—if the argument is rational, defensible, and worthy of public consideration, why the need to dress it up in a manner that could invite criticism that these are ‘childish’, ‘idealistic’ notions of freedom and animal rights?

      Unless, of course, the target audience is other children, and the aim of the ad is to encourage other children to, effectively, boycott the dolphin show. I suppose, I can concede this point.

      • 16 Richard Lee 18 August 2011 at 11:28

        I’m a Scuba Instructor and used to work on a recreational fishing boat on the Great Barrier Reef. But I no longer spear or catch fish myself. I have Instructor friends who don’t eat fish. I’m that fanatical about protecting sea life but respect their point of view. We have to start somewhere and its a bit difficult to ask kids to become vegans.

        If the this video is “childish” and “idealistic”, we need more “childish” and “idealistic” notions like this. I hope the ad encourages both adults & children to boycott Resort Worlds Sentosa as this is the language that political and business interests understand.

        So Mike (and everyone else), will you all join us in a cynical and manipulative assault on RWS by emailing the following with a suggestion that the 25 surviving captive dolphins be released into the wild; preferably near where they were abducted.

        the CEO, Resorts World Sentosa at

        Minister for National Development, Singapore

        This is a more practical use of electrons than philosophical musing over whether kids should be used in ads against dolphin shows.

        Make a difference.

  10. 17 blacktryst 19 August 2011 at 02:31

    I profess that I have mixed feelings about this. I do feel for the release of the Dolphins if they are really treated poorly and not housed in proper facilities that are humane. But I too like any other visitor likes seeing Dolphins do their shows and what nots at such places. If it is true that the Dolphins are treated poorly and housed in inhumane facilities, then yes i do support such a campaign.

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