I took a trip down to Long Beach in May and visited the Aquarium of the Pacific for research for the issue of animals in captivity for my Critical Thinking class. It’s been years since I’ve been to the aquarium, but I do remember enjoying it a lot as a small child. With what occurred recently with the gorilla Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo, being fatally shot after a 4-year-old boy fell into his enclosure, I now question to myself more than ever on whether keeping animals in captivity is truly ethical or not.
I have always been somewhat on the fence with this issue, but I do know that I have often felt sad for these animals at the same time. In the case of larger animals such as elephants, orcas (Blackfish), and gorillas, to list a few, why exactly are we keeping these animals locked away in the first place? For our own meaningless entertainment? Animal/medical research?(Potential medicines from the sea) For conservation efforts? Breeding programs? Places such as the Aquarium of the Pacific practice conservation and of course offer educational purposes, but visiting the aquarium and seeing a bunch of children pet the sting-rays, or small fish in the water, often not so gently like they advise you to, (kids will be kids, but why are their parents letting them treat the animals poorly?) makes me feel as if incidents with what occurred with Harambe, are ultimately in the end, the result of negative human interference and interaction with the animal kingdom.
Although species such as jellyfish and seahorse are beautiful and fascinating to see almost up close and personal, I feel sorry that they are enclosed within small glass tanks. I observed an eel in one of the smaller tanks at the aquarium, just lying there in a corner and not moving, as if in defeat of his enclosure. There are also stress factor to be kept in mind with animals in captivity, as well as boredom. But will places such as zoos and aquariums ever come to an end? I highly doubt it.
After the aquarium I visited the Anaheim Packing House for the first time. If you find yourself in the area and have no idea what to eat, the packing house offers a great selection of different types of food and desert.
This matcha green tea latte from the boba stand Mini Monster was so good!
Honey and the Hive-Don’t Be Salty Tee
All photos unless stated otherwise are by Rafael Hernandez shot on a Sony Alpha