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Some Things Fishy

I wear leather belts, I've got a few nice pair of cowhide shoes, eat the occasional steak and have gutted more than a few fish - but always I try to steer clear of animal torture and torment. I've never copulated with an owl or splashed fur on behalf of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) - but I am an animal lover. I love dogs and dolphins the most - and in rare cases have been touched by cats. I speak all breeds of dog and can communicate anything from love to anger to play to disappointment. It's a matter of eyebrows and body posture, with few varieties of bark, growl and Scooby grunt thrown in.

Cindy McCain, dolphin captor through association with Anhieser Bush.

Dolphins are trickier. & Floating on my board between sets, I call out to wild dolphin pods whenever I get the chance. & There's the single hand cupped water slap, the double handed cupping pop, the depth charge type kick and a few whistle bursts. I don't pretend to have any idea what I am saying to these dolphins, but they are gracious in receiving my spastic shout outs. They cruise in close, give me a good eye-balling and duck under while deciding if they want to stick around. & Sometimes they are friendly and allow their babies to swim in for a closer look at the idiot dolphin speaker. & Sometimes the whole family sticks around for some leaps and a surf. The floppy finned dolphins at SeaWorld are not as happy as their counterparts in the wild - I've talked to them too. & It's in their eyes, skin and in their subservience - but & it's most apparent in their confinement tanks, a breeze away from their rightful Pacific.

Along with money; SeaWorld does raise awareness, love and money on behalf of dolphins, killer whales, sharks, seals and all manner of ocean life. I realize a good many human jobs and economies depend on SeaWorld. But the commercialization, the numbing and the profit of cruelty are never its justification.

The rumors of a PETA buyout of SeaWorld are probably a tease, but it's hope I want to believe in.

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