Life can be disturbingly complex and painful, but it’s hard to see that poorly conceived animal-rights campaigns get us anywhere, especially when they target an organization known for its animal-welfare efforts — a place that preserves marine life and shares its beauty with the public.
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If I were a killer whale, I’d probably enjoy performing tricks in Shamu Stadium and basking in applause rather than just floating around a concrete tank all day. Then again, it’s hard to know what an orca is thinking because, however smart it might be, it’s not clever enough to have a chat with a newspaper columnist.

This is the bottom-line problem that confronts many modern animal-protection efforts, including Assemblyman Richard Bloom’s highly publicized new bill that would ban SeaWorld whale shows. As much as most humans understandably love our fellow creatures, we get into troubled waters as we detail what protections to provide and determine what animals to protect (oysters, plankton, rats?).