Your Inner Child Is Naughty

Like a child, you tend to discount social rules.
It's just too much fun to break the rules!
You love trouble - and it seems that trouble loves you.
And no matter what, you refuse to grow up!
How Is Your Inner Child?
The family and I went on Jason's resident retreat this weekend. This is a chance for all of the residents to unwind and re-bond with each other so they can function as a team. It is also a chance to get rip-roaring drunk. I could not partake in this ritual last year because I was pregnant. This year I promised myself "just a drink or two", then someone handed me a stiff rum and coke. Crap. Somehow they kept on coming and the next thing you know you wake up and people tell you about all of the silly things you did. This was so college, not good for my profession of "mom".

Needless to say I talked about things that people had NO RIGHT to know about. So what do you think that might be? What would be so personal and embarrasing that it would even make a team of Air Force doctors blush? If you guessed sex you are close, but even worse than that. Yes Nicole and Amber, I talked about my favorite toy. All of Jason's co-workers know that I have particular sex toy, how it works, why it is cool and what lube to use with it. Are you laughing right now or are you embarrased for me? I know Nicole has just peed herself. Take time to clean up and then keep reading.

The ladies on the resident team REALLY wanted me to drink with them after we had a ladies night out a few months ago, so they kept at me. I bet they are sorry now. I have a term for when this happens, Paulene comes out. Paulene is my evil twin sister, and she has quite a good time doing stupid things at my expense that I do not remember the next day. Paulene has not been out for quite a while, so she had a lot to get off of her chest. Dear Lord.

At least people had a good time talking about her antics the next day. Jason had to get up early the next morning for a ski lesson with Connor, so he passed out before the drinking even began. Jason laughs it off and says people will probably be so jealous of him now because he has one hell of a liberated woman in his bed. Maybe. Dear Lord. I hope she stays put for another few years.

At the other two year-old can ski! Technically you had to be 3 for a lesson, but he wears a 4T already, so no one complained. The instructor said that Connor's mother was a lush...I mean that Connor was a natural and picked up on techniques that usually took 4 or 5 year-olds a week of lessons to master. Daddy and boy took to the slopes for a few hours after their lesson, and Connor was turning on his own, and loved the ski lifts! Jason did not take a camera with him, but I will post a picture of him in his ultra cool ski outfit, and maybe even a few pictures of the house we rented so you can see the scene of the crime.
Ok time for some debate. We are going to Tampa in April. We will be swimming with wild manatees in Crystal River, FL, one of my all time favorite activites, and going on a dolphin watch tour out in the Gulf of Mexico to see dolphins in the wild. The thing is, my son really loves whales. A small part of me wants to take him to SeaWorld in Orlando so he can see Killer Whales. Another much larger part of me realizes that showing him marine mammals in prison is teaching him that animals are ours to exploit for profit anytime we see fit.

What would make a child love whales more: seeing them in thier original habitat in the wild or performing tricks in a tank while a crowd cheers?

Connor is 2, and all he knows is that whales are the coolest thing in the world. We are trying to schedule a trip to see Humpback Whales in Maine this July, but I know it would delight Connor to see whales up close like SeaWorld can offer.

I am trying to look at both sides of this issue instead of being a mindless drone to the PETA mantra (no offense PETA, but you raised me well and I have to look into things myself as an adult) and make my own decisions.

The Costeau people and other animal organizations are way against marine mammals in captivity because of the cruelty that occurs in capturing them from the wild, the lifespan that is cut in half, death rate of marine mamals in captivity and the "zoochosis" crazyness that causes them so much stress that they just go nuts.

Another site said that marine mammals in captivity is on the decline because people don't agree with it, and SeaWorld/6 Flags marine parks have put the others out of business. Apparently the SeaWorld chain is the best of the best in terms of providing them with adequate living conditions.

So here are my arguments:

1. Do marine mammals in captivity serve as ambassadors to future generations of children? Do children really learn to want to help these creatures in the wild becasue of seeing them in captivity? Does this process really create future animal conservationists or at the very least make people care about marine mammals?

World Society for the Protection of Animals says:

Operators of marine displays say that the public learns about marine mammals by
viewing them in captivity and, as a result, are more likely to become advocates
for the animals. But this claim is, at best, mere speculation and, more
likely, an advertising gimmick, as there has never been a published, objective
study on the educational value of marine parks and aquaria. Naomi Rose,
PhD, marine mammal scientist with the HSUS, says, “In fact, there is little
evidence that the public learns much beyond the fact that whales and dolphins
are not fish.” Further, many of the behaviors observed at marine parks –
eating dead fish, jumping through hoops and allowing humans to ride on their
dorsal fins – are completely contrary to a dolphin's true nature and teach the
public nothing about the real lives of these fascinating creatures.
display programs also contend that they're doing vital conservation and research
work. However, it is well established that captive marine mammals are not ideal
research candidates since they live in artificial environments and, as such,
often don't exhibit natural behaviors. So the scientific research done at
marine parks is usually limited to improving the maintenance and breeding of
captive animals. And those captive-breeding programs are not designed to
add to the numbers of threatened or endangered species in the wild. Instead,
they simply create more animals destined for the display industry.
Susan Sherwin says, “A whale or dolphin birth in captivity is heralded as a
victory for conservation efforts and a boon for wild species. But these
animals will never see beyond manmade confines. Their birthright simply is
to replenish the stock of animals available for display, to be ready and waiting
to meet the growing demand.”
The Longevity Myth
Supporters of mammal
exhibits say their animals are safer than wild counterparts, who must contend
with the likes of predators, pollution and food shortages. This, of course,
completely overlooks the fact that these animals are supremely adapted to their
environment. According to industry rationale, then, this should mean that
captive marine mammals enjoy much longer lives. In reality, captive
dolphins live about as long as their wild dolphins. If the captive
environment is supposedly so much safer, why don't these animals live longer?
The answer is stress.
Even the best facility can't mimic the complexity of the ocean ecosystem. In the wild, dolphins may travel many miles a day foraging for food, socializing with pod mates or exploring their vast world. These natural instincts are completely stifled in captivity, causing a great deal of stress to the animals. Visitors to marine parks will often see dolphins swimming back in forth in their tanks or obsessively peeking out of the water, looking for food. What they don't realize is that these behaviors
are signs of psychological distress. For some, the anguish of captivity is
so great, they develop ulcers and have even been known to mutilate themselves.
When one considers the restrictions, confinement and social
isolation experienced by captive marine mammals, it is no wonder they don't
flourish under these conditions.
Marine mammals are some of the most charismatic creatures on the planet. It's certainly understandable that people are drawn to these exhibits. But the ethical concerns of keeping marine mammals in captivity must outweigh our own entertainment. The situation is particularly acute for dolphins. There is abundant scientific research that documents their sophisticated intelligence, which may match that of great apes and perhaps even human toddlers.
WSPA and The HSUS believe
there can be no justification for subjecting these animals to traumatic capture
and an impoverished quality of life. We encourage you to start looking at
this issue from the marine mammals' point of view instead of our own.
Please visit our Free the Dolphins web site for more on the issues associated
with captivity.

The Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums says:

Recent scientific research concludes that dolphins living in aquariums have
a “better than or equal to survival” compared to dolphins in the wild.The most
recent lifespan study focused on the bottlenose dolphin and was conducted by
Drs. Deborah Duffield of Portland State University and Randall Wells of the
Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo, which is a member of the Alliance
of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. It shows that the average age of dolphins
in marine life parks, aquariums, and zoos is similar to that of dolphins in
their natural environment.The study is based on comparative demographic census
data for dolphins in public display facilities and a wild dolphin population in
the waters of Sarasota, Florida, studied by Dr. Wells, the only wild dolphin
population for which such data are available. This work corroborates a study
published in 1988 by DeMaster and Drevenak who pointed out that survival of
dolphins in aquariums “may be better than or equal to survival in the


In an online poll released in 2005 by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and
Aquariums and conducted by Harris Interactive®, 97 percent of respondents agree
that marine life parks, aquariums and zoos play an important role in educating
the public about marine mammals they might not otherwise have the chance to see.
In addition, 96 percent agree that marine life parks, aquariums and zoos provide
people with valuable information about the importance of oceans, waters and the
animals that live there. The poll also shows that if looking for educational
information about marine mammals, 75 percent of the survey participants would
either visit a marine life park, aquarium or zoo or go to their Web sites.
1998 Roper Starch poll also provides clear evidence that programs at Alliance
member marine life parks, aquariums, and zoos are educational and provide the
public with a heightened appreciation of the importance of conserving marine
mammals. Ninety-four percent (94%) of the park visitors interviewed for the poll
said, “I learned a great deal about marine mammals today.”
Responses to the
poll indicate that seeing living marine mammals enhances the educational
experience for the visitors to these zoological parks and aquariums. Almost
everyone (97%) interviewed said their experience with living marine mammals had
an impact on their appreciation and knowledge of the animals. The impact was
greater for those visiting facilities where they actually had an opportunity to
interact with marine mammals.
The Roper poll shows that Alliance member
marine life parks, aquariums, and zoos successfully teach visitors about marine
mammals and, additionally, serve to inform visitors about environmental issues
that may have an impact on the animals.

2. Not all people are able to go out on a tour boat to see these animals in the wild, but humans are killing whales and dolphins in several ways around the world, so what is the best way to get the public awareness up? If theme parks like this help the situation how do we measure that?

3. The trend toward conservation and rehabilitation in parks should be encouraged. The days of concrete floors and metal bars are coming to an end, at least in the developed nations, as we realize that the public hates to see animals in stress. Marine parks usually take in stranded manatees, sea turtles, sea lions, whales and dolphins and try to rehabilitate them. That is a good public service, shouldn't we be making an effort as consumers to encourage that?

The bottom line is that marine parks take the animals out of thier natural habitat and force them to perform for our amusement, they also are moving toward a theme of education and conservation. Is this just a front?

Am I supporting a bad industry and teaching my children the wrong things my showing them these amazing creatures in aquariums, or will this fire up my toddler even more about wanting to help save dolphins and whales in the future.

Tell me what you think!!!
Got this from Nicole. Fill it out about me. It's fun, all the kids are doing it. You know you want to.

My name:

Where did we meet:

Take a stab at my middle name:

How long have you known me:

When is the last time that we saw each other:

Do I smoke:

Do I drink:

When is my birthday:

What was your first impression of upon meeting me:

Do I have any siblings:

What’s one of my favorite things to do:

Am I funny:

What’s my favorite type of music:

What is the best feature about me:

Am I shy or outgoing:

Am I a rebel or do I follow the rules:

Do I have any special talents:

Would you consider me a friend/good friend:

Would you call me preppy, average, sporty, punk, hippie, glam, nerdy, snobby, or something else (what):

What is a memory we have once had:

Have you ever hugged me:

Do you miss me…do you think i miss you:

How well do u know me?

What is my favorite food:

Have you ever had a crush on me:

If there was one good nickname for me, what would it be:

What’s your favorite memory of me:

Who do I like right now:

What is my worst habit:

If you and I were stranded on a desert island, what one thing would I bring?

Who are my favorite sports teams?

What was the last thing I said to you?

Will you repost this so I can do it for you?