In My View
Since Friends of Animals' inception, we've been at the forefront of the movement to end capture and display of whales, dolphins and other free-living animals.
Now, we’re sponsoring the distribution website and acting as contact organization for a soul-stirring, 82-minute documentary that examines the confinement of whales and dolphins for human amusement and profits.
Striking, awe-inspiring, a spiritual awakening: this is my response to A Fall From Freedom , newly produced by Stanley M. Minasian, executive director of the San Francisco-based EarthViews Productions. The film is narrated by actor Mike Farrell ( M*A*S*H, Providence ).
The stunning cinematography , accompanied by an original soundtrack including the music of Alan Hewitt, channels the beguiling grace and beauty of dolphins and whales and the sea’s rhythms. Here is a view of the ocean in which whales and dolphins experience the freedom of their unbridled lives at sea.
Indicting Sea World as responsible for plundering that freedom and for the deaths of thousands of dolphins and whales, A Fall From Freedom is the first film to expose the underbelly of the captive whale and dolphin business, and its credibility is ensured by its range of convincing interviews. Dr. John Hall, who once worked as Sea World's biologist, and Dr. John Jett, Sea World's former orca trainer, provide eye-opening interviews, affirming there's no educational value to having these cetaceans in captivity.
Peter Wallerstein, who directs Friends of Animals’ Los Angeles-based Marine Animal Rescue project, appears in the film after rescuing a gray whale.
"A $500 million industry at Sea World would have you believe they are educating the public. But,” Peter says, “removing these animals from the ocean, taking them from their families, is emotionally and physically devastating to them.”
Especially difficult to view are a couple of minutes that unearth Sea World's covert promotion of the deplorable drives in which thousands of dolphins were herded to the Japanese shore. Many were slaughtered, with a select few specimens set aside for marine parks, as replacements for dolphins who succumb to captivity. Those difficult moments aside, the film is an exhilarating, not-to-be missed cinematic journey, and we hope it receives much needed exposure.
A Fall From Freedom can be viewed free-of-charge online at www.afallfromfreedom.org.
DVD copies for use in presentations can be purchased at the website or from Friends of Animals for $15.00.
And in this season’s television line-up, correspondent Lara Logan interviews me for 60 Minutes on CBS about Friends of Animals’ successful lawsuit for antelopes. Our legal challenge against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service exposed the tragedy of federal approval for U.S. hunting ranches -- mainly in Texas – to breed and trade in three endangered species of antelopes for the violent, degrading purpose of catering to trophy hunting tourists. Look for this stimulating segment on one of 60 Minutes' new shows starting in October.