There is an episode of the Simpsons where the family, through a series of hijinks, get an elephant. At the end of the episode, they take the elephant to live in a nature reserve. Stampy the Elephant doesn’t take kindly to other elephants and starts repeatedly head butting their sides.
Lisa asks the keeper why the elephant does that. He says that some elephants learn bad behavior from their upbringing, while others are just jerks.
Well orcas are the ocean-going equivalent of those elephant jerks. They’re all pretty with their black and white coloring, and we celebrate that racial diversity. But their tolerance is only skin deep; underneath beats the heart of a fuckwit. An evil, evil fuckwit.
I watched an Attenborough documentary where a group of orcas were hungry. Allegedly. There was a solitary seal on the ice floe and this pod of orcas decided that would be lunch. Fair enough. Nature is a horrible place, it’s a dolphin-eat-seal world, I’ll allow it. But these orcas didn’t just get the seal and eat it. They played with it. Giving it false hope. They would knock the ice floe from below causing the seal to fall into the water; the poor little bugger would flop around in the ocean, frantically trying to get back to safety. And the orcas would let him. Time and time again they did this, until the wee seal was exhausted. Finally the orcas swam underneath the ice floe and gently tipped it towards the water, causing my little friend to slide slowly to his cold, brutal death. The camera zoomed in and in one last dramatic shot the seal stared directly into the camera as he slid to his doom, as if to say “How could you let this happen?”
That’s not the only example, either. I watched another show where a pod of orcas stalked a whale shark and its baby. They didn’t attack, they just floated menacingly along behind them. The way a frustrated motorist stalks a mall shopper when looking for a park. Mother and child kept trying to go and go and go, but unlike the Energizer Bunny they couldn’t. Eventually baby got tired and started falling behind. Mum, in a maternal act to rival Medea, went “fuck it, you’re on your own” and bailed. Boom! Baby whale shark for dinner.
Free Willy gave us the impression that orcas are beautiful friendly creatures, and we should love them. But we shouldn’t. They’re assholes. So if there are any Japanese whalers reading this, you could improve your PR immeasurably if instead of hunting whales we support, like the minke, go for the jerks. The murderous, torturing jerks.
Yes, I know they’re called killer whales so I shouldn’t be surprised, but no one judges jerk chicken, so don’t judge a genus by its name. Judge it by its horrible nature. Also they’re not even whales, so you can add lying and misrepresentation to their antisocial behaviors.
So in conclusion, fuck you Shamu. You ain’t gonna hurt my babies no more.
(Image: Killer Whales, Galápagos Islands – CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 licensed photo by Dave Govoni)