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Physiatrist Makes a Splash on the Big Screen
Jeffrey Ventre M.D., D.C., a physiatrist in Washington state, is a featured cast member in the influential and popular documentary film Blackfish. The documentary focuses on the history of killer whales in captivity, and zeroes in on a particular whale named Tilikum, who has killed three people. For reference, orcas have never harmed a human in the wild. It also focuses on the 2010 killing of a SeaWorld trainer and how the marine park spun the event as an isolated tragedy. Jeffrey Ventre, a former SeaWorld trainer from 1987 to 1995, was a friend and colleague of Dawn Brancheau, Tilikum’s third victim.
The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013, had a successful theatrical run, and in October of 2012 was played for the first time on CNN. The news network has since played the film 24 times to a cable audience of an estimated 26 million viewers and it remains popular on NetFlix. It was short-listed for the Academy Awards and received a nomination for the British Academy Awards.
The film, by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, uses testimony and archival footage to make its case in a way that allows the viewer to draw their own conclusions about the practice of keeping killer whales in captivity for human entertainment. In the wild, orcas live in stable family units which stay together for life, and travel up to 100 miles a day. Washington State’s Southern Resident Killer Whale population, listed as endangered, has yet to recover from the collection era of the 1960’s and 1970’s. These resident whales, known as the J, K, and L pods can be observed each summer around Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands from the shore or whale watching boats.
The steps that you can all take to support this cause include educating family and friends about the plight of captive and wild killer whales. Blackfish is a good start. Don’t buy a ticket to zoos or aquaria that house large free-ranging animals in small spaces, or use animals, like orcas, for entertainment & human amusement. (Natural open environments are OK). Avoid purchasing farm raised salmon, which are having a negative impact on native fish populations. The resident whales in Washington State rely almost exclusively on wild Chinook salmon.
Lastly, the former trainers in the film have a website with more ideas and material. It’s called “Voice of the Orcas” and includes peer reviewed papers, Q&A sessions from around the world, articles and interviews.
Now there’s a place to record your comments or questions. Please visit my website at www.farrhealthcare.com and click on the tab that says Forum. Please feel free to use it as often as you wish. If a response is requested, I will work to provide it! look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Thank You Referral Bonus
As a thank you, Farr Healthcare, Inc. continues its referral bonus program. Any doctors you refer to me for a particular opportunity who ultimately start work at that opportunity, Farr Healthcare, Inc. will provide you with a $1,000 as a thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.
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