I just saw you article on Dolphin swims. I must say I was a bit surprised to see such an article on this site since Anne Campbell was negative on this industry in her newletter a few months back. Also, many animal activists groups are against the practice, and some cruiselines have stopped offering them due to harm to the animals. Due to this, I've started recommending people not do Dolphin Swims.
I was wondering if it would be possible for you and Anne to compare research and post a more comprehensive article as to whether it is safe (long term) for the animals.
Well... I actually wrote that article some time ago. Since that time I've actually done a Dolphin swim, and I have to stay it was amazing. I'm certainly no expert on animals, but I personally saw dolphins which apppeared to be healthy and no apparent harm done to them.
I also don't know of any cruise lines which no longer offer the dolphin swims as an excursion. As a matter of fact, over the last several years there are more and more locations where these are offered.
Though I care about "our environment", and being humane and kind in the way I live my life, I frankly have little tolerance for "zealots" that tie themselves to pretty near any cause. Generally I find zealots and reasonable thought and compromise don't fit into the same sentence well.
Just my two cent's I know many dolphin swims no longer allow people to wear sunblock becuase the chemicals can harm them. I am an animal lover and there are two sides to this debate. I know that when people get a chance to get this close to an animal they are more likely to donate time and money to help the species. The swims create interest which in turn may spark an interest in a child who decides to become a marine biologist when he's older and work with animals.
In Africa there are many programs in place to educate people, about caring for animals where in the past they hunted and poached now the same people are earning a living protecting elephants. So I think that these programs in the long run will benefit the animals as well as the humans who learn compassion. I think it's a win win situation.
I am however very much against things such as dog figting and cock fighting, as well as the underground animal trade where people earn profits selling endanged species. And people who own pets but don't care for them, or feed them properly and provide medical care when needed. These animals have it much worse then the dolphins in the programs who I belive are well cared for.