Is SeaWorld a necessary evil? God, no. That’s the gist of a recent interview by Josh Zepps of the Huffington Post with Tim Zimmermann, associate producer of Blackfish, and former SeaWorld trainer Kim Ashdown. Playing devil’s advocate, Zepps says SeaWorld does good deeds like rescuing dolphins, going to oil spills and cleaning affected marine life, and so forth. And SeaWorld has to fund its benevolence SOMEhow — so isn’t keeping dolphins and orcas in captivity a fair price to pay?

HELLZ NO, Zimmermann basically says, explaining that SeaWorld’s contributions to animal rescue and rehab only amount to .0006 percent of its profits. ZOW. Plus, some of that TEENY amount is actually spent to buy “rescued” animals that get used in SeaWorld shows, so it’s even less altruistic. Furthermore, if SeaWorld didn’t exist, plenty of other organizations — ones that actually care about marine life — would continue to rescue and rehabilitate orcas and dolphins.

If Zimmermann weren’t persuasive enough, Ashdown told HuffPost about her experience working at SeaWorld:

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

SeaWorld’s all about the bottom line … The longer you’re there, the more you realize that certain things just don’t add up. And when you start to question those things and you start to figure out that maybe it’s more about the bottom line and it’s more about profit than the well-being of the animals, that’s when you start to get segregated and they try to get rid of you because they don’t want you to ask those questions.

Yikes. If you’ve got a spare 15 minutes, watch the whole thing:

[protected-iframe id=”d69930057de932241b239f9bbc5458fa-5104299-17932162″ info=”” width=”480″ height=”270″ frameborder=”0″]

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations DOUBLED!

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.