Join me in the cold, dark, life-sustaining NE Pacific Ocean to discover the great beauty, mystery and fragility hidden there.

It’s not a show . . .

I wrote the following in my role with the Marine Education and Research Society to accompany the graphic below. Our efforts include workshops on Marine Mammal Regulations and the ethics of imagery and language used by mainstream and social media.

It is so jarring and unfortunate when wildlife encounters are described with language like “the whales put on a show for us”. No, they didn’t.

How I hope my words resound with you.

“It’s not a show.

Wildlife does not perform for humans.
Whales do not “put on a show” for us.

Words matter.
Words reflect, and perpetuate, our values and actions.

Thankfully, society has come a long way in understanding our connection to the natural world.

May our words reflect that we know the privilege of observing wild animals, living wild lives.

Not “for us”.
Not “up close and personal”.

Rather, may we value most that what we observe in the wild happens . . . as if we weren’t there.”

The graphic is available as a sticker or card at our MERS Ocean Store. The card includes the above text.
All sales support our research and education efforts.

Illustration made by friend Dawn Dudek based on a photo I took of Humpback Whale Inukshuk (BCZ0339) while conducting research for the Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) under Marine Mammal License MML-57.

Related posts:
Whale Watching – Not “Up-Close-and-Personal!” How to make a good choice?

To Think Before We Click

5 Responses to “It’s not a show . . .”

  1. Margaret Dyke aka BP

    Thanks for this Jackie. As always your message is clear and your words so enlightening. I have been weaning my self from wanting to get “the photo”. Now I turn my thoughts to appreciating the opportunity to observe the moment. Thus a fellow creature is able to “just be”….independent of my ego.

  2. Trudy Thomas

    Thankyou Jackie for these wonderful educational emails! I really appreciate you and The knowledge you share teaching us awareness of the Marine Life! I have moved back to Vancouver Island Staying with my sister in Parksville until I find a place to rent. Unsure of where I want to buy at this time. Exploring more of Vancouver Island. I ordered a Orca Whale pic from you for my Friend in St. Ives. She loves it also all friends that come and visit her! Hope our paths will pass one day! Sincerely Trudy

    Sent from my iPhone



    I am still waiting for the invoice and I need your address.

    Happy holidays



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