A video that went viral on Chinese social media shows a worker at Sun Asia Ocean World in Dalian, China, applying lipstick to a beluga whale before riding on the animal.
The video, which has now been removed, has caused an uproar amongst Chinese netizens, who are angry at the marine park for abusing this whale for human entertainment.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) June 11, 2018
Far-ranging marine mammals suffer immensely in captivity, and allowing visitors to touch them and trainers to ride them only adds to their stress and shortens their lives. In addition to the fact that ingredients in lipstick can be harmful to nonhuman animals, it’s clear that this park has no idea how to care for these whales and needs to send them to reputable sanctuaries.
It’s clear that people in China won’t stand for cruelty to animals and that the way in which the public views nonhuman animals is changing. This incident is yet another reason why the country must implement animal-welfare laws—for the sake of all animals and because the public demands it.
People are captivated by fascinating marine mammals, but beluga whales in aquariums continue to live in misery long after visitors have returned home with their pictures and memories. Most captive whales die prematurely, and on average, they live to only half the age of their wild brothers and sisters. In the wild, whales swim together with their families for miles a day. They navigate by bouncing sonar waves off objects to determine their location and distance. In captivity, their worlds are reduced to claustrophobic swimming pools. Their natural instincts are thwarted by the comparably small aquarium tanks, and they endure frustration and deprivation with nothing to do but swim in endless circles.
What Can You Do
Don’t forget that there’s no reason why anyone should put lipstick on a beluga whale—or any other animal for that matter. However, rats, mice, and rabbits are being tortured in misguided cosmetics-product testing every day. Please go 100 percent cruelty-free by pledging never to visit aquariums or buy any product tested on animals.