Beneath The Surface: Killer Whales, Seaworld, And The Truth Beyond Blackfish by John HargroveBeneath The Surface: Killer Whales, Seaworld, And The Truth Beyond Blackfish by John Hargrove

Beneath The Surface: Killer Whales, Seaworld, And The Truth Beyond Blackfish

byJohn Hargrove, Howard Chua-eoan

Paperback | April 19, 2016

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Over the course of two decades, John Hargrove worked with 20 different whales on two continents and at two of SeaWorld's U.S. facilities. For Hargrove, becoming an orca trainer fulfilled a childhood dream. However, as his experience with the whales deepened, Hargrove came to doubt that their needs could ever be met in captivity. When two fellow trainers were killed by orcas in marine parks, Hargrove decided that SeaWorld's wildly popular programs were both detrimental to the whales and ultimately unsafe for trainers.

After leaving SeaWorld, Hargrove became one of the stars of the controversial documentary Blackfish. The outcry over the treatment of SeaWorld's orca has now expanded beyond the outlines sketched by the award-winning documentary, with Hargrove contributing his expertise to an advocacy movement that is convincing both federal and state governments to act.

In Beneath the Surface, Hargrove paints a compelling portrait of these highly intelligent and social creatures, including his favorite whales Takara and her mother Kasatka, two of the most dominant orcas in SeaWorld. And he includes vibrant descriptions of the lives of orcas in the wild, contrasting their freedom in the ocean with their lives in SeaWorld.

Hargrove's journey is one that humanity has just begun to take-toward the realization that the relationship between the human and animal worlds must be radically rethought.

JOHN HARGROVE has 14 years' experience as a killer whale trainer. His experience spans both SeaWorld of California and SeaWorld of Texas where he was promoted to the highest ranking Senior Trainer. John also has an international reputation, having been a Supervisor with MarineLand in the south of France. He resigned his position with S...
Title:Beneath The Surface: Killer Whales, Seaworld, And The Truth Beyond BlackfishFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.33 × 6.15 × 0.81 inPublished:April 19, 2016Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1250081408

ISBN - 13:9781250081407

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from beneath the surface i was touched about this book, i shed tears while reading it. i bought this book after watching blackfish. it is very nicely written and i never thought about animals' life in captivity until seeing the documentary and reading this book. needless to say i went in stores looking for more books about killer whales, and their life in captivity. it opened my mind.
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read I got this book out of my local library and thought it was a fascinating read about the inner machinations of this billion dollar a year industry made on the backs of both the whales and the trainers.
Date published: 2017-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sad but excellent A great read with a former trainer's honest recollections of his time working with orcas. Illuminating, heartbreaking, and gripping. A must-read for animal lovers. Provides fascinating anecdotes about the cognition and social lives of orcas. If you saw Blackfish, you should read this book. An excellent if sometimes depressing read.
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking & eye-opening If Death at SeaWorld represents the scientific and political argument against whales in captivity, Beneath the Surface gives us the heart and soul of the matter. Hargrove takes us behind the scenes as he wrestles with the internal conflict that plagues many animal lovers: the relationships and bonds we form with captive animals are indeed incredible, but the foundation of those relationships and the consequences of circumstance are inherently destructive. Hargrove ultimately had to come to terms with the fact that human care is insufficient; captivity is cruel and, at times, fatal to whales and people alike.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eye-opening and heart-breaking I HAD to write about a biographical non-fiction novel that I have literally been unable to stop reading between work and sleeping. Beneath the Surface by John Hargrove is addictive, emotional, unforgettable, and soulful novel about his experiences as a former SeaWorld trainer. If you, like me, were forever changed by Blackfish, put this book at the very top of your to-read list. Little needs to be said for the content of the book because there is no question that is poignant, moving, and engrossing. Hargrove is undeniably a knowledgable, experienced, and reliable narrator. His love for these animals is felt on every page, and from this, I feel as if I know and love them, too. It is a rather pricey book—and I held out for two months for the paperback release after discovering this book existed. I was worried, particularly because of the price, about buying a redundant book that would basically retell Blackfish. This is not that at all! Within 10 pages, I had decided that it was worth every penny—and more! Anyone who was moved by Blackfish or with a love of animals can appreciate Hargrove's struggle to work with and eventually stop working with whales in captivity. Because despite working for the corporation that has imprisoned these magnificent creatures, he and all the trainers work hard and stay there, enduring repeated injuries, poor working conditions, death-defying risk, and terrible pay all because they love the whales and want to make sure that they are cared for; to make the best of an awful situation. His many examples of agonizing injuries, fearful moments, and near-death experiences is a testament of how much a person will go through for someone they love, even when that someone is an apex predator. Blackfish is a very thorough examination of whales in captivity, but the film is focused largely on the tragedy of Dawn Brancheau and Tilikum. Hargrove does not just repeat the things of the documentary, branching out so much more to include his path to becoming a trainer, detailing typical days with the whales, explanations of waterwork, breeding, behavioural psychology, and accidents and near-accidents. You learn more about other whales he's worked with and loved (particularly Kasatka and Takara), and his experiences at multiple parks, as well as touching on Dawn and Tilikum, and the resulting legal battle between OHSA and SeaWorld, and SeaWorld and the changing social climate of animal rights. Beneath the Surface is beautifully written and Hargrove allows his readers to delve a little deeper into Shamu Stadium, both in the pool and backstage. As a fellow animal lover and someone who grew up with awed visits to Marineland in Niagara Falls to watch the orca shows—something that our children will never know— it is impossible not to be pulled into the narrative, exposing the terrible truths about orcas in captivity to the world. Eye-opening and heart-breaking. I cannot remember ever reading a book that I loved and felt this much—and I work in publishing!
Date published: 2016-05-04

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Knowledge of the Military Art - 1754
Chapter 2 Blows Must Decide - 1774
Chapter 3 The Predicament We Are In - 1775
Chapter 4 Learning to be Soldiers - 1775
Chapter 5 Precious Convoy - 1776
Chapter 6 Sudden and Violent - 1776
Chapter 7 Valcour Island - 1776
Chapter 8 An Indecisive Mind - 1776
Chapter 9 Your Country is at Stake - 1776
Chapter 10 A Continual Clap of Thunder - 1777
Chapter 11 Fight As Well As Brag - 1777
Chapter 12 Something More at Stake - 1777
Chapter 13 The Discipline of the Leggs - 1778
Chapter 14 The Boldest Conduct - 1779
Chapter 15 The Fate of Battle - 1780
Chapter 16 Downright Fighting - 1780
Chapter 17 War is an Intricate Business - 1781
Chapter 18 America is Ours - 1781
Chapter 19 Our Troops - 1782
Chapter 20 The Large Hearts of Heroes - 1824

Editorial Reviews

"You might have watched the documentary Blackfish. This is more powerful...." -Psychology Today"A heart-tugging look at the lives of orca whales in captivity." -People"I highly recommend Beneath the Surface to readers of all ages, including those youngsters about whom Hargrove writes, who want to be just like him when he trained orcas to perform stupid and unnatural tricks. Hargrove is a very courageous man, and his book is open and honest and we should all thank him for taking the time to write it." -Marc Bekoff, The Huffington Post"A story of both dread and wonderment... books such as this have the ability to shine a light into the inner workings of corporate greed and redirect efforts from selling tickets to preserving, nurturing and enhancing the orcas' lives." -The Huffington Post"Elaborates on...[Blackfish's] claims but also testifies to the thrill of standing athwart four tons of muscle rushing through the water at 30 miles an hour. And, equally, the nearly mystical experience of bonding with an intelligence eerily similar to our own, yet ultimately unfathomable-and uncontrollable." -Smithsonian Magazine"As Hargrove's love for and knowledge of [orcas] increased, he gradually concluded that the work he was part of at SeaWorld was harming them... Hargrove covers both the joy of his own experiences with orcas as well as the case for why such interactions in captivity should end." -Scientific American"How would you cope if you felt that your life work contributed to a cause in which you no longerbelieved?...Blends natural history and corporate indictment into an emotional story about a man changing sides in the argument over human domination of the animal world." -Booklist"It is with this same unique amalgam of "dread and wonderment" that Hargrove characterizes both his longtime, high-ranking professional relationship with orca whales and his astonishment at how broken the performance animal arena has become--particularly at SeaWorld. A shocking, aggressively written marine park exposé." -Kirkus Reviews"Beneath the Surface instantly grabs the reader's attention with a vivid description of an aggressive incident between a captive orca and former SeaWorld trainer John Hargrove. Clearly there is still much to reveal about the grim reality behind the 'glamorous' orca show. This firsthand account may be the final push that ends the inhumane practice of keeping the world's largest marine predator and one of the most intelligent and social mammals on the planet in concrete tanks." -Naomi A. Rose, Ph.D., Animal Welfare Institute"This deeply personal look at the lives of whales in captivity will open your eyes and tug your heart. John Hargrove's work as a senior trainer at SeaWorld made him understand how we need to rethink our relationships with the animal world." -Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Einstein: His Life and Universe"In Beneath the Surface, John Hargrove flawlessly unravels the trainer's dilemma of loving an animal with all your heart while working at a place that doesn't. It is as much a razor sharp indictment as it is a story of a broken heart." -Gabriela Cowperthwaite, director, Blackfish"A deeply honest personal account of a man's awakening from orca trainer to orca advocate as he learned the painful truth about what lies beneath the surface of SeaWorld" -Lori Marino, Ph.D., Researcher and Founder, The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy"The thin veneer of SeaWorld's fantasy that the orca are happy in their tanks is peeled back in this mesmerizing and compelling book about Hargrove's work as a trainer and his journey to become one of the few speaking out against the cruelty being conducted even to this day." -Ingrid N. Visser, researcher and founder of the Orca Research Trust"Hargrove takes us inside his life as a former SeaWorld devotee, his 14 years as an orca trainer, and especially his deep respect and affection for the orcas he has worked with. No short phrases can adequately summarize the personalities and idiosyncrasies of the 20 orcas he performed with and cared for, but this book gives us great insight into their piercing intelligence and keen awareness. Perhaps most interestingly, Hargrove reveals the complex emotional lives of the orcas he came to know, and how they brought out his own feelings toward them." -Howard Garrett, Director, The Orca Network"Details the disturbing practices SeaWorld has become known for...Hargrove is careful to emphasize that his bond with the captive whales he spent years interacting with was real and powerful, even 'some of the deepest and most magnificent relationships I've had in my life.'" -The Dodo"[Hargrove has] delved deeper into the ethical issues surrounding orca captivity, convincingly making the case that these intelligent, sentient animals can only be free in the wild." -Nature World News"Eye opening... a story of personal discovery, ambition, broken dreams, and hope for a better future for animals that are complex beyond our understanding, YET like humans in many ways" -Helen Bailey, A Wild Life