I've always had mixed feelings about aquariums and zoos. I love the environment they create, where friends and family can create multi-generational memories. I love getting to see beings up close that I would never get to see in the wild, that may not even exist if left in the wild.
But, the cages. I hate being incapable of travel at a moment's notice. When my car is at the car doctor, or even the 4 weeks I was without a passport whilst awaiting my renewed one, there is a constant low-lying panic running through me. I like my home. I like to "nest" and make it a home for my friends, but the idea of being STUCK there for the rest of my life is terrifying. Even if it was my only guaranteed way to avoid extinction, I don't know if I could take it.
At the SF Aquarium, I got to pet a baby manta ray, which made my giggle like a little kid. But the part of the tour that filled me with endless wonder was the deep sea exhibit where I walked through tunnels that allowed the water creatures to swim, float, glide around us. The sardines in this image (whodathunkit) kept breaking apart and flowing back together to spin like a whirligig.
They are captives at this water zoo, but their movements felt like joy. Do they dance like this as protest or celebration?