2 years after 'Blackfish,' SeaWorld is finally listening to criticism of its orca shows.

The 2013 documentary "Blackfish" took SeaWorld to task for keeping killer whales in captivity — which the film argued is highly detrimental to the creatures' mental health.

An orca show at SeaWorld Orlando. Photo by David Bjorgen/Wikimedia Commons.


Since then, SeaWorld has come under major fire — from animal welfare organizations, celebrities, and lots of people in between.

Harry Styles of One Direction publicly criticized SeaWorld back in September. Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images.

The economic consequences to the company have been enormous. The company's profits dropped 84% between the second quarter of 2014 and the second quarter of 2015.

Today, the company finally decided to take action to try to quell the criticism.

As reported by Lori Weisberg in the San Diego Union-Tribune:

"SeaWorld intends to phase out its longstanding killer whale show at its San Diego park next year as part of a comprehensive strategy unveiled Monday to re-position the embattled company amid persistent criticisms of how it treats its orcas."

While ending shows at one park won't (and shouldn't) stop people from criticizing SeaWorld, it's a welcome first step.

Ending the shows could help make life much safer for SeaWorld's trainers, many of whom have been injured or killed in orca attacks, which some argue are triggered by the stress of confinement.

SeaWorld still has a long way to go, however.

Photo by Gordon2448/Wikimedia Commons.

Ending the shows doesn't address the underlying issue — that keeping orcas in captivity puts the animals under an enormous amount of mental and emotional stress.

California Representative Adam Burbank plans to introduce a bill that would ban breeding orcas in captivity and would make capturing them in the wild illegal.

But starting to phase out the shows means SeaWorld is listening.

Credit is due to the dozens of people who held the company's feet to the fire and the thousands who voted with their feet — and their dollars.

Hopefully there's a lot more change on the horizon.

Update: Keep your excitement on hold for now. Slate reports there will still be orca shows at SeaWorld, but they'll be ... "natural" or something. Let's hope the new shows represent an actual improvement for the animals and their trainers, rather than just a cosmetic one.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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