This post has been updated.
When SeaWorld fans defend the park against “Blackfish,” they tend to bring up what they see as a big logical inconsistency: If SeaWorld is bad, then so are all zoos and aquariums.
Indeed, zoos have largely ducked the criticism leveled at SeaWorld in the wake of the critical documentary, though they too house animals away from their natural habitats. Still, SeaWorld opponents mostly place zoos in a different moral category.
So what makes the institutions so different? Here are a few key distinctions.