I saw on Fangoria Magazine that Eli Roth has written a letter to Sea World explaining his thoughts on the state of affairs of the sea life.
Eli Roth states, “Showing visitors a more realistic version of what life is like for real marine mammals rather than displaying the captive animals’ unnatural and repetitive behavior patterns—which are linked to their oppressive environment—is actually more educational”.
He concludes, “You are sending a far more dangerous message to kids, whose lives would be just as happy and fulfilled without seeing a large intelligent creature jump around to music for their entertainment, and would probably take a more active interest in protecting whales if they saw them out in the ocean where they belong.”
Although he’s not really argued well for the ethics behind it, there are points of view that, as an entertainer, one need not go to. There now exists iMax and other great 3D tours of the animal kingdom that are probably more instructive than seeing them perform tricks.
His argument on the Auschwitz concept I believe is more on how we finally get to acceptance of situations as normal. After this, the acceptance breed complicity. What we do next is reliant on our perception of culture and acceptability.
As animals display pain and distressed behaviour it is clear they do indeed suffer. Being a vegetarian, I too know that the arguments from both sides of the table often come to stalemate. If one comes to a stalemate, what then? Neither side is enlightened nor could continue without offending the other. The truth of the matter, at least how one could continue must exist between the two extremes.
I recommend you look at the Meatrix. This argument actually comes across as vegan. It’s not. Rather its looking at alternatives of more ethical food production.
Thus if solution is presented, as well as Eli presents, then taking steps to this end and not from it should show the ethics and logic of the defendant. With other forms of animal baiting, shows etc that have been seen as in-ethical, I think Sea World should think very carefully how they might reply.