Open Letter to Humans from a Dolphin

Essay Writing Competition 2023
Category: 12-15 years
- Runner-up -

Winning Essay "Open Letter to Humans from a Dolphin" written by Woojin Kim.

dolphin essay

Open Letter to Humans from a Dolphin


I would like to address humans. We have a hard life because of you.

Many dolphins like me are caught by fishermen and sold illegally to aquariums. Aquariums know they are doing these things illegally, but they do this so that we can entertain you. They are only concerned about making money. You see, they only want your money and they don’t care about us. These tricks we do for you makes us endure hours of training and eating frozen fish.

Our tanks are way too small and our water isn’t even sea water. It is water filled with chlorine just like a huge swimming pool. These conditions cause us to become very sick. A lot of dolphins are put together and not all of us are friends and this causes some of us to become very depressed. Our tanks are boring and we don’t have enough toys.

We are constantly being observed by humans and we can finally have our peace when crowds return back to their homes. This place isn’t our home. If you know anything about dolphins, you would understand that we are very intelligent. We choose our own names and we choose our own friends. We travel long distances to play games with other dolphin pods. The games we play are way more interesting than you can ever imagine.

Hunting for fresh fish is our favorite activity and the catch is very satisfying. Just like you can talk to your family and your friends, we can also communicate with our family and friends. That is how strong the bonds are between us and our pods. Being in a display at an aquarium, our lives become miserable and we experience a lot of stress Dolphins and humans are very much alike.

We are social, smart and have free choice. In your world it wouldn’t make sense to cage a human for entertainment, but I know you have done it in the past in circuses. Some of the dolphins I know here in the tank, were born here and don’t even know their own mothers. Those dolphins are the ones that have the hardest time, since nobody can teach them about being social or help them when they don’t understand things.

I know life in the wild seems dangerous to you. The only danger is getting caught in a fishing net! It’s very hard to rehabilitate dolphins because of the complicated social hierarchy that exists in pods.

It is extremely hard for dolphins born in captivity due to the high level of interaction with humans. I know that just like us, humans are curious and think that they have the best intentions. I think sometimes you try to study us to try and understand us.

My biggest wish is that we can try to understand each other, that humans can find a safer way to fish and that you can please leave us in the ocean which is our home. I guarantee we will entertain you when you meet us there.


In the Age category 12-15 years, Woojin's excellent essay was chosen as the winner. 

Congratulations on your lovely work, Woojin! You can be very proud of your achievement! Understanding is always the first step and most important step to take! Well done!

Woojin attends Okdong Elementary school in South Korea. Woojiin's first language is Korean, English is the second language. 

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