In Death at SeaWorld, Kirby tells the spellbinding story of the two-decade fight against PR-savvy SeaWorld and the tragic death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. Kirby puts that horrifying animal-on-human attack in context. Kirby supplies scientific arguments against keeping these titanic marine mammals in confined tanks, but depicts the reader into the poignant correlation we should have with these highly intelligent mammals.
There are three segments, or slices of the book. In the first slice, Kirby gives concise biographies of individual whales and while he might personify captive whales a bit much, he also gives an enormous amount of information about wild Orcas.
The next large slice of the book is following Jeff, a trainer at SeaWorld. He starts out loving SeaWorld, but it gradually dawning on him that the Orcas are suffering just as you would suffer if you were kidnapped from your home, put you in a space about a 100,000 times at least smaller then what you are used to and then are fed to do tricks for a crowd.
A third slice of the book is following the Orcas themselves, in particular Keiko, of Free Willy fame, which should hit close to home as it was filmed locally, and his horrible treatment and the games that were played in trying to free him.