A few months back I watched Blackfish. Blackfish is a documentary about Tilikum, an orca who has killed two of his trainers while performing in Sealand of the Pacific (now defunct) and SeaWorld. He was also potentially responsible for the death of a man who snuck into SeaWorld after hours.
The documentary goes on to detail the conditions in which Tilikum lives in, his treatment, and the methods by which SeaWorld takes care of him and the other marine mammals they have in their care. I won't get into detail because I think everyone should watch Blackfish and draw their own conclusion, but I will say I was appalled.
I have never been a fan of animals being held in captivity for our entertainment. An orca is not a surfboard or a diving platform, it is not a dancer or a Goddamn circus clown. I don't go to circuses, carnivals, zoos, or water parks where animals are trained to perform. It is morally and ethically wrong to take a wild animal into captivity for any reason.
I have been fascinated with orcas and dolphins almost my whole life. I can't swim and have never seen an ocean, but I don't have to to know that SeaWorld, and other parks like it, are wrong. I tweeted this:
And within 24 hours I got a response from SeaWorld:
Former trainers and other ex-SeaWorld employees participated in Blackfish.
I got no response from SeaWorld for those tweets, but I did get an overwhelming number of interactions from other Tweeps, who favorited, retweeted, and replied like crazy over the next weeks. In total, I've had over 100 interactions based on what I said. This reaction served to do more than entertain me as most interactions on Twitter usually do.
It inspired me.
I'm writing a letter I am planning to send off to my local government officials, and plan to send it to the Blackstone Group, who owns SeaWorld. I will not stop there. I want to see these beautiful creatures freed in my lifetime. There's much work to be done if I'm to see that happen.
My words will be heard. I am only one woman, one voice, but I refuse to believe I am not enough to instigate change.