I know I'm only 12, but I've been against keeping wild animals in captivity my whole life. Elephants shouldn't be chained in the circus, gorillas shouldn't be behind bars or in glass enclosures at zoos and orcas shouldn't be forced to swim in endless circles in swimming pools. I think that these are things that kids just know. And when I saw "Blackfish" and learned how SeaWorld tears baby orcas away from their families -- and how orca families are so close that mothers will cry and mourn their missing babies -- I was horrified. I have the best mom and dad in the world, and I can't imagine being separated from them just so a theme park can sell tickets, but that's exactly what SeaWorld does when "baby Shamu" is promoted as the new arrival. "Blackfish" showed me that I needed to do even more than simply refusing to go to SeaWorld's parks.
I knew that SeaWorld was going to have a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, so I signed up to join PETA's protest, and I was happy to stand on the sidelines with other protesters with my "Boycott SeaWorld" sign. When I finally saw the SeaWorld float coming down the street with a depiction of orcas in their natural habitat, I couldn't believe it. Nothing about that float told the truth about how orcas are held captive at SeaWorld. I pictured kids like me across the country seeing the float on TV and, not seeing us protesters or knowing how orcas die prematurely at SeaWorld, telling their parents that they want to go to see the orcas there, and I was so upset. I felt like I needed to do something. So I decided to climb over the barricade with my sign to let everyone know that SeaWorld is a sad place for orcas. The police officer who stopped my solo protest and walked me back to my mom said that I ruined the parade, and that totally made my day -- I had succeeded in getting my message across!