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editor's pick: blackfish

sea creatures need love too.

by: steff yotka

January 31 2014

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Among the ever-growing list of things infuriating me right now (cold weather, people hating on Richard Sherman, the fact that the line at Trader Joe's always wraps around the block) is the mistreatment of wildlife, specifically marine wildlife. I'm not one to take up a cause easily, but after educating myself on the topic, I feel that it's a simple problem that is entirely man-made and entirely easy to fix. 

It started when I watched Blackfish on Netflix. I sleep with a stuffed animal orca, and thought the buzzed-about documentary would be a good way to learn more about the species. Cut to an hour later and I'm crying alone in my apartment, clutching Henry, my stuffed animal. In 83 minutes, filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite manages to craft a picture of the treatment of orcas that is honest, devastating, and deeply moving. By speaking with former SeaWorld trainers, lawyers, marine biologists, and family members of trainers killed by orcas as well as secretly filming inside SeaWorld, Cowperthwaite tells the story of the orcas through every possible channel (except SeaWorld's--they declined to be interviewed for the film.)

This week news also broke that two young killer whales had been captured from their family pods to be brought to the Sochi Olympics as an amusement. (There's a petition to the International Olympic Committee president to intervene that you can sign here.) Call me naive, but I just don't understand why people feel the need to assert dominance over animals. Orcas doing tricks in a cage might seem cool, but watching orcas in the wild is mind-blowingly awesome. So if you see a girl running around in this T-shirt encouraging people to sign petitions against the IOC and SeaWorld, that's me, and you should join in and help me out. Save the orcas, save the world.


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