All animal suffering sucks but for some of us certain issues or individuals resonate more than others. For me, it’s Lolita, “The World’s Loneliest Orca.” If you’ve seen Blackfish (if you haven’t, click that X in the upper right corner and figure out how to see it, pronto) you’ve watched footage of Lolita’s capture.
Estimated to be just 4 years old when kidnapped, Lolita was still super tight with her mom, as are all orca at that age. She was swimming and playing with her buddies off the coast of Washington state when massive explosions were detonated underwater, terrifying Lolita and her posse, thereby making it easier to coral them. Some of animals captured that day were sold to SeaWorld. Lolita landed at Miami Seaquarium where she would live with an orca named Hugo in a swimming pool so small it’s illegal under the Animal Welfare Act.
Eventually, Hugo smashed his head into the wall of the pool so many times that one day, he died of trauma; lucky him. For more than 30 years Lolita has not seen nor heard another orca. Now you understand the loneliest orca nickname.
I’ve never seen Lolita in person and I never will. I’m in Oakland, CA and she’s in Miami, FL and I don’t frequent animal prisons. But I love her and I’m not alone. Groups of caring people are out in front of the Miami Seaquarium every weekend, protesting and educating others about her situation. Even though I’m an entire country away from her, I proudly wear this “Free Lolita” sweatshirt I bought from an awesome shop on etsy( It’s not backwards in real life, I’m just inept at selfies J.) It’s easy activism because it’s cute and people always ask me about its meaning. I’m educating the public about the plight of The World’s Loneliest Orca without even trying.
Is there an animal or a cause that speaks to you? Poke around online and find a way to wear your activism on your sleeve. After all, it IS shopping y’all. And remember, stay away from marine parks that force animals to do stupid stuff. There’s plenty of other ways to be entertained.
XOXO Free Lolita