The world is in dire need of help. Our oceans are getting more polluted every year, our forests more depleted, and the animals we share Earth with more endangered than ever. All of these upsetting realities are arguably too much to handle on top of the everyday stresses of life, so many people choose to focus on the now and push these ugly truths out of mind. While this course of action can certainly be beneficial for an adult’s career, home life, and overall sanity, it is very much a short-term solution. The truth is, we need to be standing up for the issues we feel passionate about, even if it’s just one.
Children tend to see the world in a different way. They see the problems of the world and want to do anything to help. We’ve seen children give away the money from their piggy bank to help homeless animals, we’ve seen kids come up with innovative solutions to combat waste, and we’ve seen young people going above and beyond to raise awareness for captive animals. Take nine-year-old, London Fletcher for instance. The fourth grader has been touring Washington state this summer to advocate for the release of all captive orcas, and in July she even attended Superpod, an annual international gathering of scientists, filmmakers, former orca trainers and others who want to see orcas thrive in the wild. London got inspired to fight on behalf of orcas after seeing the documentary, Blackfish. She wanted to work in an aquarium before seeing the film, now she wants to be a scientist, specifically a cetologist, or whale biologist.
London’s mature outlook and passion has gotten the attention of quite a few experts in the field. Lori Marino, a neuroscientist who is internationally known for her work on the evolution of the brain in dolphins and whales, commended the young activist for her presentation at Superpod. Additionally, Dr. Ingrid Visser, a top orca researcher, invited London to come to New Zealand for three weeks to study with her at the Orca Research Trust. Pretty impressive for a nine-year-old!
London is currently saving money to make the trip to New Zealand, but that doesn’t mean she has slowed down. She’s also working on starting a school club to get kids her age talking about marine mammals and she plans to organize a screening of an orca documentary called “Voiceless” later this fall in her town.
It’s inspiring to see so much passion in such a young person. Captive animals need all the help they can get and every person that stands up for these majestic creatures and advocates to #EmptyTheTanks is important. While not everyone has time to travel and raise awareness like London does, there is still plenty that you can do to help marine animals in captivity. To start off, you can share this article to raise awareness about the issue. Secondly, you can choose to not support the industry by refusing to buy a ticket to marine parks like SeaWorld. It is only through monetary compensation that these businesses are able to stay afloat. Let’s all stand alongside London, and urge these cruel marine parks to #EmptyTheTanks!
Image source: The Northern Light