Letter to the Editor: Animal Rights Activism

    Dear Editor,

    I am writing this letter in the hope to increase student awareness to
    animal rights activism. While many of us are aware of the inhumane
    treatment of animals in the entertainment and food industry, many of us
    have not actively participated to end this unnecessarily cruelty.

    Take one of our school’s dear neighbors for example. For years, SeaWorld
    has received backlash for its practice of training animals for
    entertainment. While most people disagree with keeping animals in
    confinement against their will, they do not have insight in the harm that
    these confinement periods cause to both the physical and mental health of
    these lovely creatures. In a recent Ted talk given by Naomi Rose, a
    killer whale researcher and SeaWorld protester, she gives insight into
    how orca captivity seriously damage their social structure. Orcas are a
    matriarchal society, when training, young orcas are separated from their
    mothers, this, according to Rose, is akin to taking a child away from its
    mother. Not only is it cruel and immoral, it also squashes the young
    orca’s chances to learn what it needs to survive as an orca whale. We
    already know that children raised by animals can never fully integrate
    into human society, and are put under constant physiological and
    psychological stress during their rehabilitation. Now imagine yourself at
    SeaWorld, looking at a young human adult that has been taken from its
    mother before he/she learned to form coherent sentences performing
    jumping hoops and tossing balls for your entertainment, what would you
    feel? Would you rise up and protest this act of insane cruelty? I guess
    all of us would. But when talking about orca whales, the thousands of
    people flocking to SeaWorld beg to differ.

    So take a moment and think. How much does it cost for you to boycott
    SeaWorld? Probably would save you at least the 89-dollar single day pass?
    How much would it cost for you to educate others and inspire them to
    boycott them as well? A couple of tweets and Facebook updates, some
    minutes of conversations. How much it costs to petition to bring animal
    rights to the Senators’ tables? The time it takes for you to submit your
    signature online. And how much does it take to support animal shelters
    and rehabilitation centers? Any amount, the money you saved by not going
    to SeaWorld would be a huge donation to them.

    Yours sincerely,
    Yu Zhang

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