Animal Rights Club vs. SeaWorld


Junior Genevieve Sale, a member of Mercy’s Animal Rights Club, takes a stand against animal cruelty with this sign reading “Animals Have Rights, Too!” Photo by: Mary McGreevy

 “Five of the orcas living at SeaWorld today were stolen from their families in the wild,” according to People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). This alarming statistic is unrecognized by many, and animal cruelty at SeaWorld continues to happen without consequences. As a result, Mercy girls teamed together in the Animal Rights Club to stand up for animals who cannot speak for themselves.

SeaWorld’s conditions have received more attention recently. Many believe it is unfair for orcas and other sea animals to be living in captivity while being trained like circus animals. According to National Geographic, a major issue is that more and more orcas are being raised in captivity and if released, they could not survive on their own in the wild. SeaWorld has inbred a number of orcas, prompting PETA and other organizations to challenge the company to stop its breeding program.

“SeaWorld is a topic within Animal Rights [Club] that I feel really strongly about,” said junior and Animal Rights Club leader Julia Coffman. “I do not think any animal should be held captive and treated the way those sea animals are.”

Animal Rights Club leaders have brought the issue of SeaWorld forward at meetings to expose the cruelty.

“Having discussions in the meeting helps bring awareness just by talking because not a lot of people know about how poorly [those] animals are treated,” said Coffman.

At their last meeting to spread awareness, the club members designed posters with messages to prevent animal cruelty. The posters read phrases like “Buy Cruelty Free” and “Animals Have Rights Too!”

Animal rights issues such as cosmetic testing on animals, trophy hunting, cockfighting, puppy mills, and cruelty-free products are other topics discussed often at club meetings.