Ruth is from Wales and has lived abroad for nearly 10 years, she enjoys her vegan lifestyle, loves animals and hopes to inspire others along the way. Her new blog is up and running at

Yesterday on the 17th January 2015 there was a March for Lolita in Miami. Lolita is an Orca Whale who has been held captive in the Miami Seaquarium for 44 years. What is worse is that she performs the same dumb performance 3 times a day for dead fish.



I tried to imagine this as part of my life, I teach English to children in South Korea and I see different kids with different levels and different textbooks every day. So I thought how horrid it would be to see the same snotty kids, having the same conversations, answering the same questions 3 times a day and not even for freedom, not even for my weekends, not even for a comfortable home. I’d do it for dead fish that I would catch in the wild in a much more interesting way, it is my nature to dive deep to hunt for live fish. I don’t get a day off, I sit in a bath tub waiting for the same class to come back and do the same thing again and again.

Hugo, another captive whale who lived with Lolita for 10 years, mated with Lolita but no babies were produced. They used to perform 5-6 shows per day together until he died from Aneurysm Cerebral Artery in 1980 caused by bashing his head against the concrete wall repeatedly according to the Marine Mammal Inventory Reports. He either did it out of boredom or in an attempt to commit suicide. Suicide isn’t a ridiculous concept when you think that Orca Whales are possibly as smart as chimpanzees if not smarter, more intelligent than us? I am going to go with yes, since we are the ones who pay good money to see someone stand on an Orca’s stomach rather than go on one of the epic tours that exist to see Orcas in the wild… God we are dumb.

I went to one because I was dumb. I went to Seaworld in Florida about 10 years ago and watched the amazing Orca Whale dance and bounce and perform. Its dorsal fin was bent from being in captivity, something that is a very rare occurrence in the wild because of the space to move and jump and dive and exercise. I read that their collapsed dorsal fins are comparable to us going to the gym, if we work a muscle with weights it will become strong and muscular, if an Orca Whale exercises its dorsal fin it will become strong and muscular too. 100% of captive males have collapsed dorsal fins.

Many people find it disrespectful when animal rights is compared to human rights. I personally am very careful not to use the word ‘holocaust’ when I refer to animal rights, even though by definition holocaust means ‘destruction or slaughter on a mass scale’.

Image by Colin Culbreth

Image by Colin Culbreth

Some people at the march yesterday chose to be open and frank and compare Lolita’s captivity to the slavery of the 18th and 19th Century. To those who choose a life of ignorance this also seems disrespectful, but for those who choose to see the cruelty that exists in this entertainment it is a very obvious comparison.

I was teary-eyed when seeing some of the beautiful talks at the march yesterday. Here is one describing the release plan for Lolita.

The Miami Seaquarium has been on TV announcing that Lolita will certainly die if she is released. My answer to this is, if she dies she will die free. It’s her death in the ocean, in her own home worse than the death of Hugo who bashed his head against a concrete wall?

Seaquarium is scared, they are trying to use any means necessary to stop people being compassionate and to keep the money coming in. They have absolutely no right to even have an opinion on this since they are the ones who forced her into this life in the first place.

They should be shamed into silence.

I am not American, but I feel strongly tied to America since I married one. My only good excuse for this is that he is incredibly good looking =), and I do feel that as a country they have a huge amount of faults. However, if they pull together and manage to free Lolita, if the incredible march held in Miami yesterday makes history, I will sing the American national anthem! (Well… one verse anyway, let’s not get ahead of ourselves!) America has the chance to show the rest of the world that it is leaps and bounds ahead.

As that wonderful Statue of Liberty says: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

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  • Travis J

    I feel we’re very close as a society to shutting down marine animals circuses. All aquariums should’ve closed when the scientific community declared whales and dolphins as non-human animals… we’ve always been slow with change, but we’re getting there

    • Ruth

      It is exciting times Travis and I hope you are right :)