Although it’s definitely not impossible for me to get stuck into animal rights movements here in the UK, I have found myself feeling extremely frustrated that there’s not much I can do with regards to cetaceans here.
I live next to the coast, but we only seem to get harbour porpoises in the harbour and that’s about it. I have looked into becoming a Marine Mammal Surveyor, and it’s definitely on my list of things to do this year, but again, it’s finding the time and money to travel to these which is my current issue.
It’s the same with the demonstrations; living in the far north of England has its downsides sometimes – it’s not cheap to get down to London and I often can’t make those demonstrations that are held on Fridays due to work commitments.
The best way that I’ve found to show my support is to donate to causes all over the world through merchandise. If you know me offline, you’ll probably have seen me strutting around with my Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project Hoodie on, or I’ll have chewed your ear off while sporting my Blackfish teeshirt with Tilly’s beautiful face staring back at you.
Recently, my salary has been spent mostly on expanding my collection of merchandise to support a variety of causes, which I have compiled below.
Now, I will say this – I have never felt so much a part of a community than I have in ORCAforce. I stumbled across the @Orcafest2016 Twitter, then joined the Facebook group and bought my first wristband and it’s just snowballed since then.
I have loved getting to know the driving force behind this cause, Anastasia, and she is an incredibly selfless human being; I know I’d love to do what she’s doing, but at the same time, I have no idea how she does it!
Below is the incredible varsity jacket that I purchased. It features the beautiful orca, who has now been named Diosa with the logo of O.R.C.A Trust emblazoned on the back and front.
As you can see, it also has my name on it – this jacket something that I’m incredibly proud to wear and show my support!
What is ORCAfest?
Have you ever seen The Cove or Blackfish? ORCAfest (or ORCAforce as it’s being called this year) is the best place to see them, as well as other films which cover cetacean captivity.
The main aim of the cause is to make as many people aware of these atrocities and acts of abuse as possible, and through providing a platform for people to come and watch these important documentaries, ORCAforce hopes to rally more troops against the captivity industry through simple education.
I have a thing about collecting wristbands. Yes, I’m one of those people who keep their festival bands on as long as possible. I clean them and dry them, so they’re not as disgusting as you think. So, you can imagine how enthusiastic I was when I saw Anastasia selling ‘Rest in Peace, Tilikum We Will Never Forget’ wristbands which the proceeds went to Free Morgan.org.
I just had to have one… so I bought one.
My wrists are super small, and they are made for real adult wrists, so they are rather big on me (damn you, baby wrists – I’m 26!!) but this one wristband wasn’t enough. I currently have five on my wrist, and this is set to grow in the very near future.
My second band is to support the release of Lolita/Tokitae, and it says “Nice day, Pretty Colours, Together We are #United4Lolita”. Nice Day, Pretty Colours is what Tokitae means, and I absolutely love that it gets people talking!
Kiska is up next in my wrist pod, and her band simply states “6 years in solitary confinement #FreeKiskaNow’. Plain and simple.
This band isn’t just whale related – it’s a Born Free Foundation band which I bought to wear on #WorldWildlifeDay! It’s got a debossed message of “Keep Wildlife in the Wild”, which fits perfectly in with my views on animal captivity.
My newest band (currently) is this beauty. Morgan is one of the whales which I am most passionate about because of the way in which she was brought into captivity. I haven’t covered her story on my Whale Spotlight series yet, but I did a brief overview last year on the anniversary of her 4th year in captivity.
I do have one more on the way, but I’m sure Anastasia also has more in the works that I simply won’t be able to say no to as well! If you’d like to join up and cover your arms in wristbands to support many fantastic causes, be sure to join the Wristbands for the Cause Facebook group!
If you are interested in finding out more about the causes I have talked about in this post, please don’t hesitate to drop me a comment or a message on either Facebook or Twitter – I’d love for more of my readers to get involved!