On January 6th, the world lost a beautiful creature: the famous orca named Tilikum. Tilikum had been living in a confined pool at SeaWorld and was used not as only a performer, but also as a breeder.

He was made famous by the 2013 documentary Blackfish, which showed how he was separated from his mother, captured off the icy waters of Iceland and put in captivity at a very young age. The film then goes into the long and painful life of this orca, and the psychological effects suffered by the animal due to captivity.

Perhaps the most infamous incident was when Tilikum killed one of SeaWorld’s most beloved trainer, Dawn Brancheau. In the film, other trainers talk about how experienced Brancheau was and her close relationship to the orca. It also shows how SeaWorld covered up the tragic incident by claiming it was a freak accident, but ultimately blamed Brancheau.

SeaWorld officials made a statement that Brancheau shouldn't have worn a long ponytail, as it provoked the whale. 

The film was extremely successful, but for SeaWorld, it meant harsh criticism from the rest of the world. PETA, along with other animal activists, held rallies and marches to boycott the amusement park. Research shows that keeping orcas, and other sea animals, in captivity causes them to suffer psychological effects.

SeaWorld did not only lose paying customers, but also huge sponsorships. Within those that cut ties with the park were large food corporations including Taco Bell.

Although the documentary has caused an uproar, there is still a lot to be done. As civilians, we have a social responsibility to these animals and their rights. No living thing, especially of that magnitude, should be held against its will for the sole purpose of entertainment.

We need to hold accountable not only the park itself, but all those big corporations that still support SeaWorld, which is why I personally plan on boycotting the following.

Coca-Cola Co.

Coca-Cola has recently tried to move more toward more sustainable practices, and while it's a big step for the environment, they still have yet to cut ties with SeaWorld. It’s currently in a 10 year deal with the amusement park and is now serving the 10 parks affiliated with SeaWorld.


One of America’s most beloved fast food chains partners with the park as well. McDonald’s offered discounts on admissions to the San Diego SeaWorld park.

It may not seem like a big deal to offer these coupons, as it’s not a largely official partnership. However, McDonald’s is still encouraging people to attend these parks, which further increases SeaWorld’s funds.

Blue Bunny

One of the parks owned by SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, is partnered with Blue Bunny Ice Cream. The company is actually known as “The Official Ice Cream” of the park.

So next time you're out and about craving ice cream, I would stay away from Blue Bunny. Remember, it's for the whales.

These are just a few of the companies that still hold ties with SeaWorld, but there are countless more. If boycotting these isn't enough for you, there are hundreds of ways to get involved. PETA is constantly needing signatures for petitions and organizing protests all over the country.