Orlando SeaWorld Frights: The Ballad of Leilani Münter
What would you say the natural progression of events would be after reaching the headlines with your new vegan-powered race car? How does a high-octane, traditional “animal advocate” – turbo charged with moral confusion – up the ante and leave skidmarks (the tyre kind, not poop) over the mainstream medias race track for everyone to ogle at?
I know. Get banned from SeaWorld – that’ll do it. Perhaps my reference to skidmarks would be more relevant as a reference to poop after all. As lovely as Leilani Münterto seems, her recent antics are certainly about as useful as a line of fecal matter in an uncomfortably tight pair of undies.
The professional race car driver was banned from SeaWorld on January 8th following the death of Tilikum, the 35-year old orca. Leilani had attempted to leave a sign at the entrance to the Orlando premises paying homage to Tilikum, along with 33 red roses, one for each year Tilikum had been in captivity. Not only was she banned from SeaWorld, she was told that if she “ever set[s] foot on any of their property again” she will be arrested, to which she apparently replied “that’s cool, I’m not a huge fan.”
As sweet a gesture as this seems on a personal level, Leilani’s self propelled publicity with it on Facebook and the subsequent media coverage and social media backlash has facilitated the promotion of this story as yet another single-issue campaign. Once again vegans and non-vegans alike mourn in harmony over the loss of Tilikum, praise the efforts of Leilani, implicitly promote as a normative matter the idea that orca’s matter more morally than any other animal we unjustly exploit through non-veganism, all while the non-vegans affected by this story chow down on an animal no different and with no less moral worth than you, I, or Tilikum.
If only Leilani would promote veganism as a moral baseline. Who knows what we can expect next from her next. Perhaps on February 18th at the ARCA race in Daytona she’ll take a leaf out of Ricky Bobby’s book (Will Ferrell – Talladega Nights) and run around naked on the race track “for the animals”…
Cover photo from Clean Technica