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Anne Flaherty: This fight means everything

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Pictured above is junior Anne Flaherty, protesting the killing of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. (Left to right: Declan Nolan, Mike Ahearne, Anne Flaherty and Dan Castillo)

She sat there watching the black and white killer whales swiftly soar through the waters on the screen. The next second, she watched people circling around and throwing tight ropes around the animals’ necks as they let out a shrill shriek. She couldn’t sit there anymore. She knew she had to do something.

Junior Anne Flaherty has always been interested in animals and can be remembered drawing killer whales as a child. She became interested in animal activism about a year and a half ago, mainly after watching “Blackfish”, a documentary depicting the long battle between humans and killer whales.

Since then, Flaherty has focused mostly on protecting cetaceans, the group of marine animals that are made up of whales, dolphins and porpoises.

“I started with whales,” Flaherty said. “Then I kind of branched out into all animals.”

She is a volunteer for the Fins and Flukes organization, a writer for Declare Cetacean Rights and an administer for Protest Seaworld San Diego. Flaherty is also involved with Sea Shepherd, a conservation organization defending ocean wildlife. Although she can’t be a volunteer until she’s 18, she can’t stop herself from helping out.

“I guess I’m an unofficial volunteer,” Flaherty said.

Recently, she was at a protest for the Taiji dolphin slaughter on Sept. 1, and she is currently an organizer for the annual Empty the Tanks Worldwide movement at Mystic Aquarium on June 6.

Flaherty notices people have positive reactions when she stands up for whales and dolphins, but while fighting for other animals people consider insignificant, she has had to face others’ prejudice and hostility.

“Negativity from people [is an obstacle],” Flaherty said. “People that don’t care are just kind of judgmental, but that doesn’t really matter to me.”

Along with support from people around her, including friends, Sea Shepherd headquarters and the people she volunteers for, her passion for the cause keeps her motivated.

“This fight means everything,” Flaherty said.

View Comments (4)
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Comments (4)

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  • G

    GuestOct 3, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    Very proud of you for this.
    The world needs more people like you, who are willing to stand up for what they believe in.

    Reply
  • G

    ghkjlkOct 1, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    Im so proud of you for standing up for what you believe in!

    Reply
  • A

    A. Paul Barker, M.D.Sep 30, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Nice job Anne!
    I really admire your involvement and passion.
    A. Paul Barker, M.D.
    Phoenix, AZ

    Reply
  • J

    jrjlSep 29, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    Way to go, Anne! I support in what you believe! Thanks for sharing the "Blackfish" documentary with me over the summer. 🙂

    – Your friend

    Reply
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Anne Flaherty: This fight means everything