Taking on SeaWorld, Circuses and the fight to free Lolita from the Miami Seaquarium is no small feat. But 12 year old animal activist Dominic Geragi is a 5-year veteran.
Circuses, zoos and aquarium parks like SeaWorld are destinations most kids can’t wait to visit. But Dominic Geragi isn’t just any kid. An animal activist since the age of seven and co-president of the non-profit Animal Hero Kids, Dominic firmly stands against the use and abuse of animals for entertainment and is really making waves in his community. Pun intended. [tweet this]
Today I’m excited to introduce you to Dominic Geragi. At the age of eight, Dominic had bull hooks banned in Margate, Florida, which I’ll let him talk about more. Now, with five years of animal activism under his belt and at the ripe old age of twelve, Dominic continues to fight for captive animals in the entertainment industry.
Be sure to check out the video above for Dominic’s full interview, but here are some chosen nuggets.
On what inspired him to go vegan and become active:
“First I watched the documentary The Cove and that got me protesting the Miami Seaquarium, which then caused me to become vegetarian. Then like a month after I became vegan.
I protest at Miami Seaquarium. Five years now, we’ve been protesting there. We’ve had many different events happen there. We’ve had a lot of cars turn around where the cars don’t go in.”
Dominic hit the ground running and spoke out against the cruel use of bull hooks, resulting in their banning: [see video for footage of him addressing the commissioners] [tweet this accomplishment]
“When I was eight years old I banned bull hooks and electric prods from being used in the city of Margate in Florida. Bull hooks are used like batons but they have a hook at the top of them and they beat the elephants with them. And there’s actually videos of the trainers using the bull hook to bring the elephants somewhere where they had damage on their feet and other parts of their body.”
With other kids his age flocking to aquariums, zoos and circuses, I asked Dominic why he protests against them:
“[At] Sea World and Miami Seaquarium they put [the animals] into these tiny tanks. Some of them are illegal, like Lolita’s [an Orca at SeaWorld]. Lolita’s is illegal, it’s way too small for her. And circuses are just animals being taken, tortured, and put into these places. And it’s just really depressing there for them.”
Given this sad reality, Dominic shared that there are alternatives if kids and their families want to interact with animals:
“Sanctuaries are a perfect place to see animals, and take care of them. You can volunteer and basically help them [regain] health.
Dominic advocates other kids getting active in their communities and schools. He shares his thoughts on the power of kid activism and how to get involved:
“People listen to kids more than they do to adults nowadays. When they see an adult sitting down holding a sign, they think: ‘Oh, that person is crazy,’ or something. But when they see a kid, they think:’Wow, this is serious.’ and they actually get more of an impact.
Spread[ing] awareness is probably the easiest [way to get active]. You can make your own leaflets and print them out and give them to people in your neighborhood. Or if it’s easier just go to your school and talk about it, and have kids spread awareness, make presentations. That’s what I did. So more people know about what is going on with circuses and Miami Seaquarium and Sea World and all these bad places. And on factory farms and all of those.”
Given that most kids his age aren’t out there fighting for the rights of animals, I asked Dominic what motivated him to keep going:
“Seeing that animals have more rights nowadays, you see more sanctuaries and all these other places. That people actually care about animals makes me want to help even more and try to get it completely — like no circuses and no Miami Seaquarium.”
I’ll leave you with some excerpts from Dominic’s Animal Hero Kids State of the Union Address:
“I Dominic, Animal Hero Kid president, pledge to speak out for all animals in need. I do not eat animals or dairy products. All of our voices together will stop animal abuse. We need to be the voices for the voiceless. We, the Animal Hero Kids, promise to stop animal abuse by not going to circuses that use animals for entertainment. Wild animals belong in the wild. We, the Animal Hero Kids, across the nation will speak up for the most abused animals of all: factory farmed animals, like cows, chickens and pigs.”
If you want to find out more about Dominic and Animal Hero Kids, check out the links below.
Stay tuned to the channel to hear from more Animal Hero Kids. If you liked this video, do give it a thumbs up and share it around to help show what kids can accomplish. If you’re new here, I’d love to have you as a subscriber. I put out fresh content covering all aspects of veganism every Monday, Wednesday and some Fridays. To help support Bite Size Vegan’s educational efforts, please see the support page or join us in the Nugget Army on Patreon.
— Emily Moran Barwick