Written by Michelle Kretzer
don't belong in tiny glass tanks, and India wants to make sure that they won't
be put there.
PETA India learned that state governments were planning to put dolphin parks in several parts of the
country, it immediately contacted Minister of Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan.
The group reminded her that the Animal Welfare Board of India, which must give
its permission before animals may be used in performances, said that it has not granted and will not grant permission for companies to keep dolphins in
captivity, as tearing dolphins away from their families, confining them to tiny
tanks, and forcing them to perform likely constitutes cruelty and violates India's Prevention of Cruelty to
was in complete agreement with PETA India and the board and announced that the ministry would deny all proposals
for dolphin parks.
the U.S. and Canada, dolphins aren't so lucky. Animal advocates must continue
to speak out against
aquariums and swim-with-dolphins programs.
PETA is calling for a U.S. Department of
Agriculture investigation after D.J., a 15-year-old Atlantic bottlenose dolphin,
was found dead on the
floor of his tank at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi. Trainers said that D.J., short
for De Janeiro, was acting unusual and not eating the day before he died. He is
the second dolphin to die
at the aquarium—Cobie, also just 15, died of pneumonia in 2007.
Docklands Tony|cc by 2.0In the wild, dolphins swim up to 100 miles per day in family pods or tribes of hundreds.
Untimely deaths are the rule for marine mammals in captivity.
At SeaWorld alone, between 1986 and 2011, 25 orcas died—and not one from old age. The unending and debilitating stress of captivity weakens
marine mammals' immune systems, causing them to die earlier than their wild
counterparts, who live for decades. Those who don't succumb to intestinal
gangrene, acute hemorrhagic pneumonia, pulmonary abscesses, chronic kidney
disease, chronic cardiovascular failure, septicemia, influenza, or other health
problems may take their own lives by hitting their heads against the sides of
pools or simply not coming up for air.
Please watch dolphins only at
the beach, not in tanks.
Written by PETA
Chambers, two dolphins who were forced to perform at a Swiss aquarium, died after a rave party was held at the facility. Authorities
are trying to determine the cause of death, which possibly includes being
blasted with deafeningly loud music or being poisoned by narcotics dropped into
PETA Germany had sent
an urgent appeal to aquarium management and veterinary officials to cancel the
rave and is now poised to file a lawsuit against those responsible if the
necropsies (expected to take several weeks) determine that the rave was connected
with Shadow's and Chambers' deaths.
rays, and other fish and sea life confined to cramped tanks in aquariums
already have it bad enough without being subjected to the stress of loud
parties put on by marine parks in an attempt to make a few extra bucks. As PETA
Senior Vice President Dan Mathews recounted after attending a
the Georgia Aquarium, three guides admitted that music
at such parties upsets the animals and causes them to fight.
In the wild, dolphins swim together in family pods or tribes
of hundreds. Photo: lowjumpingfrog | cc by 2.0
Never buy a ticket to the Georgia Aquarium, SeaWorld or any other facility that
profits from keeping animals in captivity.
by Jennifer O'Connor
Highness of Halloween, Elvira, knows a
thing or two about fright. And there are few things that she finds as
terrifying as imprisoning
marine mammals in an aquarium and forcing them to
endure pounding music reverberating through their cramped tanks. But that's
just what the ghouls at the Georgia
Aquarium plan to do this
aquarium is apparently ignoring the complaint that PETA filed after the facility
hosted a recent event with loud music that was visibly distressing to the
marine animals, who are very sensitive to excessive noise. Elvira penned a
letter to the aquarium's president and COO, saying:
aquarium employees said that many of the confined wild animals become
aggravated and even fight when the music gets pumping—and they have no safe
room to escape to. This disturbs me more than Freddy vs. Jason."
the Mistress of the Dark will help the aquarium see the light.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
A new attraction at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is being touted as a Broadway-style show, complete with costumed actors, animation projected on a huge screen, music recorded by a 61-piece orchestra, and, oh yeah, dolphins imprisoned for life in a chlorinated tank. Fun for the whole family—unless the family has a conscience.
The aquarium claims to pride itself on playing "a role in animal conservation," but in an opinion piece published in today's Atlanta Journal Constitution, PETA staffer Jen O'Connor points out that the aquarium spent $110 million on its splashy new dolphin exhibit—nearly 100 times the amount it spent on dolphin conservation. What's wrong with this Broadway-style picture?
"In the wild, dolphins swim together in family pods up to 100 miles a day," writes Jen. "They navigate by bouncing sonar waves off objects to determine location and distance. In captivity, their ocean worlds are reduced to claustrophobic swimming pools. Most aquariums keep antacids on hand to treat the animals' stress-related ulcers."
Dolphins are so intelligent that a neuroscientist at Emory University has recommended that they be given the same status as humans, and a professor of ethics at Loyola Marymount University backed her up by saying, "The scientific research suggests that dolphins are 'non-human persons' who qualify for moral understanding as individuals." Would we lock up humans for life, just so that they could entertain a crowd for 25 minutes? The human actors in the Georgia Aquarium show get to go home to the families at the end of the day—not so for the dolphin performers.
"Try to imagine living in the same cramped place for the rest of your life," writes Jen. "Animals who are genetically designed to swim the vast oceans are no more able to adjust to lifelong captivity than we are. That's why prison is considered society's harshest punishment."
Read Jen's entire essay here.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Washington State's Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is poised to join 14 other U.S. zoos that have closed or are phasing out their elephant exhibits. The zoo is in the middle of discussions about the future of 48-year-old Hanako and 47-year-old Suki, the two female Asian elephants kept in the zoo.
Elephants have complex needs that simply cannot be met within the cramped confines of a zoo. Elephants need lots of space and stimulation as well as the company and companionship of other elephants. A reputable sanctuary can provide Suki and Hanako with all that and more.
If you live near Tacoma, please let zoo officials know that you strongly support transferring Hanako and Suki to a reputable sanctuary.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Patrons of a California pet-store chain were appalled when they saw black-tipped reef sharks displayed in small tanks. As is the case with most captive sharks, these animals were swimming into the tanks' glass walls, resulting in chronic injuries.
After PETA was alerted to the sharks' plight last summer, we convinced the chain to release one injured shark so that the animal could receive veterinary care and be given a new home; the chain also said that it would not place sharks in new stores. But after another shark was injured a couple months ago and PETA posted an action alert on its website, the pet store made the compassionate decision to release all its sharks to more species-appropriate facilities.
Sharks naturally roam for miles in the ocean. In captivity, they often exhibit neurotic behaviors as a result of stress, including repetitively swimming into the sides of their tanks. Confinement also deprives them of engaging in natural behaviors such as foraging for food, choosing mates, raising their young, and exploring reefs.
Please, don't patronize any pet stores, aquariums, or other businesses that sell live animals or use them as "props."
Written by Michelle Sherrow
It takes a big man to admit he's made a mistake, and they don't come any bigger, at least in the travel world, than Arthur Frommer. In a blog post earlier this month, Frommer expressed regret for the times that he recommended SeaWorld in his popular travel guides:
"In doing so, I was as heedless of our treatment of the animal world as most of us who traipse to zoos and never think of what it means for such cognizant animals to be contained behind bars or in tiny spaces. I received this past week a letter from an official of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), one Debbie Leahy, that makes such an irrefutable point that I, for one, am ashamed at the shallow perspective of my earlier reaction to SeaWorld.. . .Ms. Leahy is clearly right, and I have reconsidered my position. I am ashamed, I apologize for my former statements, and I will no longer recommend that tourists patronize the various SeaWorld parks."
Click here to read the letter that had such an impact on Frommer. And after you've visited his Web site to share some love, send an e-mail to SeaWorld and ask its officials if they're big enough to admit that they were wrong too.
Written by Alisa Mullins
SeaWorld may have animal pimp "entertainer" Jack Hanna in its corner, but Tilly has Jean-Michel Cousteau on his side.
The world-renowned French explorer, environmentalist, film producer and, of course, son of Jacques-Yves Cousteau has issued a brief video statement addressing the cruelty and danger of keeping killer whales and dolphins imprisoned in marine amusement parks. Please don't miss this one, folks:
Jean-Michel Cousteau's video contains so many eloquent, logical statements that I had trouble picking just one favorite. Can you?
Written by Karin Bennett
Back in the 1950s, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to move to the back of the bus in the segregated South. After learning of Parks' arrest, an African-American resident in Montgomery declared, "They've messed with the wrong one now."
Let's fast-forward to Virginia Beach, Virginia, 2009: Longtime PETA member and ardent animal defender Sheila Rybak was arrested outside a fur store where she'd been peacefully protesting. She was accused of causing an illegal ruckus by Maria Folch, who had "happened by" this off-road site in a full-length mink coat.
Unfortunately for Folch, Rybak doesn't take any injustice lying down. After Folch failed to show up at the first court hearing, Rybak sued for malicious prosecution. Makes sense right? Protests aren't illegal, and Rybak was only trying to spread the word about the hideously cruel fur industry.
Earlier this week, a jury found in Rybak's favor, and the court has ordered the defendant to pay $12,500 in damages. Here's the kicker: Rybak has declared that if Folch will hand over her full-length mink coat for use in PETA anti-fur displays and events, she'll call it even!
Talk about inspiring. What do you think?
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.