Written by PETA
Oooh, don't miss this: The deadly consequences of the marine mammal entertainment industry are on screen in the new film A Fall From Freedom, produced by San Francisco–based EarthViews Productions. In hardball interviews with marine scientists, whistleblowing former trainers, and theme park PR mouths, the scope and scale of the suffering of all the dolphins and whales who have died in parks like SeaWorld is made clear.
The movie comes on the heels of Outside magazine reporter Tim Zimmerman's scathing investigative report about this insanely cruel industry, called "Blood in the Water." Describing the behavior of orcas in an "aqua park" in Spain, the piece notes that the whales used "their teeth to peel away strips of [the pool's coating] from the pool walls like bored kids picking at loose paint." Notes of a trainer monitoring one female orca's "frequent unhappy vocalizations" describes her as "back to feeling insecure when separated, alone, both in shows & in sessions." This piece makes riveting reading.
If you're hitting the road this summer, heed the plea from PETA pal Bob Barker to drive right on by marine theme parks and let SeaWorld know that you won't be buying a ticket.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Independence Day is a day to celebrate America's freedoms, so why would the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) swear in new citizens at SeaWorld—a place that exemplifies the lack of freedom? PETA has fired off a letter to the director of CIS pointing out the irony of holding this joyous occasion where orcas and dolphins are kept in holding tanks for life.
Confined and forced to spend their days swimming in continuous circles in barren concrete tanks and deprived of everything that is natural and important to them, animals at SeaWorld become depressed, listless, and prone to illness.
Please ask CIS to adopt a policy that prohibits holding agency events at SeaWorld or at any other venue that causes animals to suffer or that has a history of flagrant violations of federal law.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
© Carla Wilson
PETA supporters in Orlando, Florida, spent the Fourth of July weekend declaring independence for whales and dolphins held captive at SeaWorld. Here are the top five reasons that freedom should include marine animals.
You can help by writing to SeaWorld and asking the company to let its prisoners go free—to transitional coastal and wildlife sanctuaries.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
On Super Bowl Sunday, a wave of 50 protestors crashed onto SeaWorld San Diego's main entrance shouting, "Shame on you—free Shamu!" Then four "orcas" made their way into the intersection Beatles-style and lay "beached" for half an hour until they were dragged away by police and arrested.
All we are saying is give whales a chance.
Baby, I can't drive my car to SeaWorld with these whales in the road.
Captive orcas could use a little help from their friends. Tell SeaWorld that whales don't belong in jail.
Due in part to plummeting ticket sales, SeaWorld is reportedly laying off hundreds of staffers. That news prompted PETA and local activists to hold demonstrations over the weekend in front of SeaWorld parks in Orlando and San Diego in order to call on the corporation to retire the orcas who are languishing in the theme parks' cramped and barren tanks.
You'd think that after an orca killed a trainer earlier this year, SeaWorld would recognize the need to change course. The theme park can reinvent itself and retain jobs by retiring the orcas to protected coastal sanctuaries.
Please tell SeaWorld to "lay off" the orcas—and that you won't be buying a ticket until it does.
Another day, another death at SeaWorld. The latest casualty is a 25-year-old orca named Kalina who died yesterday at the theme park's Orlando location, far short of most orcas' expected 50- to 60-year life span. As usual, SeaWorld will likely try to keep this death on the down low.
Kalina spent two and a half decades in misery, never having the chance to choose a mate, live with her family, or roam the vast oceans.
SeaWorld's cheap tricks will continue to cost animals their lives as long as the public buys a ticket. Please tell SeaWorld's owners that you'll be staying far away. Also, check out PETA's True Friends Memorial page set up for Kalina here.
First, there was the jaw-dropping story of a British woman who was caught on camera tossing an affectionate cat into an outdoor trash bin. Then, it was an Eastern European girl who slung crying puppies into a fast-moving stream. Now, right here in America, some people have imprisoned a dog inside a box barely bigger than his own body. The box has solid sides, and the dog can only see out if he jumps up and peers over them. He has been locked in the box for months. To add to the mental torment, the dog has worn his teeth down to nubs from biting at his prison, so his owners occasionally take him out of the box to painfully drill holes vertically into his teeth in order to irrigate them. And right there by the side of the box, the dog's keepers also manually extract sperm from him and use it to breed other dogs to sell. There's more, but the abuse that I've already described should be enough to make any decent person sick.
Take a look at Google Maps, and you can look down into the container and see the dog lying there.
Why, you may ask, aren't these people in jail? How is it that the local humane society has not swooped in and seized the dog?
Oh, I'm sorry. Did I write "dog"? I meant to write "orca." And the people perpetrating this horror are SeaWorld executives. So why exactly does swapping one intelligent animal for another or swapping an average Joe for rich business executives lessen the horror of this orca's ordeal or the injustice of the situation? Answer: It doesn't.
Tilikum is the orca. He killed a human being—for the third time—earlier this year. Perhaps there's a reason why killer whales are called "killer" whales. Tilikum didn't give his keeper, Dawn Brancheau, a little playful toss or misjudge and hold her under water just a second too long for her to survive. He shook her like a rag doll, slammed her into the side of the pool, stopped her from surfacing, and tore her body apart. My bet is that he knew exactly what he was doing. Having seen how he is kept and knowing where he came from, it's not hard to comprehend the depth of his anger and frustration.
Tilikum is 32 years old. When he was just 2 years old, he was caught by marine "cowboys" who kidnap dolphins and orcas to sell to amusement parks. He was taken from his family—his pod—in the open waters off Iceland, and he's lived in a cement pool ever since, unable to use his echolocation, to swim away, to travel the oceans, or to hear or see his relatives. He is "trained" to eat what he's given and do what he's told. He is also trained to roll over, which allows trainers to masturbate him with a gloved hand and collect his semen in a container. His semen is frozen for later use or used immediately to inseminate female orcas at one of SeaWorld's parks so as to provide additional animals to use in shows.
Life in a tiny concrete tank is no life at all for these animals, as evidenced by the death this week of Tilikum's 12-year-old son at SeaWorld San Diego. Twelve! This orca would likely have lived to be 50 or 60 in the open sea, his rightful home.
After the third human being lost her life to Tilikum, SeaWorld reduced his meager "world" even further. Tilly is now relegated mostly, if not solely, to the "F pool," a solid-sided concrete pool that measures just 36 feet long and 25 feet wide. Tilikum is 22 1/2 feet long with a wide girth. He weighs more than 12,000 pounds. So he has to scrunch just to turn around. And once turned, there he is again, nose against the other wall. He has been condemned to hang in place in the water indefinitely.
PETA is calling on the local humane society and the state's attorney to free Tilly. After all, cruelty to animals, whether to a dog or to an orca, is illegal in all states.
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk
PETA activists demonstrated in front of all three SeaWorld locations this weekend—in Orlando, San Diego, and San Antonio—to remind visitors and passersby about the rising death toll at these abusement parks.
In another development, former SeaWorld trainers are calling on federal authorities to reject the corporation's latest public-relations ploy: to provide "spare air" (small oxygen canisters inside wetsuits) so that trainers like Dawn Brancheau—who was killed by an orca—can get back into the tanks. When Dawn was attacked, she suffered massive injuries. There's not a chance in the world that an oxygen canister can stand up to the crushing force of a stressed, enraged 5-ton animal.
Please remember, you can help animals by speaking out against SeaWorld. Post on Facebook and spread the word to your family and friends. Join countless other people who are saying "enough" to SeaWorld's exploitation of orcas, bottlenose dolphins, and other animals. And be sure to visit our True Friends Memorial page set up in memory of Sumar, the orca that died at SeaWorld San Diego last week.
Two ailing dolphins who have been languishing in a filthy, cramped tank in Turkey are on the road to recovery after PETA Germany and the marvelous charity Born Free took action. And after The Sun—the U.K.'s best-selling newspaper—ran an exposé about Tom and Misha's plight, PETA Germany staffers posted an action alert, wrote to the mayor, and coordinated action with Turkish animal protection groups.
Our colleagues at Born Free are moving Tom and Misha to a rehabilitation center, and the dolphins will be released into their rightful ocean home as soon as they've recovered.
Let's call for the rehabilitation and release of more captive dolphins, such as the orcas (the largest members of the dolphin family) at SeaWorld.
The death toll continues to rise at SeaWorld with the passing of a 12-year-old orca named Sumar at the theme-park chain's San Diego location. Sumar died far short of the expected 50-to-60 year lifespan of orcas who roam the vast oceans, his rightful home.
Whatever caused Sumar's death (and let's hope that there will be no cover-up this time), circling a tiny concrete tank at a theme park and deprived of all that is natural and enjoyable, was never a life at all. Instead of profiting from their domination, PETA calls on SeaWorld to release these animals to coastal sanctuaries.
Please contact Blackstone Group (which owns SeaWorld) and insist that it begin the rehabilitation process right away.
Also, be sure to visit the True Friends Memorial site set up in memory of Sumar.
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
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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.