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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

A PETA Theme Park?

Written by PETA | August 15, 2008
ics / CC
Dolphin

C’mon, it makes more sense than Dollywood! And it could really happen—now that Anheuser-Busch is being taken over by InBev, a Belgium-based beverage giant, and InBev is thinking of selling SeaWorld to finance the new business venture.

PETA sent a letter to the CEO of InBev this morning offering to buy the marine mammal parks and their captive animals, thanks to a very generous PETA donor. Have we mentioned before how compassionate and amazing our donors and supporters are?!

Just don’t expect penguin enclosures, sting-ray petting tanks, or hoop-jumping dolphins. PETA’s vision is to turn the animal-exploiting money-maker into an educational non-animal theme park with state-of-the art virtual marine mammal displays that are so realistic that it’s as if you’re nose to snout with Flipper. And the animals currently held captive in the parks would be rehabilitated in coastal sanctuaries before being released back into their natural environments—a place many of the mammals remember fondly from before they were captured, sent to flounder (geddit?) in SeaWorld’s small pools, and forced to perform mindless tricks, over and over and over and over and over again, for the amusement of little children.

Virtual reality technology has become so advanced that there is absolutely no need to make animals suffer or to put them in danger for human enjoyment or education. 3-D effects put us right in the action—and make us feel as if we’re swimming in the cold Pacific with the great whites. It’s safe for the animals, and you don’t have to worry about losing a leg or being painfully stung by jellyfish.

You can read our full letter to InBev under the cut.

Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky

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  • Tori says:

    People hesitant to support this move must realize that the cetaceans will not be released into the wild immediately after the closure of the parks. If they were let out instantly they would definetly not know how to fend for themselves and possibly be injured or die of stress or starvation. What PETA has promised to do is relocate the cetaceans to rehabilitation sanctuaries where these whales and dolphins will undergo “therapy” of sorts making sure full health examinations are practiced and that the animals are healthy and of course they would be taught how to hunt and use their naturual instincts once again. HOWEVER the whales and dolphins who were born in captivity and have spent their lives there need to be examined more closely. Would it be beneficial to release these animals into the wild? I won’t feign knowledgeI don’t know if it would work. With solid research PETA should be able to do what is right. PETA would never hurt animals there intentions are good and as the largest organization in the world committing to protecting animals lives and rights I have full faith that all the right decisions whatever they may be will be made!

  • Megan Corwin says:

    PETA would do better to buy more captive area for the animals to swim in and pay for someone to take care of them. Give them more room! These animals will not survive in the wild. I am vegan. I am vegan because I love animals. But I would never go to a theme park to see virtual animals. That is just dumb. You will never ever make money that way.

  • Colin says:

    Killer Whales at Sea World AREN’T ABUSED. PETA should really buy the circus instead of Sea World Bush Gardens!Its important to think about what is happening to our enviornment and global warming will effect the lives of most born in captivity animals! DONT BUY IT.

  • dave says:

    i think dollyhood is pretty sweet and take care

  • Julian says:

    This is a terrible idea. Seaworld rehabilitates injured manatees and provides a home for nonreleasable ones. Stop and think for a moment how many would die if Seaworld wasn’t there for them! Also most of the orcas are captiveborn and performing provides active stimulation for them. Like matt said a marine mammal won’t perform if it doesn’t want to.

  • besy says:

    it put a smile on my face! D

  • Julie says:

    I am a firm supporter of PETA I think you do some really wonderful work. This however would not be one of those times. Rehabilitating injured wildlife and releasing them back into the wild is a very good cause but what you have to understand is that SeaWorld currently has 25 killer whales… Only 5 of them were captured in the wild… 1 of those 5 has been in captivity for almost 40 years… The other 4 for 3035 years. The remaining 20 animals were born in the three SeaWorld parks… I would consider PETA would be participating in cruelty to animals for even considering releasing any of these animals into the wild… for they would have a much higher chance of dieing than surviving. And that’s not even mentioning the countless other animals that SeaWorld has that are either captive born or have been in captivity for most of their lives. Animals like Various species of Dolphins Whales Sea Lions Seals Penquins etc. A more humane idea might be to turn the park into solid education do away with shows and the most appauling “interaction” programs. But please consider these well being of these animals for most of them releasing them into the wild would be a death setence.

  • Tucker says:

    I’M TORN ON ONE HAND YES RELEASE THEM IN TO THERE NATURAL HABITAT BUT ON THE OTHER HAND COME ON THEY ARE SAFE AND WELL TAKEN CARE OF AT SEA WORLD. THEY ARE PEOPLE ORIENTED NOW WILL THEY SURVIVE OUT IN THE WORLD?!?!?! TAKE THEM AWAY FROM WHAT THEY HAVE KNOWN NOW FOR HOW EVER LONG?!?!? DO THEY HAVE THE SKILLS TO BE OUT IN THE WORLD ?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I AM TORN AND CONCERNED FOR ALL ANIMALS THAT ARE THERE NOW!!

  • Jessica says:

    I am a life long vegetarian and I must be honest…this is a terrible idea because this it is well and good to think about its obvious goodness you must consider it fiscally and frankly nobody is going

  • kitokaze says:

    I am very glad to know the news that PETA is going to buy Sea World. I am much disgusted at zoosmarine parks and so on. But to drive faculity like a theme park is a very dificult business. So I think you had better turn Sea World to a sanctuary for retired sea animals which cannot live in nature.

  • Dishwalla says:

    Stevette Shark and Heather need to do some more work in school and get educated in the knowledge of abducted wild animals. Most are not captivity born most were stolen cruelly from their lifelong families at sea. They use explosives nets and support the Japanese blood baths in therir captures. Most die in the captures or within the first few weeks unnamed. Your happy little trainerwanna be attitude that these creatures are “Happy” is a fun dream for you. Wake Up How happy would you be in a cell twice the size of your body. With people that speak different languages and only being fed when you perform. With live food when you only eat dead food? Sounds fun and yummy too….you 3 need to learn to read and educate your toddler brains into the truth….beLIEve the lies.

  • Louise says:

    I think I lot of people who have written in have good points to make. First the offer from the Peta donor could be a huge step to a better world. If the park is done state of the art and captures the beauty and wonder of the ocean and it’s magnificent beings I’m sure it would be much more interesting to kids and adults than a few pool shows and yes I have been to Sea World. I do take notice though of what many have brought up with keeping the animals that have been raised in captivity in a safe environment that would not envolve doing shows or living in small pool tanks. I trust Peta to do the proper research with experts to what would be the safest smartest and compassionate place for them to live out their lives. The biggest part of the picture is so much more than a park it would set a a new standard for how we as humans should expect to view living being of other species. I was disgusted from my first school field trip to a zoo and support Peta completely in forging the way for a sane approach to experiencing our other earthling friends. If this park happens I will be first in line with my family.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Kat I’m a wildlife rehabilitator and I can tell you that the pinnipeds and cetaceans released into the wild were not ones bred or raised at zoos. You’re thinking of situations where these animals are found injured or orphaned at the ocean and a good samaritan will call Fish and Wildlife and they bring the animal to a marine rehabber. Those animals are only in “captivity” to recieve medical care. They only spend a few days or weeks in captivity whereas aquarium animals spend years or decades in captivity. If they’re not born and raised in the wild they have no chance of survival. And it is highly illegal as well to release captive animals into the ocean.

  • Kat says:

    Keiko is one that passed away but he passed away of a lung infection despite veterinary care it was no one’s fault. DOZENS yes DOZENS of cetaceans and pinnipeds have been successfully rehabilitated and released from captivity to lead healthy lives in the wild. One failed case doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Educate yourselves. Being loved by their trainers doesn’t negate their boredom and social deprivation. If they were loved so much they’d entitle them to space and freedom from human contact.

  • Carlos says:

    One correction Inbev is a BelgiumBrazilian company.

  • Kari says:

    Does Keiko mean anything? The poor animal died after people like you forced him back into the wild.

  • heather says:

    This is the worst idea ever. I thinking it’s more cruel to release the animals than keep them at Sea World. The animals get good care. The people in animal husbandry have to go through a long interview process and they love the animals. They get paid around $8 an hour but don’t care because they love what they do. I have a friend in the animal husbandry dept at SeaWorld Orlando and she has to work 3 jobs just to support herself. Basically the workers take great care of the animals. Yes they probably shouldn’t be in captivity but they ARE. Some have been bred into captivity and simply would not survive in the wild. And the PETA idea of Sea World just seems beyond lame. I wouldn’t want to pay to go see a bunch of robot animals. Who cares if they have vegan hot dogs. yes I am too vegan. I just hope that this is a publicity stunt. The people at PETA cannot really be so dumb to think that releasing all the animals is a good idea.

  • lynda downie says:

    I think it’s a wonderful idea. And no doubt Peta will be working closely with marine experts who are well informed on rehabilitation in coastal sanctuaries and issues with release. You’re right Jennifer. The Pacific IS coldbracingglorious!

  • stevette says:

    I’ve read enough. many of you can’t even spell. who is shamoo? it’s Shamu a virtual reality park? ARE YOU NUTS? I go to Seaworld at least once a month bc I can’t afford to hop on a plane and go visit orcas in the Pacific…like most people. People are not going to want to pay to go see a fake animal. Those animals are absolutely spoiled rotten. They are not starved or mistreated. If you have never been to Seaworld and are agreeing with PETA you need to hop on a plane and go….NOW!

  • Sophiya says:

    Cool. This is a really great idea. I would so totally got there

  • Mary says:

    I think that PETA should care incredibly well for the marine animals instead of releasing them all back into the wild. Some of them need to stay there. Shamu Klondike and Snow. I know ya’ll have wonderful intentions but SeaWorld is doing wonderfully right now. Life isn’t a fantasy world and if you release these beautiful creatures they could be hunted and turned into furs and skins. Better human rights need to be established first and world peace needs to be 99.9 especially with the way things stand in the Middle East. Please PETA don’t do this.

  • Cynthia Long says:

    I’ve never been a fan of SeaWorld. Back in the early 1970′sSeaworld “collected” a number of wild orca from Puget Soundmost of them died BTW.The lone survivor is Lolita who’s around 40 years old at the Miami Seaquariumwhich has her in a too small tank and is alone 247. So maybe PETA could offer the owner of Miami Seaquarium some serious $$$and totally revamp the park into more eco and animal friendly. I’m a South Carolina native and we don’t have marine parks with captive solphins pilot whales or orcasdue to the fact it’s against state law!

  • Maya, CVT says:

    BBR you’re right on about the dolphins. Regarding the Sea World passes call and ask about their refund policy. Be polite so you’ll have a better shot. Either way the important thing is that you write to Sea World and tell them why you and all your friends and coworkers won’t go to SeaWorld any more. Tell them that only non releaseable animals belong in captivity and that the underdog animals deserve better enclosures. And you can try calling Better Business Bureau if you don’t get your money back. Tell them you have severe ethical concerns about SeaWorld that may do the trick.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Kristen I think it’s lovely that you got to enjoy a ray they are so beautiful. But I’d be curious to know how good folks like you feel about their captivity as opposed to how they live in the wild. I have considered doing a study on visitor’s feelings after they leave a zoo or aquarium. Do people learn to conserve these animals? Most people say yes but then they go home and eventually go back to their old habits. I’m afraid tha zoos and aquariums only teach people that it’s good to keep animals in enclosures where they are not happy. Sadly there is not enough public knowledge to realize that they are in fact deprived of their needs. Thanks for listening

  • Kristen says:

    I’m sorry I just don’t think all animals in captivity is bad. I actually just went to Sea World a few weeks ago and loved it! I loved the fact that I actually got to touch a sting ray my favorite sea animal. Sea World is also one of the reasons I fell in love with animals in the first place because I got to see as a child how amazing and majestic they are…the few animals in Sea World do a lot more good in captivity for the millions of animals no child ever gets to see in the wild.

  • bbr says:

    Well before I knew any of this or even became a vegetarian my husband and I purchased season passes to sea world. We don’t make a lot of money. And to not use them would be a waste of our hard earned money. So what do you suggest we do with them? Do you ever write Mexico? Cuz did you know that for like $300person you can swim with the dolphins? I highly doubt they treat those dolphins any better than Sea World. Just a thought. I’m sure I’m right about it too.

  • KATHLEEN W. says:

    What a wonderful idea!

  • Sarah says:

    I know you guys are trying to help but releasing the animals back into the wild or even putting them in the wild when they didn’t come from there is not good. Remember that wild whales and dolphins might not accept these newcomers into their groups. Captive creatures would be chased off and possibly killed. Also the immune systems of captive animals are quite different. You have to understand that these animals have been around people and thus have built up immunity for that they could be carrying disease such as respiratory disease which can be passed from dolphin to human or human to dolphin and to release captive dolphins into the wild would only cause problems for wild dolphins that have never built up that immunity. An idea to helping these animals would be to find a sanctuary that is built out on the water that is protected from their wild cousins and yet still gives them the space to run. Even better figure out a way to create one big area for each group to live in. Keep them out of public view if that would be best for them and let them live out the rest of their days with proper social interaction both with their kind and humans which they have learned to get along with and proper care.

  • Krista says:

    That Would be the best thing ever. and think hoe neat it would be…

  • Natalie says:

    I think this is a great idea! Last time I went to Seaworld because unfortunately I was not aware what goes on over there until recently it wasn’t very exciting. I mean the shows were okaaaay but there was nothing really educational about the place. It’s great that PETA will rejuvenate the park and make it more educational and crueltyfree. America needs some more education!

  • loveorcas says:

    I agree with Maya. these animals forgot about catchig fishes or they have never learned. they will be near people and they cuold be hurt remember Luna. They will miss their traineres. they can die because of immune system not adapted. what will happen with them? maybe corky and other captured whales will join their pods but what will hapen with born in captivity animals? and they dont do forced tricks. they do tricks that they can do they are not forced. they are trained with love and positive strenghteinig just read dont shoot the dog of karen Pryor i hope they can’t set these beautiful animals free. just think about their difficult life in the open ocean. can you imagine you in the amazon? it’s just the same

  • Maya, CVT says:

    I’m all for getting captive wildlife to a better place and for shutting down breeding in captivity. But releasing them in the wild? It’s the worst thing you can do. The captive animals did not undergo enough natural selection to have immune systems that will keep them healthy in the wild. The animals you release will create massive competition for wild animals already struggling to survive they will promote viruses and bacteria to spread due to their weak immune systems and then they will die. Please don’t do this.

  • Paul Daniels says:

    Don’t disrespect Dollywood. It does a lot for injured bald eagles and Dolly Parton personally donated a hefty chunk of cash to help pets after hurricane Katrina.

  • twyla anderson says:

    Awsome. What a thoughtful and exciting prospect. How exciting to see them up close without exploiting them for a buck. I love the idea. Who ever has fronted the money to do this is an unsung hero… imagine the first person in history to revolutionize the way we learn and teach about animals stayed out of the spotlight. It’s humbling and greatly appreciated by the world i should hope. A great leap into the future of man’kind’. Please please bring one to Australia. Great Great idea

  • Serenity says:

    I think it would be wonderful to have a PETA theme park!!! I feel it would make alot of money!

  • shannon says:

    If you want to see what this technology can be like check out the “Dolphin Oracle” at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. It’s definitely the most popular piece there. Ask it a question and it will answer.

  • Jackie says:

    This sounds great and I would really like to see it happen! Especially in Orlando we went on a vacation there and amusement parks carnivals water parks gift shops all that tourist trap stuff just lines the streets and it’s crazy there all year round. Please buy the Orlando park! I’ve seen that poor walrus in there literaly pound against the glass I felt so bad for it.

  • Phill says:

    PetaWorld would be way better than SeaWorld any day of the week. Shamoo belongs in the ocean not a tank of probably really filthy water!

  • Curtis says:

    Awesome! But yeah Dollywood rocks too!

  • Maggie says:

    That would be great!

  • John says:

    I hope your donor does that! Those virtual displays would be so awesome! And instead of tapping tanks and pestering real animals you could push a button and make the 3D model do whatever you want! I would totally pay to go see that.

  • Shark says:

    Most of the orcas and dolphins at Sea World were born in captivity and know nothing of the wild. The ones that were captured from the wild have been captive for so long that it would be almost impossible to teach them how to survive in the wild again. Keiko the orca was released into the wild but he kept seeking out humans and he died fifteen months after his release. In my view his release was the result of people claiming he was longing to be free when we have no idea what he was thinking. People need to stop putting their opinions down the throats of animals. The water does have chlorine in it but it is only about as much as a glass of tap water. By the way seawater has chlorine in it too. Sodium chloride is in seawater as are other chloride salts. On forcing marine mammals to perform it is very difficult to do that. An orca or dolphin will do what it wants when it wants and they still get all their food every day. The trainers love their animals very much and they aren’t paid all that much because much of the money made goes to feeding giving medical care and keeping the animals healthy in their homes. The attacks on their trainers by orcas and dolphins are the result of them retaining their instincts and showing unwanted behavior not from captivity. Wild orcas and dolphins have attacked people though they escaped without serious injury. You think premature deaths happen only in captivity? If you say yes then you’re more ignorant than I thought. If you do research on wild orcas you’ll find very few are past the age of fifty. In addition fifty percent of wild newborn orcas never see their first birthday. Nor do thirtythree percent of wild newborn dolphins. Nobody knows what the actual lifespan of an orca is but it is estimated to be forty to fortyfive years overall and it is about twentyfive to thirty years overall for dolphins. Many orcas and dolphins born in captivity could never have survived if born in the wild because of genetic problems and rejection by their mothers. Life in the wild is not bliss. It is dangerous for all animals.

  • matt says:

    Hmm honesty that doesn’t sound overwhelmingly appealing… I say either keep the animals or just do away with the park entirely.

  • Roxanne says:

    Thank you Donor for giving to the animals. Please help also the cruelty of NYC carriage horses

  • marysol says:

    I love the idea…. vegan hotdogs burgers and pizza. YUMMY!!!!! name it petawood! lol

  • Amanda says:

    I would love a PETA theme park but insulting Dollywood is fightin’ words. Take it back!

  • Courtney says:

    This would be fantastic! Please keep us updated…what a great success story if possible!

  • Mark says:

    That would be very exciting but you would have to sell copies of Animal Liberation on giant shelves at the exits. Actually it’s tough because the food would have to be vegan. Actually this donor should pay for long PETA commercials explaining speciesism advertising Earthlings and Animal Liberation. You could interview Peter Singer and Tom Regan and Dale Jamieson and Gary Franione for the TV spots. If so this donor would become one of the most important people in the world literally. Oh and please refer to me when you’re trying to decide what roller coaster to build. After all I’m not just a PETA member I’m and American Coaster Enthusiasts member.

  • Siobhan M. says:

    Neat. I live across the street from good ol’ SeaWorld Orlando. I’d much rather go to an educational facility then a park full of animals forced to live in environments that don’t even come close to being similar to their natural habitat.

  • steven says:

    not to be mean but i am a vegiterian but to say i dont think that if yawl buy sea world you shouldnt let the animals go to the wild just try to breed and make petting zoos but dont hurt them and if yawl let them in the wild they might get hurt or even killed because they have been used to people feeding them but you should get rid of the nasty nasty meat that they sell there but you should just keep then animals become safer if they are kept in kaptivivity

    • LUCAS says:

      I think this is a brilliant idea it gives a perfect example of a family friendly theme park that doesn’t keep animals it might even encourage sea world to release their animals or at the very least expand their enclosures and make them look more like home but you could have a small doggy day care center or park not too make money but to show compassion to the people who bring dogs to the park. another thing you could keep in mind is a peta radio that airs world wide to play animal rights songs and animal news stories