Eric Balfour Says ‘No Tanks’ to SeaWorld

Actor and Avid Surfer 'Shreds' Abusement Park's Cruel 'Dolphin Surfing'

For Immediate Release:
September 26, 2019

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – Shirtless and screaming underwater in obvious distress, Eric Balfour appears in a new ad campaign for PETA that proclaims, “SeaWorld? No Tanks. Orcas and Dolphins Don’t Belong in Tanks.”

In an accompanying video spot, Balfour doesn’t hold back as he urges people not to support animal prisons such as SeaWorld: “When you go to SeaWorld, when you go to one of these theme parks, it isn’t passive,” he says. “You’re contributing to that animal’s torture. It is as cruel as you can imagine.”

The avid surfer then turns his attention to SeaWorld’s practice of “dolphin surfing,” in which trainers stand on dolphins’ backs and faces during sea-circus performances. “It’s not cool. It’s not fun for them .… Dolphins are the best surfers in the world.” He adds, “[They] don’t belong in tanks this small. They belong in the open ocean.”

Balfour’s timely campaign follows the publication of a veterinary report asserting that dolphins at all three SeaWorld parks have open wounds and extensive scarring on their faces and bodies. And 140 of them are squeezed into just seven small tanks and can’t escape attacks from other frustrated, aggressive dolphins.

Balfour, a new father, concludes that he’ll never take his son, Oliver, to a marine park: “We want our kids to love and enjoy and embrace the oceans and all of the amazing creatures that are in [them]. Just take your kids to the beach.”

Balfour joins a long list of celebrities—including Bella Thorne, Noah Cyrus, Jhené Aiko, Steve Aoki, Madelaine Petsch, Kesha, and P!nk—who’ve teamed up with PETA to promote kindness toward animals.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind