Gillian Anderson to Question SeaWorld at Annual Meeting on PETA’s Behalf

For Immediate Release:
June 15, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

This morning, X-Files star Gillian Anderson will speak up for orcas during SeaWorld’s online annual meeting. She will submit a question on behalf of PETA—which owns stock in the company in order to educate stakeholders and propose policy changes—asking SeaWorld to build coastal sanctuaries for the long-suffering captive orcas. Her question follows the National Aquarium’s announcement that it will be sending the eight dolphins there—one of whom was born at SeaWorld—to a seaside sanctuary.

The full text of Anderson’s question for SeaWorld on behalf of PETA follows:

My name is Gillian Anderson, and I have a question on behalf of PETA. We thank SeaWorld for ending its orca-breeding program. This decision is a blessing for future generations of orcas, who will never endure the misery of life in a concrete tank. But for the 23 orcas who are still languishing at SeaWorld, it’s not enough.

Esteemed scientists and orca researchers have endorsed seaside sanctuaries in ocean coves, where orcas who have suffered for years at SeaWorld would be able to enjoy some semblance of a natural life and finally feel the ocean currents. In SeaWorld’s tanks, orcas break their teeth gnawing on bars and concrete, and they go insane from the reverberations of their sophisticated sonar off the tank walls. They’re separated from their families and forced to live in incompatible groups. Captivity is slowly killing them—and quickly killing Sea World’s profits. SeaWorld stock continues to plunge, earnings remain down, and visitors aren’t coming back.

SeaWorld must follow the lead of the National Aquarium, which is moving all eight of its dolphins—including 17-year-old Jade, who was born at SeaWorld Orlando—to a seaside sanctuary, a decision that has met with overwhelming public support.

Given the tide of public opinion against orca captivity, my question is: When will SeaWorld retire the orcas to protected sea sanctuaries and reinvent the park with attractions glorifying the ocean, rather than traumatizing its most intelligent inhabitants? Thank you.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has owned stock in SeaWorld since the company went public in 2013 and asked questions at its annual meetings in 2014 and 2015. PETA withdrew this year’s shareholder resolution, submitted in December 2015, asking for an end to SeaWorld’s orca-breeding program after the company’s March 2016 announcement that it would do exactly that.

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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