New York Hotspot Cancels SeaWorld 50th Anniversary Party; PETA Calls Off Protest

Bagatelle Won't Permit Theme Park to Promote Cruelty to Animals, Drag Little Live Penguins to Noisy Cocktail Party

For Immediate Release:
January 14, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

New York – After receiving e-mails from PETA and phone calls from its concerned supporters, West Village restaurant Bagatelle has canceled a party planned by SeaWorld—at which penguins were to be used as living props—less than 24 hours before the evening’s event. After learning about SeaWorld’s routine cruel exploitation of animals as well as the hit documentary Blackfish, which exposed the capture of animals for the “abusement” park, Bagatelle owners did “what was right in our hearts” and took a financial hit.

“PETA is hanging up our protest placards and popping the champagne corks today in recognition of Bagatelle’s savvy business decision to put kindness ahead of profits,” says PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews. “Once compassionate people and businesses learn that orcas and other animals suffer at SeaWorld, they want nothing to do with this cruel and disgusting place.”

As PETA pointed out in its e-mails to Bagatelle, SeaWorld’s planned event would have been doubly cruel: Forcing wild animals such as penguins into close public contact leaves them agitated and frightened, as would transporting them to the venue, and SeaWorld’s very business model revolves around locking far-ranging orcas in tiny concrete tanks, where they suffer physically and psychologically from the constant deprivation of confinement. Thanks to Blackfish, public opinion is turning against SeaWorld.

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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