PETA Calls for Redesign of SeaWorld’s Rose Parade Float

Group Calls On Tournament President to Keep the Float but Offers More Accurate Design

For Immediate Release:
November 21, 2013

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Pasadena, Calif. – This morning, PETA sent an urgent letter to R. Scott Jenkins, president of the 2014 Pasadena Tournament of Roses, urging him to require a change in the design of SeaWorld’s float for the Rose Parade in January. Currently, the display shows majestic orcas living free in the open sea. But at SeaWorld, orcas are restricted to concrete tanks, where they often break their teeth by gnawing on the underwater bars because of stress and boredom—all in the name of performing silly tricks so that SeaWorld can turn a profit. That’s why PETA’s suggested design shows an orca confined to a fish bowl and surrounded by chains—a more accurate depiction of how these magnificent animals are deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them at SeaWorld. The caption reads, “SeaWorld of Hurt—Where Happiness Tanks.”

“Require SeaWorld to represent its treatment of orcas more accurately by using [PETA’s] design with a slight tweak to the parade’s theme—’SeaWorld: Where Dreams Never Come True,'” writes PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange, a Pasadena resident. “[W]e urge you to do the right thing for the orcas who have suffered so much and embrace this change in the float design.”

In the wild, orcas share intricate relationships with one another and swim as much as 100 miles every day. Many orcas at SeaWorld—including Tilikum, the subject of the compelling documentary Blackfish who killed three people, including SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau—were rounded up rodeo-style and taken from their family pods in the wild. At least 25 orcas have died in U.S. SeaWorld facilities since 1986—and not one died of old age.

 

PETA’s letter to Pasadena Tournament of Roses President R. Scott Jenkins follows.

 

November 21, 2013

 

R. Scott Jenkins, President
Tournament of Roses Association

 

Dear Mr. Jenkins:

I’m contacting you once again, both as a longtime Pasadena resident and on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). We have a proposal that could resolve the controversy caused by the Tournament of Roses’ decision to include a SeaWorld float in the Rose Parade: Require SeaWorld to represent its treatment of orcas more accurately by using the attached design with a slight tweak to the parade’s theme—“SeaWorld: Where Dreams Never Come True.”

Although we understand that the construction of the float is already in progress, there is still time to amend the design to depict the reality of life in a concrete tank for intelligent, socially complex animals who swim up to 100 miles a day in their natural ocean environment. SeaWorld’s abysmal record of abuse includes keeping orcas who are not compatible in small pens, which causes them to fight and injure each other. The boredom and anxiety of captivity lead many orcas at SeaWorld to gnaw on the iron bars and concrete walls of their pens, resulting in painful broken teeth. Orcas at SeaWorld live only a fraction of their natural life span.

Perhaps the parade staff members who approved SeaWorld’s float were unaware of the miserable lives and deaths of dolphins and orcas at SeaWorld parks. Now that you know, we urge you to do the right thing for the orcas who have suffered so much and embrace this change in the float design. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Lisa Lange
Senior Vice President
PETA

For more information, please visit PETA's website SeaWorldOfHurt.com.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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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