PETA to Orlando Teachers: Tell SeaWorld, ‘No, Thanks’

Group Cautions Educators Not to Fall for Cruel Park's Latest PR Ploy

For Immediate Release:
February 20, 2014

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Orlando, Fla. – PETA’s educational division, TeachKind, is sending a letter to Orlando public-school principals, grades K through 12, urging them to decline SeaWorld Orlando’s offer of free admission to Florida teachers. In its letter, TeachKind points out SeaWorld’s cruel treatment of animals, as shown in the critically acclaimed documentary Blackfish, copies of which the group is offering to send to the school for free. PETA also explains that contrary to its claims, SeaWorld isn’t educational and instead sends children the dangerous message that abusing animals for entertainment and profit is acceptable.

“The orcas at SeaWorld are denied everything that’s natural and important to them, and they’re forced to live in tiny concrete tanks that must seem like a bathtub to them,” says Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “Kindness and empathy are two of the most important lessons that children can learn, and teachers can set a compassionate example for their students by steering clear of SeaWorld.”

In the wake of Blackfish, SeaWorld has fallen out of favor with the public, celebrities, and educators alike. Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School in Malibu, Calif., canceled its traditional fifth-grade field trip to SeaWorld, and the class received a commendation from the City Council for its ethical stand. Numerous musical acts—including Willie Nelson, Cheap Trick, and REO Speedwagon—recently canceled performances at the park. Last month, PETA got the plug pulled on SeaWorld’s 50th anniversary bash in New York City after showing the venue the cruelty inherent in the park’s operation.

Many of the orcas at SeaWorld were captured from their family pods in the ocean. At least 37 orcas and dozens of dolphins have died at U.S. SeaWorld facilities from causes ranging from severe trauma to intestinal gangrene to chronic cardiovascular failure, and the federal government has cited SeaWorld facilities for violating the Animal Welfare Act. Humans have also paid a price, including a trainer who was killed after being seized by a frustrated orca, thrashed around violently, and held under water to drown.

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

 

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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