Rare ‘Lesser Evil’ Defense to Be Invoked in SeaWorld Rose Parade Arrest

Dozens of Spirited PETA Supporters to Rally Outside Courthouse in Support of Woman's Resolve to Stop Orca Abuse

For Immediate Release:
March 12, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Pasadena, Calif. – Amanda Slyter—who along with 15 other protesters was arrested for “interfering with a special event” on January 1 when she blocked the SeaWorld float at the Rose Parade—will plead not guilty on Thursday at her arraignment. She intends to ask the court to accept a rarely used common-law defense called “necessity,” also known as the “greater good” defense (i.e., violating a lesser law in order to right a greater wrong—in this case the cruel capture and lifetime confinement of orcas in SeaWorld’s tiny concrete tanks). Outside the courthouse, dozens of PETA supporters will hold signs that read, “Boycott SeaWorld!”

When:   Thursday, March 13, 8 a.m.

Where:  Outside the Pasadena Courthouse, 330 E. Walnut St. (near the intersection with N. Euclid Avenue), Pasadena

“Blocking a parade float for a few minutes to make a point in behalf of oppressed beings who cannot free themselves is nothing compared to how SeaWorld robs orcas of the sea, their families, and any semblance of a quality life,” says Slyter. “The only hope for the orcas imprisoned at SeaWorld is for more people to take a strong stand, and they can start by boycotting this pitifully cruel amusement park.”

In the wild, orcas swim upward of 100 miles per day, but at SeaWorld, they’re forced to swim in tiny circles to amuse tourists and spend the majority of their lives virtually motionless. At least 25 orcas have died in U.S. SeaWorld facilities since 1986—and not one died of old age. Because these intelligent, sensitive animals are deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them, they can be driven to violent acts of frustration against trainers, which is shown in the compelling and critically acclaimed documentary Blackfish. PETA wants SeaWorld to fund the creation of coastal sanctuaries where the captive orcas can live in as natural a setting as possible.

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