SeaWorld Trainer Turned Whistleblower to Receive Courage of Conviction Award

Author John Hargrove Fêted at Sublime Restaurant Ceremony for Exposing SeaWorld's Cruelty to Orcas

For Immediate Release:
November 4, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Fort Lauderdale – Former senior SeaWorld trainer John Hargrove will be the guest of honor on Sunday at a special PETA reception at South Florida’s gourmet vegan restaurant Sublime Restaurant & Bar. Sublime owner Nanci Alexander will present Hargrove with PETA’s Courage of Conviction Award for blowing the whistle on and exposing SeaWorld’s mistreatment of captive orcas in the CNN documentary Blackfish, in public appearances such as on The Daily Show, and in his New York Times bestselling book, Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond ‘Blackfish.’

Where:           Sublime Restaurant & Bar, 1431 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale

When:             Sunday, November 8, 3 p.m

“John Hargrove fulfilled his childhood dream to work at SeaWorld, only to realize how devastating captivity is to far-ranging orcas,” says PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews. “PETA is recognizing John for kicking off the global awareness campaign that has opened people’s eyes, decimated attendance at SeaWorld, and cost the park bookings and sponsors ranging from Southwest Airlines to Taco Bell.”

Thanks to Hargrove’s testimony, the world has learned how orcas suffer physically and psychologically when they’re separated from their families, confined to tiny concrete tanks, and forced to perform circus-style tricks for food. He joins PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—in calling on SeaWorld to develop ocean sanctuaries in which orcas could finally have some semblance of a natural life.

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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