Will Slaughter Beach Change Its Name to ‘Sanctuary Beach’?

PETA Asks Mayor to Rename Town in Honor of Its Horseshoe Crab Sanctuary

For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2018

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Slaughter Beach, Del.

Today, PETA sent a letter to the mayor of Slaughter Beach suggesting that the town’s name be changed to the kinder, positive, and more appropriate “Sanctuary Beach.” PETA points out that not only would the new name reflect the community’s commitment to its horseshoe crab sanctuary, it would also fit well with a new boardwalk project that’s underway to revitalize the area.

“This town’s grim name sounds at odds with its status as a certified wildlife habitat community, whereas ‘Sanctuary Beach’ feels really positive,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is encouraging Slaughter Beach to embrace a new name that celebrates saving lives rather than taking them.”

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way.” For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Slaughter Beach Mayor Harry Ward follows.

May 1, 2018

The Honorable Harry Ward
Mayor of Slaughter Beach

Via e-mail: [email protected]

Dear Mayor Ward,

I’m writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide—including many in Delaware—with a suggestion: Before the end of the horseshoe crab spawning season, would you consider changing the name of Slaughter Beach to Sanctuary Beach? Not only is this a more compassionate alternative to slaughter, it would also reflect the beach’s status as an official horseshoe crab sanctuary. We would be happy to contribute to the cost of new signage if you agree to change your town’s name.

Whether the town is named after a stream, the slaughter of natives, or the tides that leave many horseshoe crabs stranded and vulnerable to the hot sun and predators, the term “slaughter” is defined as killing animals for food or killing people or animals in cruel and violent ways. Unfortunately, many people don’t look deeply into the origins of words and names, but that doesn’t diminish the negative connotations—especially for impressionable young minds—of a word like “slaughter,” which conjures up images of dead and dying animals. This imagery is quite contrary to your reputation as a family-friendly sanctuary town.

There are many beaches with names that refer to the local marine life, which not only makes residents and potential visitors aware that the animals are there but also highlights the importance of respecting them. Examples include Long Island’s Crab Meadow Beach, which is part of a voluntary horseshoe crab monitoring network; Turtle Bay in Oahu, which is named after the green sea turtles who used to lay their eggs on the beach; and Playa Tortugas (Turtle Beach) in Cancún, which is known for its sea turtle nesting season.

“Sanctuary Beach” is a kind name honoring compassion and the preservation of life. It would reflect your efforts to provide a safe habitat for these magnificent, ancient animals and would no doubt be well received by residents and tourists alike.

With the horseshoe crab already designated as your official town animal and Delaware’s official marine animal, it shorely makes sense to take it a step further and adopt the friendlier, more accurate Sanctuary Beach as your town’s new name. Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


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