Debate Kit: Should Marine Mammals Be Held in Amusement Parks?

A hot topic in classrooms and among the public is whether or not marine mammals should be imprisoned for entertainment. Here at PETA, we campaign for animal rights and understand that animals are not ours to use for entertainment. We know that many schools assign debates on topical issues to help their students learn to speak and write persuasively, practice research skills, and recognize multiple sides of a controversial or multifaceted issue. This student debate kit lists a variety of resources that can be shared with students to support the argument that marine mammals shouldn’t be imprisoned for entertainment.


Affirmative Argument

Marine mammals are highly intelligent, sensitive, and social beings, and they suffer greatly when used for entertainment. The chlorine and copper sulfate used to keep tanks clean have caused dolphins’ skin to peel off and may cause them to go blind. Many marine mammals suffer from peptic ulcers, often leading to death, because of frustration resulting from their unnatural lives. Imprisoning animals for entertainment also tears families apart. In the wild, orcas often spend their entire lives with their mothers and siblings and live in large, socially complex groups.

Although the aquarium industry claims that it exists purely for education and conservation, the message these facilities really send is that it’s acceptable to keep animals imprisoned for entertainment in cramped conditions, far from their natural homes, where they’re depressed, lonely, and at the mercy of humans. Marine mammal conservation is achieved by abolishing whaling, cleaning up our oceans, ending driftnet fishing, and prohibiting live captures, not by forcing cetaceans to swim in repetitive circles for our entertainment.

There are countless ways that we can inform the public and cultivate respect for animals without imprisoning marine mammals. It’s time to put the focus on teaching visitors how to protect marine life rather than harming it.

Become an ‘Expert’

Use the following links to research general information about marine mammals used for entertainment and prepare logical arguments.

Build Your Case

Use the following links to gather evidence and examples to support your position against using marine mammals for entertainment.


Research Articles and Investigative Analysis

Witness Accounts and Videos

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.