While we applaud the SeaWorld decisions to end immediately their captive breeding program and to phase out theatrical shows by 2019, we cannot in good conscience allow the misrepresentations in your new advertising campaign to go unanswered and unchallenged.
We emphatically reject your mischaracterization of seaside sanctuaries as “sea cages”.
SeaWorld’s announcement that it will stop breeding captive orcas is a step in the right direction.
But sooner or later the company is going to have to bite the bullet and admit that coastal sanctuaries are the only practical and ethical solution to its dilemma.
SeaWorld announced today that Tilikum, the orca at the center of the Blackfish documentary, is suffering from a drug-resistant lung infection and is close to death.
The emotional outrage being heaped upon SeaWorld for its exploitation of these animals is fully justified. But the ongoing charade perpetuated by theme parks about the welfare of captive cetaceans also demands a response.
It didn’t take long for the major media to figure out that the latest announcement from SeaWorld was largely smoke and mirrors.
Yesterday, in the wake of mounting protests over its treatment of animals and hemorrhaging revenue from its downwardly spiraling public attendance, SeaWorld announced it would end the “theatrical killer whale experience” in San Diego by the end of 2016.
SeaWorld’s chief executive Joel Manby said:
“We are listening to our guests, evolving as a company, we are always changing. In 2017 we will launch an … Continue reading There’s Nothing "Natural" About SeaWorld’s New Plan
In a September 4, 2014, guest column titled “SeaWorld Responds” published in Florida Today, SeaWorld veterinarian Dr. Chris Dold said:
“[I] can unequivocally state that our whales, along with every other animal in our parks, are thriving, both mentally and physically.”
But how do you define “thriving”? According to Thomas White, who teaches ethics at Loyola Marymount University:
“Full, healthy growth and development of the traits, skills and dispositions that allow a being to have a satisfying and successful life as a member of that species.”
Thriving has … Continue reading Orcas Are Not Thriving at SeaWorld
On April 8th, at the California legislature, the Orca Welfare and Safety Act went before the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee. Passage of the bill would require the phasing out of captive breeding of orcas and their continued use for entertainment purposes.
After hearing testimony from scientists and advocates for the orcas, including from Dr. Naomi Rose of the Animal Welfare Institute and Dr. Deborah Giles of University of California, Davis, and then from SeaWorld officials and lobbyists, the committee requested an interim study and undertook to revisit … Continue reading Next Steps for the Orca Welfare and Safety Act