Today, 11-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater plans on submitting an online statement to SeaWorld, during its annual meeting, on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The point? To persuade stakeholders to introduce policy changes and demand the release of orcas, who have been used by the company for more than 40 years.
The call to action comes at a troubling time for SeaWorld, which, in 2014, was considered one of the worst companies in America by Consumerist. Additionally, surfertoday.com reported, “The American animal rights organization says that at least 36 orcas have died at SeaWorld and not one of them from old age."
This latest call to action reveals the pressure the marine park is under to change its policies.
PETA shared Slater's statement:
"My name is Kelly Slater, and I'm here on behalf of PETA. The veil has been lifted on SeaWorld. All the ads in the world won't change what the public now knows to be true: that the company imprisons highly intelligent, emotionally complex, social animals in tiny, barren concrete tanks, which leads to aggression and disease. SeaWorld is experiencing declining attendance and revenue, and dozens of companies, including Southwest Airlines, Panama Jack, and Mattel, have recently ended partnerships with SeaWorld. As a professional surfer, I'm lucky and privileged to be able to spend the majority of my time in the ocean—it's the place where I feel most at home, and thus, I feel an obligation to protect that which I have a voice in influencing. Please, tell us, when will SeaWorld allow the animals it holds captive to return to their home—the ocean—by retiring them to a seaside sanctuary? And wouldn't this at least be viewed, if nothing else, as a public relations win for you? By righting the wrongs you have committed in the name of corporate profit for so many years, you may actually be able to recoup some of the respect that has been lost in the eyes of the public and work toward an end to the problem of animal suffering. Thank you."
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