PETA protesters want SeaWorld float changed to reflect alleged orca abuse
By André Coleman 11/26/2013
In a Nov. 21 letter to Tournament of Roses Association President R. Scott Jenkins, organizers with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) urged tournament officials to require SeaWorld to change their float, which is scheduled to appear in the upcoming Rose Parade.
The current float depicts two orcas — also known as killer whales — living free in the open sea. But according to PETA organizers — who plan to protest at the parade — that is a far cry from what really happens at SeaWorld every day.
According to PETA, orcas living in the water park are restricted to concrete tanks, where they often break their teeth gnawing on the underwater bars. PETA wants that reflected in the float. A suggested design by the group would show the mammals confined to a fish bowl surrounded by chains with the caption: “Sea World of Hurt — Where Happiness Tanks.”
“Require SeaWorld to represent its treatment of Orcas more accurately, by using PETA’s design with a slight tweak to the parade’s theme — “SeaWorld: Where Dreams Never Come True,” wrote PETA Vice President and Pasadena resident Lisa Lange. “We urge you to do the right thing for the orcas who have suffered so much and embrace this change in the float design.”
PETA Spokesperson David Perle told the Pasadena Weekly that PETA had not heard back from the Tournament.
The group’s opposition comes on the heels of the release of the documentary “Blackfish,” directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, a damning depiction of the treatment of orcas in captivity. In a statement reported by Variety and Rolling Stone, SeaWorld issued a statement, saying Cowperthwaite leaves out many of the good things that SeaWorld actually does.
A handful of PETA members — including one dressed in a whale costume — gathered two weeks ago along Sierra Madre Boulevard, near the Church of the Nazarene, to protest the float as Tournament officials crowned the latest Rose Queen, Ana Marie Costa, in an event held at the church.