Originally published on December 30, 2014, at NationofChange.org
As attendance, revenue, and stock prices continue to plummet due to public reaction to the 2013 documentary Blackfish, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has submitted a shareholder resolution to retire SeaWorld’s captive animals and return them to the ocean in large coastal sea pens for rehabilitation. After multiple musicians cancelled their concerts at SeaWorld this year in protest of animal cruelty, SeaWorld announced the firing of 311 employees and the resignation of its CEO. Appearing confident that PETA will not win the shareholder vote, SeaWorld is considering selling some of its captive orcas to Chinese corporations instead.
In the wild, killer whales swim up to 100 miles a day and live in appropriate climates for their species. Each group speaks their own unique dialect and stay with family members for life. Not a single report exists of a person being killed by an orca in the wild.
In captivity, killer whales live shortened life spans and have caused the deaths of at least four people. SeaWorld’s orcas are often prescribed daily medications to treat chronic diseases brought on by close confinement. Separating killer whale mothers from their calves causes severe physical and psychological damage resulting in lacerating their faces and breaking their teeth against the gates separating mothers from their children. Exhibiting unnatural aggression and collapsed dorsal fins, some orcas have been placed on Valium to reduce their stress levels and violence against their trainers or each other.