Members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) plan to stage a protest in Old Town Pasadena on Wednesday against Sea World's upcoming 2014 Rose Parade float.
PETA will be at two intersections on Colorado Blvd. at Fair Oaks Ave. and De Lacey Ave. starting at noon. Eight activists wearing orca costumes and holding signs that read, "Boycott SeaWorld" and "SeaWorld: Let Orcas Out of Prison," plan to hand out leaflets.
"Confining sophisticated orcas to tiny tanks is like keeping someone in a bathtub for life," said Lisa Lange, PETA senior vice president of communications and a lifelong Pasadena resident, in a statment. "SeaWorld causes immense animal suffering, and its recklessness has resulted in the deaths of human trainers. Why would the Rose Parade want to promote such cruelty and violence?"
The Sea World float plans to depict orcas in the wild. In a press release, PETA stated the following:
In the wild, orcas swim as far as 100 miles a day. But at SeaWorld, captive orcas—many of whom were taken from their ocean homes and family pods—continually turn in circles in small barren concrete tanks and live far short of their 40-year life expectancy. At least 25 orcas have died in U.S. SeaWorld facilities since 1986—and not one died of old age. SeaWorld has also been fined for allowing trainers in the water with frustrated orcas—which, as the high-profile death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau demonstrates, can be fatal. PETAwants SeaWorld to fund the creation of coastal sanctuaries where its captive orcas can live out their lives in as natural a setting as possible.
PETA also protested the coronation of the Rose Queen, and has sent a letter to the Tournament of Roses proposing a "redesign" for the float (see attached photo). A SeaWorld spokesman called the Rose Queen protest a publicity stunt, according to the Pasadena Star-News.
“Most people recognize that PETA is an extremist organization far more interested in publicity stunts than actually helping animals,” wrote Fred Jacobs, vice president, communications, at SeaWorld Entertainment, in an email, according to the Star-News. “While PETA is protesting a parade float in Pasadena, just 100 miles south in San Diego SeaWorld team members are caring for beached animals.”
The Tournament of Roses previously issued a statement in support of Sea World's participation in the parade, according to the Tournament of Roses Examiner.