Last Updated 24 Jan 2023

SeaWorld and PETA: The Need to Work Together to Address the Issues of Animal Abuse

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SeaWorld has always been the amusement park everyone wants to go to, but recently it has been struggling to keep a positive image. Even the largest animal rights organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has stepped in to try to shut down SeaWorld. With the public and PETA working together to stop SeaWorld's practices, SeaWorld is stuck with a negative reputation. While the public feels that keeping animals in captivity is wrong, SeaWorld and PETA can work together to create a compromise to stop breeding, release healthy animals, and start helping animals in need.

SeaWorld is a multi-million dollar theme park that inhabits marine life from all around the world as a form of entertainment for the public. With articles, celebrities, and organizations taking a stance against them they are facing a crisis. Though many believe that SeaWorld inhabits marine life to make millions they have tried to show the public otherwise. In 2015, SeaWorld released their website "SeaWorld Cares" in order to inform the public that they truly do have a positive impact on marine life (Seaworldcares.com). Coming out with a website to educate the public was a big step forward to renewing their reputation. The SeaWorld cares website features articles like "From our zoo team", documented rescues, and an option to ask SeaWorld questions directly (Seaworldcares.com). SeaWorld's goal is to start educating the public that they do not intend to hurt animals, but instead help them.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, PETA, the world's largest animal rights organization, also wants to help animals in need. PETAS mission statement includes protecting animals from clothing trades, laboratories, and the entertainment industry (Peta.org). PETA has actively spoken out against the breeding of animals in entertainment parks, the animal's living space, and the animal's life p while in captivity (Seaworldofhurt.com). Basically, PETA does not want animals to be born in captivity, live in a small tank, and die at a young age. PETA also actively participates in rescues for animals as well as informing the public about animal health.

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Though SeaWorld and PETA clash they have the same values in common, like helping wildlife, educating the public on animals and more. Most recently, a beached dolphin unable to swim on its own was rescued and cared for by SeaWorld themselves (Orlando Sentinel.com). SeaWorld also helped free a humpback whale that was entangled in fishing line, so it could live out in the ocean safely (Huffingtonpost.com). These two things show that SeaWorld is trying to help wildlife by providing a safe place where animals can be nursed back to help or just help them directly out in the wild. PETA themselves also participated in several rescues themselves, and use their big reputation to inform the public through their website (Peta.org). SeaWorld is a place of profit, but PETA cannot deny that they are reaching out to help animals, and just as well may be an organization that cares about animals just like them.

Through their similarities SeaWorld and PETA can easily create several different compromises for both parties to be successful in their goals including to stop breeding, release healthy animals, and start helping animals in need. Since SeaWorld most likely wouldn't just shut down their parks, like PETA wants, these are still ideas that SeaWorld and PETA can agree on. One of the first changes SeaWorld could make is agreeing to stop purposely breeding Killer Whales and any other marine life in captivity. PETA has been fighting against SeaWorld for years because they believe it is wrong to purposely breed the animals (Seaworldofhurt.com). In addition to stopping breeding PETA would have to let SeaWorld capture animals from the wild. Since PETA does not condone that SeaWorld capture animals from the wild; SeaWorld would only be allowed to capture animals in need. PETA has also argued that the animals at SeaWorld live in unnatural conditions, and become stressed and depressed (Seaworldofhurt.com). Since SeaWorld has already announced that they are going to expand their animal's living spaces in order to create a more natural environment, PETA can sponsor the project in order to make sure this happens (Seaworldentertainment.com). Since PETA argues that the Killer Whales and other animals at SeaWorld do not live in a natural habitat, expanding their living spaces is just what they need. PETA would have to give up the fact that they want SeaWorld to shut down completely, and instead work with them to create a healthy living environment for the animals that they can both agree on. With these plans both organizations can remain successful without giving up anything major.

If SeaWorld and PETA chose any of these solutions both sides would benefit gratefully, and maybe even become partners. With the approval of PETA other major organizations would start to leave SeaWorld alone. Without constant backlash SeaWorld would start making more money because old and new customers would start visiting their parks again. With extra funds SeaWorld can even expand their programs, and even donate money to other organizations like PETA. Establishing a good connection with the biggest animal rights organization in the world will benefit SeaWorld more than ever. With this connection it may even open more doors for PETA to make changes in other entertainment industries since they changed one of the biggest companies that inhabit animals. Though it sounds like PETA is only getting what they want, SeaWorld will actually benefit from this greatly. SeaWorld may have to put in extra money to go through with these compromises, but in the end, it would make them more money by getting back their old customers.

In order for the compromise to work several factors come into play like cost, funding, and the amount of time for the proposed solution to work. One of the biggest concerns SeaWorld has been facing is the living spaces for the animals. According to the NY Times, SeaWorld has announced a project called the "Blue World Project"; a $100 million renovation that will expand the Killer Whales and other animal's habitats (Hauser). The funding for this project is coming from SeaWorld, but PETA could also help fund the project since they are pushing for SeaWorld to change. It has been announced that the project will take about three years, which means by the year 2018 the new habitat should be finished (Hauser). The other solutions could easily be set in place as well. In Florida, where one of the SeaWorld parks are located, several other zoos are practicing nursing animals back to help. Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL practices helping manatees heal from boat propeller wounds, and then releasing them (Lowryparkzoo.com). If places like Lowry Park Zoo can do this SeaWorld would be able to as well. Implementing these solutions would not be that hard since the hardest one is already set in motion.

With this said, SeaWorld and PETA would both succeed in their goals, and even make history as one of the most successful compromises between two organizations. SeaWorld and PETA may clash through it all but creating a midpoint between the company and the organization, compromises can easily make both sides happy. Not only would this compromise benefit both sides, but it is also practical and could actually happen successfully. This compromise is very important to the public and future entertainment industry because if it is not changed now, more and more parks will open up that don't care about the animal's well-being. If SeaWorld changes their ways of handling the animals due to negative reputation other parks will be forced to use the same ideas as them. With this cause and effect in place PETA will no longer have to deal with the entertainment industry, and be able to focus on other projects. For changes to be made the public can support places like Lowry Park Zoo and Clearwater Marine Aquarium to raise awareness about helping animals rather than keeping them in captivity.

Works Cited

  • "About PETA's Campaign Against SeaWorld | SeaWorld of Hurt." SeaWorld of Hurt. Web. 25 Feb. 2016.
  • Bevil, Dewayne. "Rescued Dolphin Moved from SeaWorld to Panhandle for Long-term Care." Orlandosentinel.com. Web. 25 Feb. 2016.
  • "Blackfish." Blackfish. Web. 25 Feb. 2016.
  • Hauser, Christine. "SeaWorld to Fight Ban on Breeding Killer Whales at San Diego Habitat." The New York Times. The New York Times, 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.
  • MosBergen, Dominique. "Humpback Whale Entangled In Fishing Line Rescued Off Calif. Coast." Huffpost News. Web. 25 Feb. 2016.
  • Pollard-Post, Lindsay. "SeaWorld's Spying Scandal Is Nothing New." PETA SeaWorld's Spying Scandal Is Nothing New Comments. Web. 25 Feb. 2016.
  • "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA): The Animal Rights Organization." PETA. Web. 25 Feb. 2016.

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