Kelly Slater has joined the protests against marine park chain SeaWorld.The 11-time world surfing champion will confront the theme park group during its online annual meeting by submitting a question on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which owns stock in the company.
Slater will try to persuade other stakeholders to introduce policy changes, and demand the release of SeaWorld's orcas, who have been used by the company for more than 40 years. The motto reads, "Animals are not ours to use for entertainment."
PETA says that, at least 36 orcas have died at SeaWorld and not one of them from old age. The marine park is under heavy pressure to change its practices. In 2014, SeaWorld was considered one of the worst companies in America by Consumerist.
Here's what Kelly Slater has to say to SeaWorld:
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.