seaworld shamu
by Ali Berman
Categories: Animals, Causes.
Photo: Irina Silvestrova / Shutterstock.com

Less than 24 hours before the start of the event, New York City restaurant Bagatelle cancelled SeaWorld’s 50th anniversary party. What inspired the hotspot to kick the cruel marine park to the curb? A whole lot of correspondence from PETA and its supporters.

It’s not just the Blackfish controversy that inspired activists to make phone calls and send emails. SeaWorld was due to have live penguins as part of the festivities. As PETA noted in their original email, “loud DJs and flashing cameras” are “terrifying to these arctic animals unaccustomed to being around humans.” (Seriously, who on SeaWorld’s PR team thought that bringing live marine animals to a west village restaurant was a good idea amidst all the negative press?)

Remi Laba, one of the co-owners of the restaurant, responded to PETA’s original email by writing, “We were very disturbed by what you told us and have let the reps of sea world that no live animals will be let in our establishment and that we will cancel their event if this was meant to take place.” A few emails later, Laba informed PETA that the event was in fact cancelled, even though it was at a great financial cost to the restaurant. We love it when ethics outweigh profits and thank Bagatelle for choosing what was in their hearts rather than going by their bottom line.

PETA called off the protest and, instead, praised Bagatelle for its decision to cancel the event. “PETA is hanging up our protest placards and popping the champagne corks today in recognition of Bagatelle’s savvy business decision to put kindness ahead of profits,” says PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews. “Once compassionate people and businesses learn that orcas and other animals suffer at SeaWorld, they want nothing to do with this cruel and disgusting place.”

This comes as another blow to SeaWorld. The marine park is already experiencing low attendance rates, a major drop in the price of shares, and, of course, negative press in the papers and online each and every day since Blackfish hit. Oh yes. And they can’t get musical acts to perform at their facility.

Related Articles:

SeaWorld Stock Dropping as ‘Blackfish’ Takes its Toll

Kevin Smith ‘Haunted’ By What He Saw in ‘Blackfish’

Aaron Paul on ‘Blackfish’: “Everyone Should See This”

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is a writer, teacher and activist. She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Ali is also a fiction writer. Her published work can be found on her website at aliberman.com. In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

View all posts by Ali Berman →
  • manthony

    Now I hope PETA will support Bagatelle by hosting a big party in their restaurant!

  • Question

    Since when is a Penguin an arctic animal?

  • canwealljustgetalong

    These are well trained animals that are used for apperances at tv shows, and they are not artic animals…i wish people would see what PETA is really all about before jumping on the hate Seaworld wagoon.

  • Mary Miller

    Since when does a penguin go to a restaurant?

  • GoddessReborn

    Um, double check your facts before spewing some opinions you wish were true. SeaWorld has NOT suffered a drop in attendance. In fact, the last quarter of admissions were on the rise, and they had a record 4th quarter.

    As to the Taiji dolphin hunts, I wish you had paid attention to ALL the film, instead of the strong agenda Ric O’Barry was selling you- the officials that run the hunt told the filmmakers that even if they were PAID to not sell the number of dolphins to marine parks, they would still do the hunts yearly because they view the hunt as (and I quote) “pest control”. They had been doing the hunts for eons BEFORE marine parks, and they admitted they would STILL do it even if they weren’t able to sell to other Asian marine parks. And get that right, too. Not American. Not even European. Asian.

    You are the shepherds of the sea, sure. Just wish you weren’t helping herd marine species to extinction. If you put even a fraction of the effort into protecting WILD populations as you did for the “poor” pampered animals in zoological settings, we would more than likely be in a much better spot ecologically.
    And, yes, I actually donate 10% of every paycheck to conservation causes. How much do you contribute?

    • disqus_3gsmeQwuKi

      For such a self righteous condescending post, one would think you would have had actual command of the facts yourself.
      Dolphin hunts have not been going on in Taiji for “eons” as you parrot the Japanese propagandists. According to the town’s own records, there were a couple of hunts in the 1930s and 40s, but it really did not start until 1969, meaning a whopping forty five years of tradition……

      Pest control is another lame excuse, dolphins aren’t stealing all the fish from fisherman.

      Maybe you could explain to us all how these hunts were conducted before the Japanese got motorboats, since you’re such an expert….but I doubt it.

      Most of what you have stated is propaganda to cover up the real truth which is the lucrative business of selling these extremely social, beautiful, and intelligent animals to various dolphinariums(read fishbowls)etc. for profit. It is all about greed. The killing of the dolphins as “tradition” is simply a cover. Anybody with any sense knows that meat is laden with mercury and unhealthy to consume.

      And to correct your further nonsense, these animals are not “pampered” being stuffed in areas 1 ten thousandth of one percent of their natural ranges(dolphins swim up to 100 miles a day in the wild). They suffer from extreme mental distress, die earlier than their wild counterparts, and are made to perform circus tricks for callous stupid humans’ entertainment.

      It is good you give money to worthwhile causes but you really should educate yourself more before spouting off. But what can someone really expect from someone who calls themselves “goddessreborn”? Introspection?

  • http://www.catcahelpanimals.org/ CATCA Canada

    I would like to clarify that Penguins are found in the Antarctic, Galapagos, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina. Performing animals are trained to force them to do things against their will and natural behavior. That and captivity are the main animals cruelty issues of Sea World with their shows of performing dolphins and whales.