The San Diego International Airport is in hot water with both People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for refusing to run an anti-SeaWorld ad from PETA, starring actress, Kathy Najimy. A lawsuit has been filed against them from both non-profit organizations.
The ad, which features Najimy’s face, reads, “Welcome to San Diego! If you love animals like I do, please avoid SeaWorld.” The airport’s advertisement vendor often displays ads for non-profits, and SeaWorld itself, but they would not accept the $17,500 payment from PETA for the ad that encourages visitors to steer clear of the marine park.
“The First Amendment stands to protect against this kind of viewpoint discrimination,” says ACLU senior staff attorney Sean Riordan, explaining his organization’s involvement in the case.
Najimy is a San Diego native and feels passionately about animals, especially those confined at SeaWorld.
“When I was growing up in San Diego, we didn’t know better and our folks took us to SeaWorld,” says Kathy. “We were blind to the reality that these gorgeous creatures were being abused and belong in their natural habitat.”
Where should visitors of San Diego go instead? Najimy has some great suggestions:
“If you want a fun day in San Diego, then take your family to Balboa Park and ride the carousel, see a great play at The Old Globe theater, or get naked at Black’s Beach and hope you see a regal whale in her natural, compassionate, safe home!”
PETA have been campaigning hard for the release of orcas at SeaWorld, and their efforts have picked up steam following the release of the documentary, “Blackfish.” Thanks to the film’s widespread release, more people than ever are aware of the plight of these magnificent creatures, who are far from flourishing within the cramped pools where they are kept at marine parks such as SeaWorld.
The San Diego International Airport may have refused to display the ad, but the truth is out there, and that’s something they cannot hide.
Photo credit: Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com