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January 08, 2014

Animal activists to rally at Southwest headquarters on Wednesday

Shamu_Plane_newAnimal activists who are concerned about SeaWorld's treatment of orcas will be rallying at Southwest Airlines headquarters on Wednesday, asking the Dallas-based carrier to end its relationship with the marine park company.

The activists plan to deliver a petition signed by 27,000 people on the website Change.org to Southwest at the rally, scheduled for 11 a.m. at the company's Love Field headquarters.

"Southwest needs to understand that they are promoting animal cruelty seen in Blackfish if they continue to partner with SeaWorld as they have done for the last 25 years," said activist Robin Merritt in a statement. "They do promotional deals, send out joint-press releases patting each other on the back, and are working hand in hand to profit from the misery of animals exploited for SeaWorld."

The 2013 documentary movie, Blackfish, examined the circumstances surrounding the death of a trainer at SeaWorld Orlando when the orca bull Tilikum dragged the trainer underwater and drowned her. The film, which is being considered for an Academy Award, also looks at the practice of keeping orcas in captivity. SeaWorld did not participate in the film and recently placed newspaper ads defending its orca habitats. 

The airline's relationship with SeaWorld has spanned several decades with the airline painting several aircraft in its fleet like the park's famous marine mammal, Shamu. Last year, Southwest unveiled Penguin One, an aircraft painted with several penguins as part of SeaWorld Orlando's new attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.

Southwest issued this statement saying it is not contemplating any changes to its relationship with SeaWorld at this time.

"Southwest has a longstanding relationship with SeaWorld that is based on travel and bringing families together.  We are currently in a multi-year contract with SeaWorld, and we are not contemplating changes to that at this time. We are engaged with Sea World related to the recent concerns being raised.   We are in a listening and education mode with the goal of upholding our commitments as a good corporate citizen," the company said.

-Andrea Ahles

 

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Comments

Melinda Echols

Scenario: Southwest Airlines stops their vile relationship with SeaWorld...turns Orca plane(s) in to recovery planes. These Belugas (as with any captive dolphins/whales) under the watchful eye of the International Marine Mammal Project and Earth Island Institute or another group are trained to be back in the wild where they belong.....Problem Solved!

Ruby Eskaf

Free the orcas!!

Rose Maclean

please stop.

Brendie Barrineau

discontinue your relationship with these abusement parks. They are wrong, they are deadly and they promote Imprisonment!

dania

Southwest's slogan is "If it matters to you it matters to us". That being said. Follow your slogan. It matters that you are supporting Sea World!!!

Lori Coyne

Do what is right, I beg you. One day when SeaWorld and the like will be loooong gone and humans will wonder how we accepted such cruelty! PLEASE! You will GAIN business very likely as well!

Adam

Good. A great company like Southwest has no business supporting a shameful fad like Seaworld.

Tara Marr

Stop the madness

Beatrice Burns

"Southwest needs to understand that they are promoting animal cruelty seen in Blackfish if they continue to partner with SeaWorld as they have done for the last 25 years," said activist Robin Merritt in a statement. "They do promotional deals, send out joint-press releases patting each other on the back, and are working hand in hand to profit from the misery of animals exploited for SeaWorld."

Please reconsider the contract You currently have with SeaWorld. The cruelty inflicted on the Orcas from catching until death is heartbreaking and needs to stop!!! Please do not endorse and support the murder and abide of precious Sea Animals!!! They are not here to entertain us Humans !!!

Fabiola

Stop sea world ! Stop animal cruelty !!

Bruce Papier

I believe that the orca image and Sea World reference has become an offensive symbol to many people who care about the welfare of animals. I would be very uncomfortable flying in an aircraft advertising Sea World so blatantly.
Soutwest should understand the negative image this presents to a significant number of potential customers
and that it is not the orca that is the problem, it is the association with Sea World that is so offensive.

Sean Tajkowski

After that corporate PR reply, southwest, you may be the next petition. "Education" give me a break! Enough of these PR firms. You guys better rethink your strategies. The would has changed a bit since your schooling. Bad Business Model...good luck with these public statements. A bit too corporate for today's world.....and the buck stops here!

Livia Espada

Do not be part of a shame! Do not support SW

maia Alexandra Mastorakis

Lad de stakkels dyr være alene!!

Maria Ferrandis

I'ld ask this airline to stopo supporting animal abuse.

Todd White

It's been Death for the Killer Whales long enough. Now it's time for the Death of the entrapment they have been living in for so long.

Arlene Parkin

Please do NOT support Sea World!! You are supporting animal cruelty and abuse, which is inhumane and bad publicity!!

brian crawford

i thought animal cruelty was beating animals, starving animals, abusing them etc. how is this animal cruelty when orcas have the best medical care, well feed and groomed and loved by the trainers? if this is torture and abuse i know lots of homeless people and children who are abused by adults every day that would love to get that same kind of cruelty. you animal rights idiots are the same people that think nothing of having beef or chicken taco for lunch and then point your finger at sea world ad sw airlines, shame on you

sarah brown

Well said Brian Crawford. If you, animal activists, can show me ONE video of Sea World abusing(beating, starving, teasing, letting stay sick) their animals then I fully agree with all of you who say "Stop abusing the orcas, let them go back into the wild", but until then I will continue to go to Sea World, and most definitely use South West Airlines for my travel needs.

so e

Keeping animals in captivity for entertainment value is shameful and wrong. They will not do anything different if we continue to fund their behavior and practices. Going forward, I will re evaluate my airline carrier should Southwest continue their relationship with SeaWorld.

Homer

Trucking or flying whales to San Antonio to amuse crowds by feeding them fish and splashing cheering crowds is going to go out to sea--what to do with the tanks? Massive filtration systems, to make a Sea like environment in San Antonio Texas-----

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