The 12-year-old girl who made headlines by jumping a barricade to protest a SeaWorld float at the Macy's Thanksgiving parade will be making waves in Pasadena tomorrow too.
Rose McCoy is scheduled to join a PETA demonstration against SeaWorld's float during the 125th Rose Parade, the animal rights organization says:
PETA says the float will depict orcas in the open ocean even though the theme park keeps its own such whales in captivity. According to a PETA statement:
As you may know, the SeaWorld float planned for the parade depicts free-living orcas frolicking in the open sea–something that the orcas locked up in SeaWorld's tiny barren tanks will never experience–and kind people across the country are outraged.
The death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau at the hands of an orca in 2010 is the subject of a PETA-promoted documentary this year called Blackfish. The doc's argument is that such killer whales might not be living (or behaving) well if they're kept in oversize swimming pools.
It's a sore spot for SeaWorld, and the park has called the film “inaccurate and misleading.”
Lisa Lange, a PETA spokeswoman, and a Pasadena resident, says:
Rose Parade organizers know full well how orcas and other animals suffer and die at SeaWorld — but instead of refusing to allow this cruel park's float, they chose to turn a blind eye. No family event should celebrate a corporation that tears orca babies away from their loving mothers and forces them to live in chlorinated tanks that are barely big enough for them to turn around in.
We reached out to SeaWorld San Diego for its response to the planned protest but had yet to hear back.
First a protest against a gay marriage, and now this: It looks like the Rose Parade will be more entertaining than usual this year.
The PETA folks, by the way, will rally at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at Orange Grove Boulevard and Green Street in Pasadena.
[Update at 10:14 p.m.]: SeaWorld sent us this statement tonight:
We view PETA as an extremist organization with views entirely at odds with those of most Americans. Their claims and accusations are, as they have always been, without merit. There is no organization more passionately committed to the physical, mental and social care and well-being of animals than SeaWorld. The real advocates for animals are the trainers, aviculturists, animal-care staff and veterinarians at SeaWorld. We believe most Americans recognize that SeaWorld, not PETA, is the real animal welfare organization.