Target: Jeffrey Dunn, CEO of Sesame Workshop
Goal: Demand that the television show, Sesame Street, stop promoting SeaWorld to children.
An educational children’s program, Sesame Street, continues to support SeaWorld, despite the fact that keeping orcas and other highly-intelligent marine mammals captive is cruel and inhumane. The iconic show taht helps children learn to count, tie their shoelaces, and deal with their parents’ divorce, among other lessons, also often teaches kids valuable lessons in ethics. However, in working with SeaWorld, Sesame Street is giving the harmful impression to children that imprisoning animals is acceptable.
SeaWorld has been under harsh public scrutiny since the release of the documentary film Blackfish in 2013. The film exposed the marine park’s mistreatment of animals, especially the orcas, whose show constitute their main source of revenue. Animals who perform at SeaWorld are often captured from the wild, taken from their mothers — who are often killed in the process — at a young age so that they can be trained to do tricks for human entertainment. Whales and dolphins often swim up to 100 miles a day in the wild, but, in captivity, they are confined to tiny concrete tanks.
Furthermore, wild orcas have been found to live over 100 years, but, in the unnatural habitat of a barren concrete tank, orcas only live nine years on average. Numerous investigations into SeaWorld has also found that the company failed to properly care for their animals. Orcas and other marine animals routinely suffered cuts and injuries, surgical materials were expired and many tanks were in a state of disrepair, with cracks, crumbling concrete and rusty metal beams posing a health risk to the animals.
In light of this clear mistreatment of animals, it is shameful that Sesame Street continues to support SeaWorld by featuring Elmo, Oscar and Abby-themed rides as well as having park entertainers dressed as Sesame Street characters. SeaWorld is lying to children and parents by claiming that their marine prison can help kids “connect with animals, explore nature and develop a passion for conservation,” when all SeaWorld does is steal animals for the wild, forcefully breed them and abuse them for profit. As such, Sesame Street is also guilty of feeding false information to children by association with SeaWorld. Sign this petition urging Sesame Street to stop supporting the infamous marine park.
Dear Mr. Dunn,
Despite SeaWorld’s animal abuse coming to light in recent years, Sesame Street continues to promote the marine park by featuring costumed entertainers and Sesame-themed rides. The iconic show is a helpful resource for children to learn everything from how to tie their shoelaces to how to deal with their parents’ divorce, as well as many important lessons on ethics. Why then does it lend its support to SeaWorld, thus spreading the misleading idea that imprisoning and exploiting animals for profit is acceptable?
Numerous investigations led by government authorities and non-profits have found SeaWorld guilty of widespread abuses towards its animals. Many of them were found with severe injuries directly linked to their confinement, others have developed neurotic and destructive behavior also due to the stress of captivity. Tanks in disrepair and expired medical equipment are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SeaWorld’s mistreatment of animals. The 2013 documentary film, Blackfish, shed further light on what SeaWorld puts animals through. Orcas are captured from the wild, torn away from their mothers — who are often killed in the process — and then forced to perform unnatural tricks for human amusement for the entire duration of their short lives. Indeed, while orcas live over 100 years in the wild, captive orcas don’t make it past ten on average.
In light of this theme park’s rampant abuses on animals, it is crucial that a show with such a wide influence as yours stops promoting SeaWorld to children. I urge you to do what’s best by your viewers and innocent marine animals and remove your support to SeaWorld.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Loadmaster