Travel Giant Bows to Pressure From PETA
Following months of determined campaigning from PETA, which included over 100 protests outside Thomas Cook shops around the country and more than 50,000 letters from compassionate members of the public, including celebrities Paul O’Grady, Sharon Osbourne, and renowned explorer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau, leading travel provider Thomas Cook has announced that it will stop selling tickets to SeaWorld – the world’s most notorious marine abusement park – and all parks that confine highly intelligent orcas in the name of entertainment.
“This momentous victory means that Thomas Cook has now become the world-leading travel provider for animal welfare that it had claimed to be,” says PETA Director of Corporate Projects Yvonne Taylor. “If other travel providers hope to maintain a shred of credibility with animal-loving British holidaymakers, they must follow Thomas Cook’s lead and immediately announce that they, too, will end the financial lifeline they are giving these cruel marine parks.”
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – notes that there is no humane way to keep these highly intelligent animals in captivity. At SeaWorld, orcas who would normally swim up to 100 miles a day in the wild are forced to spend their entire lives confined to tiny, concrete, chlorinated cells, in which they can only swim endlessly in circles. Animals are regularly drugged to manage the resulting stress-induced aggressive behaviour, and 41 orcas and countless other animals have died on SeaWorld’s watch – far short of their natural life expectancies.