Kelly Slater Releases Statement to SeaWorld Regarding Orca Captivity
Today, Purps Founder Kelly Slater will connect digitally during the SeaWorld's Share Holder's meeting to request the release of Killer Whales back to the wild. The issue first came on the radar to the masses after the release of Blackfish, a film documenting the death of a experienced trainer and the emotional effects of Orca captivity. After speaking with writer/director/producer, Gabriela Cowperthwaite, Kelly decided he wanted to bring further attention to the matter.
Kelly collaborated with well-known artist, Kevin Ancell, by painting his entire quiver as Orcas. Both Kelly and Kevin plan to auction off boards to raise money for the cause.
Via PETA, Kelly released this statement:
"My name is Kelly Slater, and I'm here on behalf of PETA. The veil has been lifted on SeaWorld. All the ads in the world won't change what the public now knows to be true: that the company imprisons highly intelligent, emotionally complex, social animals in tiny, barren concrete tanks, which leads to aggression and disease.
"SeaWorld is experiencing declining attendance and revenue, and dozens of companies, including Southwest Airlines, Panama Jack, and Mattel, have recently ended partnerships with SeaWorld. As a professional surfer, I'm lucky and privileged to be able to spend the majority of my time in the ocean-it's the place where I feel most at home, and thus, I feel an obligation to protect that which I have a voice in influencing.
"Please, tell us, when will SeaWorld allow the animals it holds captive to return to their home -- the ocean -- by retiring them to a seaside sanctuary? And wouldn't this at least be viewed, if nothing else, as a public relations win for you? By righting the wrongs you have committed in the name of corporate profit for so many years, you may actually be able to recoup some of the respect that has been lost in the eyes of the public and work toward an end to the problem of animal suffering. Thank you."
Kelly Slater via Instagram post, November 16, 2014:
Have you seen the film #Blackfish yet? I assumed a lot about #Orcas' intelligence but had no real knowledge on the subject. Adults spend their entire lives in pods alongside their parents and swim up to 100 miles/day. They're one of the most intelligent and self-aware species in the world (making them highly inquisitive and unsuited for captivity). Although it's not totally understood at this time, most adult males and some females in captivity encounter dorsal fin collapse which is rather rare in the wild unless the whale is sick or injured. Captive whales have cute #Chinook names like #Tilikum, #Shamu, #Kyuquot or #Kasatka. I'm assuming that's so they can sound authentically Eskimo-like or something? I've always found that odd. For these animals, freedom=happiness. I know there's an argument that people wouldn't be exposed to them otherwise and that it potentially helps species conservation yet there are no studies correlating whales or dolphins benefitting in any way from being publicly displayed in theme parks. In fact, quite the opposite. These mammals are strictly used to make money and sell tickets. If people want to be exposed to these creatures badly enough they should go see them in the wild where they're happy and don't attack or kill people. As a side note, I believe all of these trainers have their hearts in the right place and unfortunately they're the ones stuck with the responsibility and guilt about the fate of these #MajesticBeings. So I figured I'd paint my boards like Orcas to raise some awareness about the topic and the film. I even got the chance to speak with #GabrielaCowperthwaite, the director, writer and producer of Blackfish, to educate myself further on the subject. And one of my favorite artists, @kevinancell (ANP RVCA artist), has been kind enough to work his magic on my boards. It's cool to work on a project with Kevin and great to see how crazy passionate he is about these paintings and the #SubliminalMessages in them. If all goes to plan, we'll auction a bunch of these boards to raise some money for a good cause. #TheOrcaBoardProject. #AnimalSlavery #TheCove @seashepherd #DawnBrancheau #Namu #DFW #Grampus #KillerWhales