PETA to Protest Aquarium Pride Party
9/9/12 Update: The New York Times reports: ‘A proposal to import 18 beluga whales for popular interactive park attractions in the United States (including the Georgia Aquarium) is drawing fierce opposition from animal rights advocates and others who object to their removal from the wild.’ (Read story..)
9/8/12 Update: GA Voice reports: ‘Atlanta Pride Committee’s board chair, Glen Paul Freedman, said today that the event will go on, regardless of the complaints laid out by PETA and added the APC will not be pressured into changing the event venue.’ (Read story…)
Original Story: Animal rights group PETA informed the Atlanta Pride Committee today that the controversial Pride Kickoff Party at the Georgia Aquarium this Friday, October 12th, will be the target of a protest…
“Since last year, out of concern for sound-sensitive marine mammals, the U.S. Navy altered ship routes, the Toronto aquarium announced it would feature no marine mammals, and gay icons (see letter) Martina Navratilova (see comment) and Elvira (see letter) have spoken out against the Georgia Aquarium’s loud events,” said PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews. “Why insist on celebrating our freedom in a venue that celebrates captivity?”
Read the letter PETA sent to the Georgia Aquarium below and see our Interview with PETA Senior Vice President Dan Lax.
Buck Cooke, Executive Director
Dear Mr. Cooke:
As a longtime sponsor of Atlanta Pride, PETA is disappointed that the Pride committee hasn’t had the courtesy to reply to our concerns over the Georgia Aquarium party during the past year. As a result, we’ll bring these concerns directly to partygoers through a protest at this year’s Pride kickoff event at the Georgia Aquarium on October 12.
That very day, the aquarium will come under fire at a Washington, D.C., hearing over its controversial plans to import 12 wild-caught beluga whales from Russia. Atlanta is the nightlife capital of the world – why insist on celebrating our freedom in a venue that celebrates captivity?
Since last year, out of concern for sound-sensitive marine mammals, the U.S. Navy altered ship routes, the Toronto aquarium announced it would feature no marine mammals, and gay icons Jane Lynch, Martina Navratilova, and Elvira have spoken out against the Georgia Aquarium’s loud events. Are you ignoring them because they’re women? Do we need to hire male strippers to deliver a singing telegram in order to get your attention?
I attended last year’s event and personally spoke to three exhibit guides who said that various animals get distressed and even “get to fighting” during the parties. Many of us in the gay community, especially Georgians, are perplexed by the Pride committee’s lack of professionalism on this issue and are examining ways to reach the board about your peculiar relationship with the aquarium. We remain ready to have a dialogue. In any case, we’ll see you on October 12.
Senior Vice President, PETA
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