Bella Thorne Urges SeaWorld to Release Imprisoned Orcas
Today is “Boycott SeaWorld” Day, and here’s why: seven marine mammals died at the park last year alone, and a total of 41 orcas have died on SeaWorld’s watch – not one of old age. For PETA US’ “Break the Chains: Boycott SeaWorld” ad campaign, actor and model Bella Thorne appears as a half-human, half–suffering orca to encourage her fans to stand up and use their voices to help animals by calling for people to boycott SeaWorld.
In an accompanying video, Bella shows us around her home, talks about her love for animals, and explains that she appeared in a commercial for SeaWorld when she was younger but that even then, she “knew there wasn’t something right”. Reminding us that the animals held captive in the park’s enclosures are treated inhumanely, she says, “These beautiful animals are in so much pain. … They’re locked in there.”
In the wild, orcas form complex relationships with members of their pod – just like humans, they’re social animals. They work together to find food and travel up to 140 miles in the ocean every day. The freedom to swim in their natural environment is crucial to their well-being.
But at SeaWorld, orcas are confined to prison-like tanks. They can swim only in endless circles, which causes them immense distress. Some even break their teeth by gnawing on the concrete walls of their cells out of frustration. They’re commonly housed in incompatible groups, which results in stress, injuries, and illnesses. To keep them calm during shows, they’re often cruelly forced to take the drug diazepam.
Bella joins a long list of celebrities – including Gillian Anderson, Joaquin Phoenix, Alicia Silverstone, and P!nk – who’ve teamed up with PETA US to promote kindness towards animals.
The ad was conceptualised and produced by creative director Nim Shapira and Photoshop artist Shine Horovits.
What You Can Do
Virgin continues to sell tickets to SeaWorld, despite being fully aware of the company’s cruel treatment of animals for profit. Join us in calling on Sir Richard Branson to cut ties with the marine park: