Penguins Spared Holiday Stress, Thanks to Compassionate Shoppers

Posted by on November 12, 2013 | Permalink

Penguins Spared Holiday StressA Nottingham shopping centre, intu Broadmarsh, has seen sense this holiday season and turned its back on an ill-conceived plan for an event showcasing penguins on a busy shopping day.

The compassionate people of Nottingham joined us in expressing their objections to the shopping centre, which announced last night that “[f]ollowing talks and meetings with members of our local community, and with animal charity PETA, we have decided not to include live penguins in our Christmas Extravaganza event. We came to this decision after listening to people’s views and we believe this is the right thing to do”.

Anyone who has seen the beautiful film March of the Penguins would find such publicity stunts disrespectful, out of touch and tragic. Penguins are fascinating birds who do not deserve to be exploited as props, kept in tiny enclosures and forced to endure the stress of being hauled around and then released in front of hordes of holiday shoppers, which can leave them petrified and disoriented and even impair their immune systems.

Such events would have been out of touch with the public’s concern for animal welfare. We commend the shopping centre for instead planning fun, festive family activities such as trapeze workshops, an interactive snow globe, face-painting, live music and a Santa’s grotto experience without live animals.

During this season of goodwill, we urge other shopping centres to follow the lead of intu Broadmarsh and the London toy store Hamleys, which have also cancelled plans to include live animals in Christmas promotions, and we also urge compassionate shoppers to speak out against such events.

Image: Thomas Tolkien  / CC BY 2.0