According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, SeaWorld’s second quarter profits plummeted from $37.4 million in 2014 to $5.8 million this year, a drop of 84 percent. This decrease has been attributed to the combined effects of CNN’s 2013 documentary Blackfish—which exposed animal suffering at the aquatic park—and numerous campaigns and lawsuits against SeaWorld organized by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). With its stock sinking, SeaWorld has been struggling to rebuild its brand in order to increase attendance. In July, a SeaWorld employee was placed on leave after allegedly posing as a PETA animal-rights activist in an effort to incite illegal activity and relay information back to the theme park. While the current leadership is desperate to rebuild SeaWorld’s brand, even promising to invest $100 million to expand whale tanks at its San Diego location, PETA recently called upon SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby to “seriously consider proposals to retire SeaWorld’s orcas to sea pen sanctuaries rather than spend millions that the company no longer has to build bigger cages.”
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