Our minds were blown when we learned that PETA was a shareholder in SeaWorld, but according to spokesman David Perle, PETA purchased stock in the marine-mammal parks when SeaWorld held its IPO in 2013.
"PETA purchased stock in SeaWorld when it first became publicly available, in April of 2013 and PETA currently owns 159 shares," Perle says. "In order to file resolutions, it’s required that we own at least $2,000 worth of common stock continuously, which we do, and have."
And one of those resolutions, which PETA announced today, is that it would like to see SeaWorld invest in orca sanctuaries – sea pens, basically – where it can retire its orcas, dolphins and other marine mammals to live out their lives. PETA proposes that SeaWorld replace its live animal displays with virtual reality:
"The sea pens would protect orcas from the misery and harassment of captivity at SeaWorld," the nonprofit animal-rights group says in an announcement about the resolution. "SeaWorld could then outfit its theme parks with state-of-the-art augmented or virtual reality marine-mammal experiences that would allow visitors to learn about and interact with marine life in new and innovative ways – without imprisoning any animals."
"State-of-the art virtual reality is a much bigger draw to today's kind audiences than SeaWorld's sad orca-circus shows," says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. "PETA's resolution would spare orcas enormous suffering – and it may be the only way to keep SeaWorld in business."
While it can be tough to take PETA seriously – all of those naked protests and outrageous stunts aren't doing a lot for their credibility – we have to say that this is at least a credible suggestion. Though highly unlikely to gain any traction among SeaWorld administrators or fellow shareholders, since the parks pretty much make bank on those marine mammal shows.
Read the full PETA shareholder resolution PDF below.