Southwest and SeaWorld No Longer Partners


New post from Cameron Frost

In 2010, a documentary was produced entitled “Blackfish,” which focused on the mistreatment of animals at SeaWorld’s amusement parks. In particularly, the piece focused on the captivity of the killer whales in the three parks located across the United States. The documentary explores the issue of Tilikum, one of SeaWorld’s killer whales, which attacking and killed its trainer, Dawn Brancheau. Through this exploration of the park and its treatment of its killer whales, the documentary explained that whales held in captivity—as they are at SeaWorld—become more aggressive towards each other and towards humans. As a result of this environment, Tilikum attacked, out of pure instinct.
Since “Blackfish” appeared, many entertainers have canceled planned performances at SeaWorld parks, based in the belief that the park’s mistreatment and misunderstanding of the needs of the killer whale are what directly caused the death of one of its employees.

blackfish-cameron frost

This sign of support has only driven animal rights activists further in their efforts to discourage corporations from partnering and working with SeaWorld. According to an article recently completed by The Guardian, activists assembled to rally earlier this year, gathering signatures for a petition to urge Southwest Airlines to cut off their marketing partnership with SeaWorld. The partnership, which has existed for twenty-five years, resulted in three of Southwest’s planes painted to depict prominent SeaWorld animals.

The activists wanted the partnership severed, as to have one less company supporting a park that they believed to not have the best interest for the animals at heart. To make their case, a petition and required signatures were assembled and was given to Southwest Airlines. The partnership has since been severed. However, according to the article, the decision was not based solely in “Blackfish” or the urgings of the activists. Both companies mutually parted ways, in search of partnerships that address the growing international markets.
Regardless of not being the sole priority behind the fracturing of the partnership, Marilee McInnis—Southwest Airlines’ spokeswoman—did declare that, on the issue of animal rights, they always maintained a listening and educated ear.


from Cameron Frost


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