Target: American Express CEO Kenneth I. Chenault
Goal: Stop promoting animal cruelty, by ending a major credit card company’s partnership with SeaWorld
Due to the popularity of the recent documentary Blackfish, the plight of the animals at Seaworld, particularly the orca whales, has reached a tipping point in the public consciousness. Despite this, credit card company American Express continues to support SeaWorld, the major U.S. theme park that still keeps orcas in captivity. It is unacceptable that American Express supports the suffering of these creatures for entertainment and profit, and the company needs to end its partnership with SeaWorld.
Orca whales in the wild are used to traveling up to 100 miles a day in the ocean, and they will live to be between 30-50 years old. They are also highly social animals, and travel in groups called pods. They hunt for their food together, and it is widely thought they have a complex way of communicating with one another. They are one of the most intelligent species in the world, making their captivity particularly cruel, and any reasonable person can surmise that their family units are vital to their health and over all well-being.
The orcas at Seaworld are confined to tanks, and forced to perform. Their lifespan in captivity is on average 9 years. Their complex social relationships are stripped from them, and they are forced to cohabitate with other whales they are not related to, often resulting in fights between the whales.
Perhaps the starkest symbol of these animals’ suffering is the collapsed dorsal fin often seen on the males in captivity. While SeaWorld says this is common, in fact it is not. It is rarely seen in the wild, and is a sign of a sick whale.
SeaWorld’s revenue in 2012 was $77.4 million, all at the expense of these animals. It’s time for it to stop. Urge American Express to join several other former SeaWorld sponsors that have already ended their partnerships with this company.
Dear Mr. Chenault,
The immense suffering of the animals at SeaWorld, in particular the orca whales has gone on too long. Please join other sponsors, such as Southwest Airlines, in ending their support of SeaWorld and its animal abuses.
These majestic animals, which are used to swimming freely in the ocean, are confined to small tanks, ripped from their young, and forced to perform. In the wild, they will live between 30-50 years. In captivity, they live 9 years on average. The collapsed dorsal fin you typically see on the males in captivity is very rare in the wild, and is a clear symbol of these animals suffering and the unfit conditions they are in.
They are some of the most intelligent animals on the planet, with complex social relationships, making their captivity particularly cruel.
Mr. Chenault, I urge you to sever your ties with SeaWorld, and tell your customers that you will not tolerate this kind of animal cruelty.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wikipedia