Praise Former SeaWorld Trainer for Speaking Out


Target: John Hargrove, Former SeaWorld Trainer

Goal: Praise John Hargrove for speaking out against SeaWorld and its inhumane practices.

Former orca trainer John Hargrove is publicly denouncing SeaWorld’s treatment of orcas and other animals at the popular entertainment company and isn’t backing down despite the vice president of veterinary services saying that the “sensationalism is unfounded.” He’s now spreading more awareness of the mistreatment of animals by SeaWorld in a book called Beneath the Surface, despite SeaWorld representatives adamantly denying any poor treatment.

Hargrove is one of the seven former trainers from SeaWorld to be featured in the 2013 documentary Blackfish and is continuing his efforts to raise awareness of the cruelty SeaWorld subjects its captive animals to every day. He spent 12 years at SeaWorld and says that at first, he was confident he could make a real change to SeaWorld’s practices, but came to realize that nothing was going to change and quit when SeaWorld announced that, “they had no knowledge we had a dangerous job.”

“Despite what SeaWorld says they are definitely not thriving, and they’re not even surviving,” he has said. He also says that witnessing calves being separated from their mothers, breeding practices, and the limited environments orcas were subjected to were enough to make him leave for good.

The death of veteran orca trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010 caused a stir when a killer whale dragged the trainer down and Branchea died, leading concerned citizens to ask who was at fault.  Hargrove made it clear that the whale’s aggression was due to its captivity and SeaWorld’s treatment of the orcas. Company owners had made it clear that they did not care for the safety of their trainers, nor those of the animals.

By spreading this awareness, SeaWorld will hopefully continue to decline in popularity so that these poor animals will no longer be forced into captivity and treated so cruelly. Please sign the petition below to thank John Hargrove for speaking out against SeaWorld.


Dear Mr. Hargrove,

I would like to thank you for your efforts to raise awareness over the mistreatment of animals at SeaWorld. As one of the seven former trainers to speak in the documentary Blackfish, you are undoubtedly the target of criticism by SeaWorld’s public relations team.

Despite their efforts to assure everyone that they treat their animals well, we know that this is nothing more than damage control on their part and a poor attempt to bring back paying customers. By raising more awareness towards this issue, we can continue put SeaWorld out of business and stop the inhumane treatment of orcas and other sea creatures.

Thank you for being a strong advocate for animal rights and enduring the backlash of SeaWorld representatives. It takes courage to speak out and it will make a positive difference in the lives of these animals.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: David R. Tribble via

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