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PETA Demands an End to Animal-Themed Carousel Like Those at Disney World and Disneyland

carrsousel at disney world magic kingdom
Credit: Disney Parks

PETA is demanding that animal-themed carousels like those found at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park become a thing of the past, as the organization says that such attractions are harmful to animals because they teach children to disrespect animals and go so far as to celebrate that disrespect.

prince charming regal carrousel

Credit: Disney Parks

No More Animal Carousels, Says PETA

On Monday, PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, sent a written request to the president and CEO of the largest manufacturer of rides in the United States, Wichita, Kansas-based Chance Rides, in an effort to stop the manufacturer from producing animal-themed carousels.

The letter, addressed to Aaron Landrum and written by PETA president Ingrid Newkirk, claims that such rides “normalize the use of animals as conveyances and amusements.”

magic kingdom carousel

Credit: Disney

Related: PETA Calls Out ‘Bluey’ for Episode on Controversial Subject

Children learn through play, and teaching them to have respect and compassion for all living, feeling beings can help create a more just and merciful world,” says Newkirk, who authored the book 50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals.

PETA urges Chance Rides and all other carousel manufacturers to hit the brakes on old-fashioned animal-themed rides and embrace designs that engage children’s imagination and showcase human talent.”

disneyland king arthur carousel

Credit: Disneyland Resort

A Letter and a Stern Request

The letter, dated February 6, specifically asks for the end of the “manufacture and sale of animal-themed carousels” and requests that in place of animals, other figures be exclusively produced, including those “in the shape of vehicles, such as cars, unicycles, tractors, airplanes, rockets, and bulldozers, that children are drawn to or even more whimsical designs, like shooting stars, rainbows, or brooms.”

carrousel at magic kingdom

Credit: Disney Parks

In the letter, PETA concedes that such a request is “unexpected but important.” As the basis for PETA’s request, the letter states the following:

Animal-themed carousels unintentionally celebrate the exploitation of sentient beings. Animals used for rides and other forms of entertainment—including camels, horses, elephants, and dolphins—are confined and in servitude, never free to pursue their own lives and interests. They’re also sometimes beaten, tormented, and even slaughtered when their bodies wear out.

All animals are thinking, feeling, affectionate, playful, and social beings who form strong bonds with their offspring if permitted to keep them (a rarity). They crave freedom from oppression. Animal-themed carousel sets reinforce the notion that these sentient beings are simply here for our entertainment rather than individuals with the same capacity to experience fear, pain, joy, and love as any of us.

Woman arrested for biting sister Animal Kingdom Lodge

Credit: Disney

Related: Iconic Magic Kingdom Attraction Could Be Next To Go

According to PETA, the decision by ride manufacturers–and presumably theme parks like Disney World and Disneyland that offer animal-themed carousels as amusement attractions to their guests–will ultimately send two messages, deemed “powerful” by the organization:

Animals are to be respected, not exploited, and companies can and should evolve to keep up with the times. In 2018, following talks with PETA, Nabisco replaced the more than 100-year-old design of caged animals on its Barnum’s Animals Crackers boxes with imagery of wild animals roaming free.

In 2019, after a push from PETA, Trader Joe’s redesigned its Bamba Peanut Snacks, toilet paper, and organic peanut butter packages to no longer include images of elephants performing tricks. And just last winter, after hearing from PETA, Dukal Corporation stopped selling bandages depicting animals in circuses.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Credit: Disney

Related: PETA Releases Statement About SeaWorld’s Dolphin Attack

The letter concludes with Newkirk asking the Chance Rides CEO to pledge to stop “promoting this abuse by no longer producing carousel figures in animal forms.” There’s no word yet about his response to PETA’s request.

What do you think about PETA’s request? Let us know in the comments below!

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

18 comments

  1. This has gone to far we’re not eating them.

    • Totally agree with you Tina! We’re not killing them, eating them or riding a REAL wild animal!

    • I have never heard such a load of rubbish in my life, it’s not disrespecting them it is only a ride.

    • PETA. do you seriously have nothing better to do than to make absurd comments as this. You all must live very boring lives to make up this bull nonsense. I love horses which came from my mothe taking me to the carousel and letting me rise them. We are not eating them or hurting them. We simply adore them for what they are and bring the magic back into our lives. Grow up and shut up.

  2. This is going TOO far…PETA needs to get a life. If Disney goes along with their demands, what’s next…..PETA demand that all meat items be eliminated from all Disney Parks? I also am a member of PETA:
    P – eople for the
    E – ating of
    T – asty
    A – nimals

  3. Gimme a break! I’m one of the world’s greatest animal lovers, but these PETA whackos are taking things way too far!

  4. Are you crazy. I love animals, but these are wooden animals…you are going too far with this, IMO

  5. OMG…when will this end? They are not live animals being ridden for an attraction. They are adorable replicas of animals and, f anything, teaches children to love them.

  6. I disagree with PETA. Disney World, Disneyland, and all the Disney’s in the world do not practice animal cruelty. In a contrary, they defend them and maintain good care of them. Carousels are PLASTIC CERAMIC Horses. They are NOT real. They are there for the entertainment of children and their family’s. PETA, you are going too far.

  7. PETA needs to get a grip for heavens sake , smh is all I can do

  8. I grew up riding these. It taught me that animals are beautiful creatures and to respect them. Like everyone is saying here these are not real animals. Peta needs to back off and leave what’s not hurting anything alone for a change.

  9. How about if we promise not to eat the carousel animals?

  10. NEVER would I think of this as abuse of animals OR teaching children to disrespect them. PETA should be more concerned about the killing of bears, whales. wolves and other animals for no good reason.

  11. Not only is this absolutely absurd, but they have given no suggestions as to what they think should replace carousel animals. Are we to expect a carousel with turnips and bell peppers?
    Carousels are an art form that is cherished by many. Hand-carved carousel animals are things of beauty to be loved and admired. There aren’t a lot of people who are bigger animal lovers than I am, and I treasure classic carousels. PETA, stick to advocating for the elimination of the fur trade.

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