WATCH: Activists Speak Out Against Turtle Racing in Los Angeles

WATCH: Activists Speak Out Against Turtle Racing in Los Angeles

On March 21, we held a demonstration along with local grassroots groups Los Angeles for Animals and Los Angeles Animal Defense League to protest the turtle races at Brennan’s, an Irish pub in Marina del Rey, California. We received phenomenal media coverage from numerous Los Angeles area outlets, including KTLA, which aired the protest on the news that night.

For nearly half a century, Brennan’s has been exploiting turtles for entertainment and profit by holding races, which it calls “the world’s stupidest sport.” Its website states that turtle racing is the “real sport of kings,” but animal exploitation is nothing to boast about. The bar also refers to the turtle races as a tradition; however, traditions that exploit animals for entertainment and profit must end. 

Brennan’s was established in 1972 and has been holding the turtle races since 1975. It is a crowded venue that subjects turtles to the shouts and screams of a boisterous crowd. Dozens of rowdy customers bet on a winner while an emcee directs the event over powerful loudspeakers. Turtles are not toys. They are sentient beings who experience stress and fear when subjected to loud, rowdy settings. It is long past time for Brennan’s to end its tradition of animal exploitation. Turtles deserve to live in a peaceful, outdoor environment, not used as tools for entertainment. 

Brennan's is teaching people by example that it's acceptable to treat animals like toys and entertainment devices. We hope that the company will consider modernizing its activities to reflect the times. It would give this popular bar the opportunity to demonstrate compassion for animals and be a leader for positive change. 

Reptile experts have called this environment inhumane and have raised serious concerns about the short and long-term health consequences of the chronic fear and stress it causes in these sensitive animals. 

Former Baywatch actress and In Defense of Animals supporter Alexandra Paul is also voicing her support for Brennan’s to end the turtle races. She said, “Brennan’s itself calls turtle racing the 'world’s stupidest sport,' but has been organizing these races for nearly half a century. It is time for Brennan’s to get smart and stop this cruel practice, which turtle experts agree is inhumane. There are many other forms of entertainment to offer that don’t involve harming animals.”

We reached out to the owners and invited them to meet with us to brainstorm alternate activities that would end their use of animals for entertainment. They have not agreed to meet or make this change to their business. 

We will be continuing our campaign against the turtle races and hope that the owners of Brennan’s will make the ethical and progressive choice to replace it with an activity that doesn’t involve animals. 

You can help by signing and sharing our alert, which has garnered over 11,300 supporters so far, calling on Brennan's and its operating partner, Artisanal Brewers Collective, to end the turtle races.

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