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Animal Cruelty for the Sake of Tradition? Demonstrators Want to End 49 Years of Turtle Hurt at Brennan’s Irish Pub


ANIMAL WATCH - For nearly five decades, Brennan's Irish pub in Marina del Rey has been hosting turtle races, billing it as "the world's stupidest sport." However, what may seem like harmless entertainment to some is now under intense scrutiny and condemnation from animal rights activists.

Since 1975, Brennan’s has been profiting from exploiting turtles for the amusement of its patrons. These races, which the bar proudly refers to as a tradition, involve subjecting turtles to an environment far from their natural habitat. Instead of peacefully roaming in the wild, these animals are thrust into a crowded venue filled with rowdy customers shouting and cheering while betting on the fastest turtle.

Reptile experts have raised serious concerns about the well-being of these sensitive creatures, highlighting the inhumane conditions and the chronic fear and stress induced by such events. Loudspeakers blare over the commotion, amplifying the chaos for the turtles forced to participate.

In response to this blatant exploitation, animal advocacy groups such as In Defense of Animals have launched campaigns urging Brennan's to end its turtle races. Over 11,000 concerned individuals have voiced their opposition, demanding an end to this cruel practice.

Brittany Michelson, Campaign Specialist for Captive Animals at In Defense of Animals, emphasizes the sentience of turtles and stresses the need for Brennan's to recognize their suffering. Michelson, who also founded the Desert Oasis Turtle & Tortoise Sanctuary in Arizona, advocates for the turtles' right to live in a peaceful outdoor environment, free from the exploitation of human entertainment.

Baywatch actress Alexandra Paul 

Former Baywatch actress and animal rights supporter Alexandra Paul joins the chorus of voices condemning Brennan's practices. Paul denounces the hypocrisy of Brennan's labeling turtle racing as the "world's stupidest sport" while continuing to perpetuate this cruelty for profit.

As the outcry against turtle exploitation grows louder, activists are gearing up for a protest outside Brennan's Irish pub on Thursday, March 21. Organized by In Defense of Animals, Los Angeles for Animals, and the Los Angeles Animal Defense League, the demonstration aims to shed light on the plight of these turtles and demand an end to their exploitation.

In the face of mounting pressure and public condemnation, Brennan's must reassess its priorities and put an end to its outdated and inhumane tradition of turtle racing. It's time for the bar to embrace compassion and choose entertainment options that do not involve the exploitation of sentient beings. 

In Defense of Animals is an international animal rescue and protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 40-year history of defending animals, the environment, and their guardians through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, rural Mississippi and California. www.idausa.org


(James Frederick is a writer for CityWatchLA.com.)

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