The Monterey Bay Aquarium has removed the controversial gas mask from the cow that is part of its "Hot Pink Flamingos" exhibit on climate change, it was announced Thursday. The fake dairy cow remains as part of the exhibit showcasing alternate-energy solutions. Aquarium officials said they are modifying nearby exhibit graphics to tell an alternative-energy story.
The action comes after a recent meeting between Monterey Bay Aquarium management and representatives from California Milk Advisory Board, Western United Dairymen and the California Beef Council where they shared new climate change data and feedback from the dairy and beef industries.
"This is a very welcome and positive result," said Western United Dairymen President Jamie Bledsoe. "We appreciate the time and effort that aquarium management spent discussing this issue with industry representatives. We are glad that we had the opportunity to share the science-based information about how California dairy families are acting in an environmentally responsible manner and that the aquarium management listened to our concerns."
In the Aquarium's statement, they expressed that, "Offending dairy farmers was never our intent and we regret the distress the mask has caused. We've removed the mask, and are modifying nearby exhibit graphics so they specifically tell an alternative energy story. Many other engaging elements of Hot Pink Flamingos encourage visitors to think about - - and talk about - - the many things they can do to make a difference."
The Aquarium's action is a hopeful sign for continued dialogue in the future, said Michael Marsh, CEO of Western United Dairymen.
Source: Western United Dairymen