PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — A 12-year-old girl made a splash Wednesday when she was arrested during a protest against Sea World's participation in the 125th Annual Rose Parade.
Rose McCoy, a straight-A student, was among those arrested for participating in the protest organized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) against Sea World's float.
"I want every family to know Sea World is a cruel industry," McCoy said.
A video provided by PETA shows officers arresting 19 demonstrators at the parade, including the seventh grader from New York.
Rose also participated in a protest against Sea World's float at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, where she and fellow protestors jumped the barricade.
McCoy credits the recent documentary 'Blackfish' -- which calls into question Sea World's treatment of whales -- with helping to inform her views.
"I've always been against animals in captivity. I do not think animals are here for humans. So 'Blackfish' was very educational for me," she said.
Sea World has said their float is meant to showcase the beauty of the sea and have called the documentary "misleading and inaccurate."
Emily McCoy, Rose's mother, was also arrested Wednesday, in part for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
"I have nothing but pride; getting choked up here as a mom, that she is so passionate about stuff." she said.
Asked how she would respond to accusations that PETA is using her 12-year-old daughter to advance its own agenda, McCoy said such criticism misses the point.
"It really belittles how passionate my daughter is," McCoy said. "She has strong beliefs and she acts on them."
Pasadena Police said they had been in contact with the protestors in advance of the event and advised them they would be arrested if they tried to stop the parade from progressing.
PETA's senior vice president and lifelong Pasadena resident Lisa Lange said the group did what they had to do.
"We know that the public's on our side on this issue and it was evidenced today, with lots of clapping and thumbs up," said Lange.
for more features.