ONTD Political

SeaWorld sued over 'enslaved' killer whales

9:41 pm - 02/07/2012
Five killer whales have been named as plaintiffs in a lawsuit which argues they deserve the same constitutional protection from slavery as humans.

A US judge is considering a complaint by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' (PETA) against SeaWorld.

It is reportedly the first time a US court has heard legal arguments over whether animals should enjoy the same constitutional protections as humans.



The five wild-captured orca "plaintiffs" are based at SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Diego.


SeaWorld's legal team said the case was a waste of time and resources.

The marine park's lawyer, Theodore Shaw, told the court in San Diego: "Neither orcas nor any other animal were included in the 'We the people'... when the Constitution was adopted."

He said that if the case were successful, it could have implications not just on how other marine parks or zoos operate, but even on the police use of sniffer dogs to detect bombs and drugs.

'Historic case'

Peta says the killer whales are treated like slaves for being forced to live in tanks and perform daily at the SeaWorld parks in California and Florida.

It is not considered likely that the whales will win their freedom, but campaigners said they were pleased the case even made it to a courtroom.

The lawsuit invokes the 13th Amendment to the constitution, which abolished "slavery or involuntary servitude" in the US.

Jeffrey Kerr, the lawyer representing the five whales, said: "For the first time in our nation's history, a federal court heard arguments as to whether living, breathing, feeling beings have rights and can be enslaved simply because they happen to not have been born human.

"By any definition these orcas have been enslaved here."


Hearing the arguments for about an hour, US District Judge Jeffrey Miller raised concerns over whether animals could be represented as plaintiffs in a lawsuit.

He will issue a ruling at a later date.

Peta names the five wild-captured orca plaintiffs as Tilikum and Katina, at SeaWorld Orlando; and Kasatka, Corky, and Ulises, at SeaWorld San Diego.

It is not Tilikum's first time in the media spotlight - he drowned his trainer before horrified spectators in February 2010, prompting a ban on the Florida park's employees entering the water to perform tricks with the orcas.

The same whale has also been linked to two other deaths.


***

source: BBC News

Sorry about the source the first time mods, fixed it! Oh, PETA...
brookiki 7th-Feb-2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
My general rule is never trust a legal theory or recipe from PETA. (I already knew the first, found out the second last night.)
bleed_peroxide 7th-Feb-2012 10:49 pm (UTC)
Sea kittens? What?
cuterabbit33 7th-Feb-2012 10:54 pm (UTC)
A long while ago, there was a weird petition from PETA to get people calling fish... sea kittens. The idea was that you'd never eat a kitten, right?

The most memorable part for me about that whole thing was Stephen Colbert making fun of it by saying now he could eat more 'land fish'.
bleed_peroxide 7th-Feb-2012 11:00 pm (UTC)
Who in their mind thought that was a good idea? Does that make sharks worse because they're eating kittens instead of fish?

I can't feel anything but intense amusement and secondhand embarrassment for them. PETA, they're fish. If you want people to take you seriously, stop making such stupid petitions, omg.
cuterabbit33 7th-Feb-2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
On the plus side, it has helped prove that no one in their right mind will ever take them seriously. Even the word sea kittens is just inherently funny on its own.
nonnycat 8th-Feb-2012 07:31 am (UTC)
These are the same nincompoops that decided to protest killing of virtual seals in World of Warcraft.
nikoel 8th-Feb-2012 08:54 pm (UTC)
Okay, now I need a macro of a shark eating a lolcat.
bleed_peroxide 7th-Feb-2012 11:02 pm (UTC)
Fish are cute, too. :c

I adore animals, and nothing in this world will ever help me make parallels between a fish in an aquarium and my little furball. (See icon - ain't he cute? ♥) Just.... logic, HOW DOES IT WORK.
apis_cerana 7th-Feb-2012 11:09 pm (UTC)
How is it worse?
apis_cerana 7th-Feb-2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
If they are not abused or mistreated before slaughter, how is it worse exactly?
txvoodoo 7th-Feb-2012 11:16 pm (UTC)
We do the same w/ our fish, unless they died of some parasite or disease, in which case we try to get a necropsy done so we can avoid it becoming a larger problem.

Note: that's if we find them. 175 gallon tank, hundreds of pounds of live rock - the only reason we know we lost a chromis recently is because we now have five instead of six. It's pretty rare that we actually see the corpse. They're elderly chromis though, so it's not unexpected. And we have a full cleanup crew of hermits and snails, etc, so "circle of life" and all.
txvoodoo 7th-Feb-2012 11:13 pm (UTC)
Exactly my reaction. (Saltwater tanks here. OMG I AM ENSLAVING MY CLOWNFISH AND TANGS)
brookiki 7th-Feb-2012 10:55 pm (UTC)
Remember Sea Kittens? Gawds, who is giving these jokers money?

People who buy into their propaganda that they're the one true protector/helper of animals. And what annoys me is that if PETA had they're way, they'd be unceremoniously dumped into the ocean with no efforts to help them adjust or readjust to the wild or find an appropriate release spot. They would just reenact the last scene of Free Willie.

WWF and local zoos are great places to support. And it's actually surprising how many smaller zoos have great breeding programs. Apparently Knoxville Zoo (despite being the size of a postage stamp) has a very successful Red Panda breeding program. And they even have a thing with Firefox.

And if you want to help domestic animals, donate to local shelters and rescue groups. I rage when I think of what shelters and rescues could do with even a part of the money donated to PETA because people think they'll help dogs and cats.
brookiki 8th-Feb-2012 01:03 am (UTC)
I know! They're so adorable. I go to Cincinnati Zoo a lot and while they haven't had a lot of luck with their Red Panda breeding program, they to a meet the zookeeper thing at various exhibits where you can talk to the keeper and ask questions. The real benefit to it (besides learning, which is always good, of course :)) is that the Red Pandas are usually pretty shy and so you spend all your time just staring at something hidden in a branch, but when the zookeeper (AKA the person who feeds them) is there, they come out and they'll just sit there with the keeper. It's awesome. They also have a March of the Penguins in the winter where they let any penguins that want to go from their indoor enclosure to the outdoor one. So, morning and evening, anyone who wants to can just line up and just walk alongside the penguins.

Um, did I mentioned that I REALLY love going to the zoo?
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