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I Could Have Sworn the Amendents Only Applied to People

Orca-800

Image via Wikipedia

PETA is calling foul play on Seaworld. The popular marine park is being sued by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, on the accusations that the parks’ keeping five star-performer whales in conditions that violate the 13th Amendment ban on slavery.The federal court is being asked to grant constitutional rights to the  whales.

SeaWorld says: suck it—are you dumb? Really we’re talking about this? (hahahahaha no they did not say that AT ALL!! I’m kidding!!) Seaworld has only stated that they find the suit to be baseless. Uninvolved legal experts have remarked that the chances of this suit making any legit traction are pretty slim…What judge is really going to all of a sudden deem the original intent of the authors of the amendment as desiring to protect animals. Animal cruelty is awful, but the constitution is clearly not where animal rights and protection clauses were defined. But you know, PETA is all about rallying up public opinion and encouraging thoughts and discussion in dramatic formats.

“The suit, which PETA says it will file Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Diego, hinges on the fact that the 13th Amendment, while prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude, does not specify that only humans can be victims.

Jeff Kerr, PETA’s general counsel, says his five-member legal team — which spent 18 months preparing the case — believes it’s the first federal court suit seeking constitutional rights for members of an animal species.

The plaintiffs are the five orcas, Tilikum and Katina based at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla., and Corky, Kasatka and Ulises at SeaWorld San Diego. Tilikum, a six-ton male, made national news in February 2010 when he grabbed a trainer at the close of a performance and dragged her underwater until she drowned.

The lawsuit asks the court to order the orcas released to the custody of a legal guardian who would find a “suitable habitat” for them.

“By any definition, these orcas are slaves — kidnapped from their homes, kept confined, denied everything that’s natural to them and forced to perform tricks for SeaWorld’s profit,” said Kerr. “The males have their sperm collected, the females are artificially inseminated and forced to bear young which are sometimes shipped away.””

SeaWorld’s more in depth response was to state that they are one of the world’s most respected zoological institutions, who holds no higher priority than the welfare of their  animals.  Additionally their statement outlined the many laws and regulations they follow, their company’s global efforts to promote conservation of marine mammals, and the facts that the orcas’ performances give the public a better appreciation and understanding of these animals.

For a complete breakdown of this case, you can read up on the deets in the article  “PETA lawsuit seeks to expand animal rights”

I respect PETA, and I love killer whales. Without SeaWorld I’d never have gotten to see Shamu in real life, so here’s to hoping this matter gets straighten out…

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About maggie.

Maggie Barnes is a nonprofit and for profit business content specialist / social media consultant; and social sciences web writer interested in everything from psychology and sexuality, to technology, race, and economics. She is passionate about good communication and information accessibility.

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