So…do critters have the exact same rights as people? Well, those wonderful morons folks at PETA seem to think so. Taking a break from crusading to change the name of fish to “sea kitten” in an effort to keep people from eating them, they decided to take on Sea World in a court of law:
A California federal court is to decide for the first time in US history whether amusement park animals are protected by the same constitutional rights as humans.
The whales perform water acrobatics at the SeaWorld amusement parks in San Diego and in Orlando, Florida.
PETA argues that continuing the whales’ “employment” at SeaWorld violates the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits slavery.
District Judge Jeffrey Miller heard arguments in the complaint Monday and reviewed the response from SeaWorld, which asked that the lawsuit be dismissed. His ruling is expected to come later.
The suit, filed in October 2011, asked that the court declare that the orcas are “held in slavery and/or involuntary servitude by defendants in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
“It’s a new frontier in civil rights,” said Jeff Kerr, PETA general counsel, who described the hearing as a “historic day.”
“Slavery does not depend on the species of the slave any more than it depends on race, gender or ethnicity,” he argued. “Coercion, degradation and subjugation characterize slavery and these orcas have endured all three.”
The complaint says the five killer whales are represented by their “friends” at PETA, which include three former killer whale trainers, a marine biologist and the founder of an organization that seeks to protect orcas.
The complaint demands that the court “appoint a legal guardian to effectuate plaintiffs’ transfer from defendants’ facilities to a suitable habitat in accordance with each plaintiff’s individual needs and best interests.”
Of course, as human freaking beings are losing their rights all over the place in this nation, it’s good to know that some folks have their head screwed on right and say “Screw my rights! Let’s free some whales!” After all, your typical PETA crusader has no problem taking away your rights…just so long as you don’t eat something with a face.
For what it’s worth, Sea World is fighting this case and has moved for the case to be dismissed. Let’s hope they don’t succeed, because if they do, Fido and Fluffy might be filing a lawsuit against you next.
Hat tip to Reason’s Hit & Run.