Friday, November 4, 2011

SeaWorld Sued For Slavery

Is this taking the law to extremes?
In the first case of its kind, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), three marine-mammal experts and two former orca trainers have filed a lawsuit, claiming five orca at SeaWorld are being held as slaves, in violation of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution. The orca are Tilikum and Katina (both at SeaWorld Orlando) and Kasatka, Corky, and Ulises (at SeaWorld San Diego).
The filing, the first ever seeking to apply the amendment to animals, seeks their release to their natural habitats or seaside sanctuaries. The 13th Amendment prohibits slavery…without making reference to "person" or any particular class of victim. PETA maintains "slavery is slavery", and it does not depend on the species of the slave any more than it depends on gender, race or religion.
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk: "All these orca were violently seized from the ocean and taken from their families as babies. They are denied freedom and everything else that is natural and important to them...the 13th Amendment prohibits slavery, and these orca are, by definition, slaves." She says orca are intelligent animals who in the wild work cooperatively, form complex relationships, communicate using distinct dialects, and swim up to 100 miles every day. At SeaWorld, they swim in circles in small, barren concrete tanks. Deprived of the opportunity to make conscious choices and to practice their cultural vocal, social, and foraging traditions, they
Tilikum at SeaWorld Orlando,
as seen via Google Earth
perform tricks for rewards of dead fish.
The orca are represented in the lawsuit by PETA, Ric O'Barry (former orca/dolphin trainer and star of the Academy Award–winning doco The Cove), Orca Network founder Howard Garrett, two former SeaWorld trainers, and renowned New Zealand marine biologist/orca expert Dr. Ingrid Visser.
PS: 04 Nov.2011 - A Canadian journo thinks PETA needs to pick its battles better...
PS: 10 Nov.2011 - Meanwhile SeaWorld Orlando plans an expansion... which will obviously involve capturing more wildlife.
PS: 10 Feb.2012 - A judge rules that whales are not 'slaves'.

No comments: