PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has sued SeaWorld using the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution. According to Wikipedia:
PETA claims the killer whales at SeaWorld Parks are slaves. They were kidnapped from the ocean and taken away from their families. They are kept in tanks and are forced to perform every day. Isn’t this slavery?
Seriously? They have lawyers that actually agreed to do this?
Let’s get down to the legalities. First, do animals have legal rights? And, even if they do, can they give permission to a lawyer to represent them? You can’t sue on behalf of someone without their explicit permission. Personally, I think this lawsuit should be thrown out on that principle alone. Or, maybe because the first words of the Constitution are “We the PEOPLE”.
But, if they actually could have won the lawsuit, can you image how big a can of worms this would open? Animals would be considered citizens. There would be no such thing as pets any more. Don’t we hold them captive? Don’t we make them perform, such as sit, stay, fetch? We would all be vegans because farmers would not be allowed to raise cattle, pigs, chickens, etc.
If we applied the 13th amendment to animals, wouldn’t we have to apply the whole Constitution to animals? They would be able to run for office! They would be able to have guns. They would be able to vote. It would be wrong for animals to eat other animals! We’d have to put them on trial for murder!
I love animals, passionately. But, are the Orcas really slaves? They are well taken care of and loved by their trainers. Our pets? They are family. They are loved, cherished, given warm places to live, did I say loved? I don’t in any way consider my babies as slaves. What’s your opinion?