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Old 02-07-2012, 02:24 PM
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Default ‘Enslaved’ killer whales case may mark new frontier in animal rights

When does a slave – and a killer – have the right to go free?

When the killer is an orca, a whale, “enslaved” by SeaWorld and entitled under the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, according to the animal rights activist group PETA, which has succeeded in getting a federal court in California to consider the case.

“This is the first time a court has ever considered whether the 13th Amendment applies to the [whales],” attorney Jeffrey Kerr, the attorney for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said, adding freeing the orcas was ‘the next frontier of civil rights.”

The 13th Amendment – passed in 1865 – abolished slavery.

But U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey Miller didn’t seem convinced the 13th applies to orcas, not matter what the circumstances of their forced captivity. He noted that the five plaintiffs were animals, not people. SeaWorld asked the judge to toss the case out, calling it “completely without merit.” The judge said he would rule soon on whether he would allow the case to proceed.

SeaWorld dismissed the PETA suit as a publicity stunt by a group better known for its naked, blood-splattered anti-fur activists.

Still, the case has created a splash, not just among constitutional scholars.

Tilikum, one of the five orca plaintiffs, isn’t just a crowd-pleaser, and – pending a legal ruling – possibly a slave with rights.

Two years ago, Tilikum, known affectionately as Tilly by his handlers, snatched Dawn Brancheau, a female trainer, dragged her underwater and thrashed her to death in front of a horrified crowd.

SeaWorld rejected calls to euthanize the 30-year-old, eight-metre long whale, originally captured off Iceland and brought from a Canadian marine mammal attraction. “He’s going to be a part of our family for a long time to come,” said Chuck Tompkins, head of animal training for SeaWorld Parks.

Not if PETA’s suit prevails. “Tilikum, Katina, Kasatka, Ulises and Corky have been captive and subjected to treatment that we feel is slavery,” Mr. Kerr said. PETA wants the big black and white whales freed to some sort of a coastal sanctuary, apparently aware they wouldn’t survive in the open ocean.

Even if few experts expect this case to proceed, some believe animal rights will become a new legal frontier.

“Forty years ago I fought for the fundamental right of people to marry the person of their choosing, regardless of race,” said Phil Hirschkop, who won a landmark case on interracial marriage in Virginia. “Now I’m fighting for these orcas’ fundamental rights to be free from enslavement regardless of their species.”

And some ethicists, including Peter Singer, a bioethics professor at Princeton University, are leading proponents of the position that animals – certainly sentient ones – have rights. He has suggested a similar case might be launched against the U.S. Navy for its use of dolphins to detect and trigger anti-ship mines.

“To believe that, because they (dolphins) are members of a different species, we can ignore or discount their interest is speciesism, a form of prejudice against beings who are not “us” that is akin to racism and sexism,” he said.

SeaWorld lawyers contend that if PETA was really concerned about the welfare of the orcas it would seek to make its case under the file an Animal Welfare Act. SeaWorld claims the orcas are well cared for.


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle2329280/
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:50 PM
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Charlie Robespierre Charlie Robespierre is offline
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Spain are way ahead of fascist America in the battle against..um..speciesism.

Spanish parliament to extend rights to apes
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:32 PM
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PETA, making a mockery of often justified grievances towards the mistreatment of animals since inception. Way to undermine your own campaign.
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:54 PM
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Charlie Robespierre Charlie Robespierre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opus131
PETA, making a mockery of often justified grievances towards the mistreatment of animals since inception. Way to undermine your own campaign.

Animals are just their device in which to discharge their very radical form of misanthropy.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:28 PM
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Tilikum the killer Whale has killed before.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJS8npUUX54 
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick & Keith's Corner Shop
Animals are just their device in which to discharge their very radical form of misanthropy.

I agree, militant liberal, PETA types would never dream of buying a poor tramp freezing in street a cup of coffee.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:57 PM
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Once, about 30-35 years ago, I was at a killer whale show in the Bay Area, and they called some teenage girl down to pet the whale from some podium-like deal, and the whale lunged forward, grabbed her in its mouth, and pulled her into the water. The presumably terrified young lady swam up to the surface and was helped out of the pool, and the staff played it off like that had been an intended part of the show, and at the time I bought it, but subsequently I'm pretty sure that wasn't supposed to happen.

In any event, it goes without say (or it ought to) that slavery is, by definition, a thing which can only be imposed upon humans. The 13th Amendment doesn't have anything to say about animal domestication.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregz
I agree, militant liberal, PETA types would never dream of buying a poor tramp freezing in street a cup of coffee.

yeah but people who torture animals in 'scientific' experiments would probably do experiments on these poor tramps, drill holes in their heads, implant microchips, or inter-breed them with dogs.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwerty
yeah but people who torture animals in 'scientific' experiments would probably do experiments on these poor tramps, drill holes in their heads, implant microchips, or inter-breed them with dogs.

Clinical trials with mice and other animals are important as toxicology, controls. Animals are a resource and they do not have rights.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:28 AM
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Jake Featherston Jake Featherston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregz
Clinical trials with mice and other animals are important as toxicology, controls. Animals are a resource and they do not have rights.

I love animals, but it is true that only humans can possess rights.
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