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PETA Sues to End Killer Whale Slavery

Image: Irina Silvestrova/Shutterstock

Intelligent beings captured and forced to live in tiny space, then made to perform daily to entertain the masses. Sounds like slavery? PETA thinks so and they're suing ... on behalf of killer whales against SeaWorld:

It is reportedly the first time a US court has heard legal arguments over whether animals should enjoy the same constitutional protections as humans.

SeaWorld's legal team said the case was a waste of time and resources.

The marine park's lawyer, Theodore Shaw, told the court in San Diego: "Neither orcas nor any other animal were included in the 'We the people'... when the Constitution was adopted."

He said that if the case were successful, it could have implications not just on how other marine parks or zoos operate, but even on the police use of sniffer dogs to detect bombs and drugs.

Peta says the killer whales are treated like slaves for being forced to live in tanks and perform daily at the SeaWorld parks in California and Florida.


What about the cows we raise in captivity to maturity and then kill, butcher and eat, make coats and shoes with? So do we have to all become vegetarians?

I would also state that if it wasn't for zoos, some species would be extinct wouldn't they?
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I thought the reason the zoo management were not letting it happen is because the place they want to send the elephants is not accredited. They are part of a group of zoos that have high standards and participate in breeding programs and lending animals. They were concerned that shipping the elephants off to a place that the other zoos disprove of might get then kicked out of the program as well as the safety of the elephants. The zoo was looking into a few places to see how the facilities were then the city just said Bob Barker says this and we are doing it.

I am going to have to keep an eye on this though because if the whales are leaving I want to get a chance to see t em again.
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Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years. Whales on the other hand are taken from their home and forced into a confined space, made to learn tricks in exchange for food, and exploited for our entertainment. So I don't equate the two. The question really comes down to zoos in general, mass captivity. There are many arguments for and against... I feel that zoos are pivotal in establishing a connection with the diverse species we share the planet with. It is up to the individual to take what they will from the experience, and do what they will accordingly.

At our Metro Zoo here in Toronto for example, there is a campaign underway supported by city councilors and the public to move aging elephants down south to a retirement sanctuary, in light of the deaths of 4 elephants within the past 4 years or so. They aren't meant to live in this climate, and the public is willing to forgo gawking rights for the well-being of these awesome mammals. Bob Barker is even willing to pay the 100s of thousand$ to move them! Now if only the zoo management would just let it happen...
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As much as I hate whales (I have an irrational fear - don't ask) and as much as I hate PETA, I agree. Whales are too damn big to be kept in captivity for our amusement. They need to be out in the ocean where the Inuit and the Japanese can kill them (for food, of course).
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"He said that if the case were successful, it could have implications not just on how other marine parks or zoos operate, but even on the police use of sniffer dogs to detect bombs and drugs."

And indeed any other working animal. Or pet. Or domesticated animal of any sort.

Better set the goldfish free in the local river before PETA sue.

Let's be serious, any credibility PETA may have had just left the building.
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Peta, how do you know this whale is not having the time of it's life? Humans strive for this kind of notoriety, how do you know the whales do not have the same drive to be in the spot light? I say that this is the whale the others would watch on whale TMZ if they only had the chance. That is what peta should be doing; working on the under water whale tv so the others can feel better about themselves when this whales celebrity marriage fails!
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Apparently there is a great deal of ignorance about whales. Among other things they are sentient beings. Whales can suffer fear, pain, etc as well as feel joy, pleasure, play, learn, teach, etc. Whales are self-aware and have social structures and cultures. It's easy to joke, but check out the science and the jokes fall flat and one gets a deeper understanding of "why" PETA is doing the law suit.

“Every animal knows more than you do”
Native American proverb
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Yeah, while slavery is never a good thing, I like to look at it this way...

There was a time when humans considered ANY animal with sharp teeth to be kinda like The Terminator: "Can't be reasoned with, can't be bargained with, and absolutely will not stop, until you are dead!"
We'd run away or hunt them down and kill them on sight.

The training of such animals for circuses and aquatic parks demonstrated that there is a core gentleness within many of them that can be cultivated and developed, which we otherwise wouldn't even know about.
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Logical conclusions we can make from PETA's position that animals are guaranteed the same rights humans are:

1) Seeing-eye dogs and all pets for that matter should be illegal as they have been enslaved without their consent.

2) No new houses can be constructed without the written or verbal consent of all the creatures who currently inhabit the plot of land.

3) You get head lice. Too bad, the human scalp is their natural environment and necessary for their pursuit of happiness.

4) If a cougar kills a deer, the deers next of kin has a right to redress the murder.

The good folks at PETA are misguided idealists who lack the facility for critical thought.
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And once again, PeTA gets a ton of free publicity for their cause. The people who have said "a dog is a chicken is a boy" can now add "is a whale." And to the list of those protected under the Constitution. I think whales should be included, and given the right to vote (but I would not give them the right to keep and bear arms, reserving that for humans and our most trusted allies, the dogs).
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Logical conclusions stemming from PETA's position:

1) Seeing-eye dogs should be illegal.

2) If animals are protected by the Constitution, then when a cougar kills a deer, the cougar should get some hard time for the murder (perhaps behind bars in a zoo?).

3) If someone wants to build a new house, sorry, ants and a lot of other creatures already inhabit that land. They must willingly relocate.

4) If someone gets head lice, well, learn to live with them. The human noggin is their natural habitat.
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I think someone needs to inform SeaWorld's attorney, Theodore Shaw, that when the Constitution was adopted neither Blacks, nor American Indians, nor women, nor men without property were included in "We the People..."
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I agree with anonymous. PETA is making themselves look ridiculous, which takes away credibility from anyone else who wants to protect animals' interests. It also is disrespectful to people who went through real battles to end slavery.

That being said, I do agree that whales don't belong in captivity. They are large creatures that are known to travel hundreds (even thousands) of miles in a year. They are also intelligent animals that most likely know that they are in captivity. While there are cases of injured whales being rescued, and not being healthy enough to be rehabilitated to ocean life, the majority of these animals belong in their natural habitat.
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I think we will all agree that Edison torturing and killing elephants by electrocution was a dick move of massive proportions worthy of bringing an organisation with the name "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals" into being. But is _this_ really how they feel they best can influence the human relationship with our fellow beasts? They surely have a few screws loose.
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