While I am all for protecting and treating animals with care, the folks at PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) continue to show what a radical agenda they have, in essence, minimalizing their ability to do anything productive.
In their latest attention-getting media campaign, PETA was slated on Wednesday to file a lawsuit seeking to extend constitutional rights to captive whales, claiming performers such as SeaWorld’s Shamu are essentially slaves. There are several SeaWorld parks in the nation, including one in San Diego.
The lawsuit — the first looking to apply the 13th Amendment to animals — labels the five orcas as plaintiffs and demands their release.
“All five of these orcas were violently seized from the ocean and taken from their families as babies,” Ingrid Newkirk, PETA’s president said in comments to the media. “They are denied freedom and everything else that is natural and important to them while kept in small concrete tanks and reduced to performing stupid tricks. The 13th Amendment prohibits slavery, and these orcas are, by definition, slaves.”
According to SeaWorld, the lawsuit would be a “baseless” publicity stunt and offensive to those the amendment was written to protect.
SeaWorld statement in response to PETA lawsuit:
“SeaWorld has been informed that it is the target of an animal activist lawsuit challenging the public’s right to enjoy and learn more about marine mammals. It is not appropriate to comment on a suit that has not yet been filed and that we have not seen, but this effort to extend the Thirteenth Amendment’s solemn protections beyond human beings is baseless and in many ways offensive. SeaWorld is among the world’s most respected zoological institutions. There is no higher priority than the welfare of the animals entrusted to our care and no facility sets higher standards in husbandry, veterinary care and enrichment than SeaWorld. Our parks are fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and display marine mammals under legal permit from the U.S. government. SeaWorld is required to comply with an array of laws concerning the care of its animals, including two federal laws that affect the care of marine mammals: the Animal Welfare Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. Having these animals in a zoological setting serves an invaluable educational purpose and makes direct contributions to species conservation. PETA has once again showed that it prefers publicity stunts to the hard work of caring for, rescuing and helping animals. Today, while PETA was issuing news releases comparing the care for animals in zoological institutions to the abhorrent institution of human slavery, SeaWorld San Diego was returning a rehabilitated green sea turtle to the wild. That animal is one of more than 20,000 rescued in SeaWorld’s long history.”
-David Koontz, communications director, SeaWorld
Once again, PETA is showing how radical and out of touch its beliefs are from the mainstream.
Here’s hoping that our courts do not waste the time and money on such ridiculous matters.