Friday, November 4, 2011

Free the Sea World Five!

Objectifying women for the sake of animal rights since 1980!

PETA lawsuit seeks to expand animal rights
By DAVID CRARY, Associated Press – Oct 25, 2011

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A federal court is being asked to grant constitutional rights to five killer whales who perform at marine parks — an unprecedented and perhaps quixotic legal action that is nonetheless likely to stoke an ongoing, intense debate at America's law schools over expansion of animal rights.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is accusing the SeaWorld parks of keeping five star-performer whales in conditions that violate the 13th Amendment ban on slavery. SeaWorld depicted the suit as baseless. ...
The suit, which PETA says it will file Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Diego, hinges on the fact that the 13th Amendment, while prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude, does not specify that only humans can be victims. ...
Overall, under prevailing U.S. legal doctrine, animals under human control are considered property, not entities with legal standing of their own. They are afforded some protections through animal-cruelty laws, endangered-species regulations and the federal Animal Welfare Act, but are not endowed with a distinct set of rights.
However, the field of animal law has evolved steadily, with courses taught at scores of law schools. Many prominent lawyers and academics have joined in serious discussion about expanding animal rights.
Rutgers University law professor Gary Francione, for example, contends that animals deserve the fundamental right to not be treated as property. Law professor David Favre of Michigan State University has proposed a new legal category called "living property" as a step toward providing rights for some animals. ...
Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, who in past writings has proposed extending legal standing to chimpanzees [but not to unborn children], also expressed doubt that the courts were ready to apply the 13th Amendment to animals. But he welcomed the PETA lawsuit as a potentially valuable catalyst for "national reflection and deliberation" about humans' treatment of animals.
"People may well look back at this lawsuit and see in it a perceptive glimpse into a future of greater compassion for species other than our own," Tribe wrote in an email. [That ought to make you sit up and take notice. The logical complement to treating animals like people is that soon people are treated no better than animals.]
Tribe noted that some Americans might find it bizarre or insulting to equate any treatment of animals to the sufferings of human slavery. But he argued that the 13th Amendment was written broadly, to address unforeseen circumstances, and could legitimately be applied to animals. ... [This is very typical of Tribe's constitutional philosophy; he's been an archexponent of judicial activism since before Judge Robert Bork's Senate confirmation hearing in 1988.]
And so PETA retains its record of lampooning animal-rights activism better than any collection of comedians you could put together on one stage. As for Lawrence Tribe et al., how can anyone better than they expose the defectiveness of the American legal profession's moral compass?

I'm all against animal cruelty; I just don't consider killing them for food "cruelty" so long as it's done as quickly and painlessly as possible. Humans have been wearing animal skins for warmth since we developed opposable thumbs and began using flint tools; while for those of us in the modern industrial world no longer need to do so, I don't object to it in principle. After all, making sheepskin and leather coats is better than just letting these byproducts of the slaughterhouse go to waste.

When PETA, ALF and ELF all concede that killing an unborn human child is cruel and wrong, THEN – and not a moment before – they can lecture me about eating animals not of my own species. Until that day comes, this is what PETA means to me: