[…] A bit of news from a California federal court will cause you to shout along with Charlton Heston that “It’s a madhouse! A madhouse!”
The court is going “to decide for the first time in US history whether amusement park animals are protected by the same constitutional rights as humans.”
The issue is the result of a lawsuit that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) filed in a “San Diego court on behalf of five orcas named Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka and Ulises. . . . PETA argues that continuing the whales’ ‘employment’ at SeaWorld violates the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits slavery.”
Jeffrey Kerr, the attorney representing the five whales, said:
“For the first time in our nation’s history, a federal court heard arguments as to whether living, breathing, feeling beings have rights and can be enslaved simply because they happen to not have been born human. By any definition these orcas have been enslaved here.”
Quit your ‘blubbering,’ Mr. Kerr, lest when next you eat a steak, you’re charged with bovinicide. Or at least as an accessory. At any event, Captain Ahab…I mean U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller…has ruled against the lawyered-up cetaceans:
“As ‘slavery’ and ‘involuntary servitude’ are uniquely human activities, as those terms have been historically and contemporaneously applied, there is simply no basis to construe the Thirteenth Amendment as applying to non-humans.”
Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka and Ulises were unavailable for comment.