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PETA Sues SeaWorld For Enslaving Orcas

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plans to file a lawsuit today seeking to extend constitutional rights to captive whales on grounds that performers such as SeaWorld's Shamu are essentially slaves.

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Above: "Shamu" performs in front of an audience at Sea World.

The lawsuit -- the first seeking to apply the 13th Amendment to animals -- names the five orcas as plaintiffs and demands their release.

A news conference to discuss the action is set for 11 a.m. at PETA offices in Los Angeles.

"All five of these orcas were violently seized from the ocean and taken from their families as babies,'' said Ingrid Newkirk, PETA's president.

"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.''

SeaWorld said the lawsuit would be a "baseless'' publicity stunt and offensive to those the amendment was written to protect.

"SeaWorld has been informed that it is the target of an animal activist lawsuit challenging the public right to enjoy and learn more about marine mammals,'' officials with the marine park stated. "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 13th Amendment's solemn protections beyond human beings is baseless and in many ways offensive.''

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Avatar for user 'steveb'

steveb | October 26, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

If corporations have them, why not whales?

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Avatar for user 'tumblewind'

tumblewind | October 26, 2011 at 1:26 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

We have no right to abduct any uninjured sea mammal. Sea World may have work for the Orcas (and other ocean denizens), but we had work for Africans, too. Was that right? Science is showing us more & more often how smart and emotional these animals are, and how they & their families grieve when a pod loses a beloved member. Would they do this to us if they could? We don't know, but I think not.

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Avatar for user 'Ih8peta'

Ih8peta | October 26, 2011 at 5:56 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

PeTA are a bunch of Puppy and Kitten MURDERING Terrorist! They tried to remove Service Animals away from the Disabled, Hectorized Obese People in Jacsonville Florida by calling them "Whales" and forcing them to go on a Vegan Diet. Deprive the Iniut People Of Canada from seal hunting (which is a way life for them!) forcing schoolchildren with propaganda including graphic comic books, and funding other Eco Terrorist groups such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). It is time to stop PeTA...NOW!

See for more details.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | October 26, 2011 at 6:55 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Ih8peta, you are welcome to your opinions, but you are making some pretty outrageous accusations, I suggest you post some credible sources to back-up your claims otherwise you will simply appear a crazy person with an axe to grind.

The web-site you provided is NOT credible, it is a propaganda outlet for people against animal rights.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | October 26, 2011 at 9:14 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Sea World is nothing more than a circus for sea mammals.

What irritates me is that they pretend to be something they aren't.

They are a playground that imprisons and exploits animals by housing them in small pools and forcing them to perform circus tricks at whim for people for profit.

It's disgusting, and it's made even more disgusting by Sea World trying to market themselves as an "educational" or "marine environmental" organization.

It's not.

It's a glorified circus and any insufficient attempts at education or environmentalism or marine biology play second fiddle to their profiteering off of forced animal tricks.

I haven't read PETA's legal complaint, so I don;t have a specific opinion on the legality of their challenge and the route they are taking with respect to the 13th Amendment of the Constitution, but I do know I have been troubled by Sea World's activities for the decade I have lived in San Diego.

I went there once a decade ago, and swore I would never go back - and I haven't.

At the very least, I applaud PETA for bringing attention to this issue.

If we woke up tomorrow and Sea World's front gate was padlocked with a sign saying they closed down and all their animals were taken to animal sanctuaries, our city would be a better place for it.

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