By reader acclaim: “PETA Sues SeaWorld for ‘Enslaving’ Killer Whales”

by Walter Olson on October 26, 2011

“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 action may further an “ongoing, intense debate at America’s law schools over expansion of animal rights.” [AP; related on that academic background, including the role of star lawprofs like Cass Sunstein and Larry Tribe, here, here, here, and here]


1 Richard Nieporent 10.26.11 at 11:50 am

SeaWorld’s response to the lawsuit should be that these “Killer Whales” have been sentenced to life without parole. :)

2 Ryan 10.26.11 at 12:14 pm

I’m trying to figure out how PETA’s “five-member legal team” could possibly have “spent 18 months preparing the case”

3 marco73 10.26.11 at 1:42 pm

So killer whales are now slaves?
Kind of insulting to the decendents of the brave men and women who gave their lives to free the human slaves in America, and the brave men and women around the world who are trying to stop human slavery today.
Keep up that ongoing, intense debate.

4 Bob Lipton 10.26.11 at 3:30 pm

They bill by the hour.


5 OBQuiet 10.26.11 at 4:04 pm

Next Up: PETA calls for elimination of Service Animals.

6 Smart Dude 10.26.11 at 5:37 pm

In other news, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is accusing the Helen Keller Foundation of keeping service dogs for the blind in conditions that violate the 13th Amendment ban on slavery.

And in even more news, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is accusing Terminex of mistreating termites , cockroaches, and bed bugs in conditions that violate the 8th Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

7 John Burgess 10.26.11 at 7:12 pm

You know, within my adult lifetime one could get whale steaks at a restaurant at Dupont Circle in DC.

Now, I’m holding out for PETA steaks…

8 John David Galt 10.26.11 at 11:08 pm

With every leftist city and state in the country passing stupid animal-rightist laws, it would be nice to have a citable legal precedent that plainly says animals are not people.

Those who think they are should move to India, where the law (like the majority faith) presumably says they are.

9 Doug 10.27.11 at 8:37 am

Oh, no. I am screwed. Do you know how many gold fish have died in my house?

10 Mark Biggar 10.28.11 at 11:54 am

Can we sue Peta members for enslaving their eye mites and intestinal bacteria?

11 Ron Miller 10.30.11 at 4:01 pm

Everyone is falling over themselves to try to make a good joke. No one succeeded.

I don’t think whales are covered by the 13th Amendment. But if the whales are as miserable as some claim, wouldn’t it be a good idea to consider whether these whale shows and such are a good idea?

I don’t think lawyers are searching for a good “animals are not people” cite. I think that is already out there.

But, to be sure, if you think some level of concern for these whales is ridiculous, you are on the wrong side of history. Because, like it or not, we are going to be treating animals very differently 20 years from now.

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