Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

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Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:45 pm UTC

A US federal judge is hearing a case launched by PETA on behalf of five orcas at SeaWorld. PETA claims that conditions in SeaWorld constitute slavery of the orcas, and that they deserve 13th Amendment protection.

From Huffington Post:

Spoiler:
SAN DIEGO -- A federal judge for the first time in U.S. history heard arguments Monday in a case that could determine whether animals enjoy the same constitutional protection against slavery as human beings.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller called the hearing in San Diego after Sea World asked the court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that names five orcas as plaintiffs in the case.

PETA claims the captured killer whales are treated like slaves for being forced to live in tanks and perform daily at its parks in San Diego and Orlando, Fla.

"This case is on the next frontier of civil rights," said PETA's attorney Jeffrey Kerr, representing the five orcas.

Sea World's attorney Theodore Shaw called the lawsuit a waste of the court's time and resources. He said it defies common sense and goes against 125 years of case law applied to the Constitution's 13th amendment that prohibits slavery between humans.

"With all due respect, the court does not have the authority to even consider this question," Shaw said, adding later: "Neither orcas nor any other animal were included in the `We the people' ... when the Constitution was adopted."

Miller listened to both sides for an hour before announcing that he would take the case under advisement and issue his ruling at a later date. The judge raised doubts a court can allow animals to be plaintiffs in a lawsuit, and he questioned how far the implications of a favorable ruling could reach, pointing out the military's use of dolphins and scientists' experiments on whales in the wild.

Kerr acknowledged PETA faces an uphill battle but he said he was hopeful after Monday's hearing.

"This is an historic day," Kerr 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."

The issue is not about whether the animals have been subjected to abuse, the defense said. If the court were to grant orcas constitutional rights, Shaw warned the ruling would have profound implications that could impact everything from the way the U.S. government uses dogs to sniff out bombs and drugs to how zoos and aquariums operate.

"We're talking about hell unleashed," he said.

PETA said a ruling in its favor would only help to protect the orcas in the entertainment industry and other cases involving animals would have to be decided on their own merits.

Kerr said Sea World employees are in violation of the 13th amendment because their conduct is enslaving an intelligent, highly social species that suffers from its confinements in ways similar to what humans would experience.

Brushing animals off as property is the same argument that was used against African-Americans and women before their constitutional rights were protected, PETA says.

Shaw pointed out that argument does not translate because both women and African-Americans are people for which the Constitution was written to protect.

Miller did not specify when he would issue his ruling.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby JBJ » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:09 pm UTC

If they receive 13th amendment protection, does this mean that they'll receive additional the benefits of the rest of the constitution as well? Orcas have a comparable lifespan to humans, so I'm assuming they'll be able to vote as well once they turn 18 (26th amendment). Or bear arms (2nd Amend.). Holy shit, Shamu with an Uzi. To the Photoshop!
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Nordic Einar » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:11 pm UTC

I know one of the lawyers involved in this case personally and work with him regularly in D.C. for trans rights stuff. My life has become surreal.

(Not the lawyer quoted in the article, however)
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Chen » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:24 pm UTC

Uh why would this stop with Orcas? There are millions of dogs and cats that are locked in homes, why would they not be considered slaves? Or any cattle, chicken or other food production animal. I know PETA is batshit crazy, but I start to lose faith in any type of legal system where a judge can be convinced this is worth the time and money its going to cost.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Vaniver » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:27 pm UTC

JBJ wrote:If they receive 13th amendment protection, does this mean that they'll receive additional the benefits of the rest of the constitution as well?
Nope. For those interested:

13th Amendment to the US Constitution wrote:Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The amendment as written does not refer specifically to persons (like the 14th) or citizens (like the 15th); it just says "no slavery."

It's an interesting gambit, because if it works, that would outlaw owning work animals. It seems unlikely to work, because all the judge has to do is say "slavery refers to human slavery" and the case is done.

It's also worth noting that the judiciary has been very willing to not apply the 13th Amendment against the government. The military draft doesn't count (apparently being male is a crime), and neither does community service as a graduation requirement (apparently being in high school is a crime). So the dolphins trained by the military would still be able to serve; we just need to start issuing selective service numbers to dolphins.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby clockworkmonk » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:47 pm UTC

but that would only apply to male dolphins at least 18 years of age. and considering the average lifespan of dolphins...
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Griffin » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:01 pm UTC

Well I don't see how community service reqs are any more slavery than ANY sort of graduation reqs - you do the time and the work they want or you don't get the certificate, that's how school works. Now, combine that with some of the proposed legislation I've seen that doesn't let kids drop out, and NOW you're talking about involuntary servitude. Filling out tax forms would honestly be closer than requiring community service, since that's a lifelong commitment to filling out arbitrary government paperwork for their benefit, not your own.

The draft at least seems clear cut as a violation though, I really don't know how they get away with the concept.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby omgryebread » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:13 pm UTC

We have a draft because nations have always had involuntary military service. The Constitution is not a freestanding document to be interpreted in a vacuum, it's interpreted with tools provided by various schools of legal and philosophical thought. Most notable is English Common Law, of course. The writers of the thirteenth amendment and judges of that time (and now) understand a draft as not slavery by virtue of it not being slavery.

As Vaniver said, the judge can say "slavery refers to human slavery." There is nothing in the document that would allow him to make that qualification, but it's his outside knowledge and views that allow it.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby clockworkmonk » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:17 pm UTC

excerpts from the US constitution, article 1, section 8 wrote:To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;


that covers why the draft isn't illegal because of the 13th amendment, as the draft isn't slavery.

there was a case (linked here) from 1918 reaffirms this after the 13th amendment was passed.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Griffin » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:31 pm UTC

You've got a couple flaws in your argument there.

One - yes, that part of the constitution clearly gives the government power to compel a draft, barring the 13th amendment. However, the 13th amendment both exists and explicitly bans forced labour.

"You are allowed to do this, in general, but not to do this specific thing" is not really uncommon in law, and the amendements are a pretty straightforward case of rules established to modify the powers granted by the constitution in various ways and apply various limits (or in some cases expansions).

So you can't say that has anything at all to do with why the draft isn't illegal under the 13th amendment - it's just not relevant. Even if it EXPLICITLY said "the government can enslave folks", the 13th amendment would still make it illegal to enslave folks (by virtue of being an amendment, an overruling modification of the existing document).

Second, no one said it was slavery, so that's a strawman. But the 13th doesn't JUST ban slavery - it bans involuntary servitude. And the draft is very much involuntary servitude. Even if we were arguing it was slavery, nothing you say in that sentence justifies your conclusion that it is not.

Finally, the link to the case seems to be based on "We need it so its okay", and while a pretty powerful argument in its own right (coming from an actual judgement), there have been plenty of times where such judgements were completely overturned and acts later declared unconstitutional.

I think its obvious to everyone that the government has decided it CAN have the draft - that doesn't mean it should, or even that the constitution actually allows it to.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Dark567 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:39 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote: "slavery refers to human slavery."
I think there is an argument to be made that there isn't any other kind. Slavery is defined as people being property, animals generally don't meet the definition of people.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:42 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
omgryebread wrote: "slavery refers to human slavery."


I think there is an argument to be made that there isn't any other kind. Slavery is defined as people being property, animals generally don't meet the definition of people.


You don't need to be a human to be a person: Corporations, for example, are considered persons under the law.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Chen » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:00 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:You don't need to be a human to be a person: Corporations, for example, are considered persons under the law.


True, though I still don't think animals qualify so the point is somewhat moot.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:18 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:You don't need to be a human to be a person: Corporations, for example, are considered persons under the law.

Now there's a thought that could lead to some fairly delightful silliness. Would owning shares of an incorporated business count as chattel slavery? Really, this is the sort of thing that I would think that one would have to apply some "common" sense to. As much as I am not a lawyer, I have a really hard time imaging the judge not ruling in favor of SeaWorld, probably quite scathingly.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby omgryebread » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:25 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
omgryebread wrote: "slavery refers to human slavery."
I think there is an argument to be made that there isn't any other kind. Slavery is defined as people being property, animals generally don't meet the definition of people.
Again though, that illustrates how the constitution is inevitably interpreted within an exterior frame of reference. The meaning of slavery (like the meaning of every word) is not a constant, and it's not defined within the constitution. Also, to give credit where credit is due, I was quoting Vaniver there.


Griffin wrote: or even that the constitution actually allows it to.
The Constitution doesn't allow or disallow anything. It cannot make decisions on it's own. Everything it "allows" is decided under the rubric of the constitution, interpreted via judges, who in turn apply a specific judicial philosophy to it.

For example, I could interpret article 1 section 8 to mean that Congress's power to raise money is separate from their power to provide and maintain a Navy, and that Congress is obligated to actually build the ships themselves. This is applying a system that is unreasonable English usage though. Applying a system of reasonable English makes it clear that Congress can raise money to provide a Navy.


This is part of the foundation of the original intent and the living document schools of judicial interpretation. It's also acknowledged in textualism, which looks at what the statute reasonably means. (Reasonableness in interpreting language being an outside system applied to the text.) The only school of thought that nominally rejects that there is influence outside the text is strict constructionism, which (aside from being wrong, in that they do still use outside systems, it's impossible to avoid) it's not clear that anyone actually supports. When people name strict constructionists, they tend to first name Scalia, who has actually said that strict constructionism is stupid.


So basically, an originalist would say the writers of the 13th didn't mean to ban a draft/SeaWorld, a judge following the living document school of thought could rule either way, a strict constructionist would probably have to rule against a draft, (unclear about SeaWorld), and a textualist could also rule either way, based on whether they think a reasonable use of the word "involuntary servitude" includes the draft.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Vaniver » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:53 am UTC

omgryebread wrote:For example, I could interpret article 1 section 8 to mean that Congress's power to raise money is separate from their power to provide and maintain a Navy, and that Congress is obligated to actually build the ships themselves.
I am delighted by this interpretation.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:08 am UTC

It would be a rather wonderful way to make our military smaller...

-------------
It seems to me that this is probably more a publicity stunt by PETA to try to showcase conditions for the animals at SeaWorld.

Also, am I the only one that constantly reads the title as "Court To Decide Whether Orcs Can Be Enslaved" ? I always get confused, because orcs don't exist, until I re-read it.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Vaniver » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:36 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Also, am I the only one that constantly reads the title as "Court To Decide Whether Orcs Can Be Enslaved" ? I always get confused, because orcs don't exist, until I re-read it.
I did that at first as well, but I was confused because it's obvious orcs should be enslaved.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:21 am UTC

I am not bothered by extending certain rights to animals which can be proved sentient, like dolphins, chimpanzees, or elephants. Are orcas self-aware?
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:24 am UTC

It's relatively generally considered that the Constitution applies to Humans only.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:46 am UTC

Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:I am not bothered by extending certain rights to animals which can be proved sentient, like dolphins, chimpanzees, or elephants. Are orcas self-aware?


Orcas are a type of dolphin, so I'm guessing that they are self-aware, yes.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Aikanaro » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:58 am UTC

Definitely been reading too much Steven Brust lately; When I read this, the first thing that came to mind was the House of the Orca. I suspect the possibility of them being enslaved might please Vlad.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:59 am UTC

On another note, if this succeeds, I will use the chain of logic for the purpose of nominating a 35 year old Orca for Senator.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:04 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:It's relatively generally considered that the Constitution applies to Humans only.

Didn't Peru recently try to grant 'Mother Nature' the same rights as a human being?

I hope I'm not alone when I say I'm annoyed by these legal stunts by idiots utilizing knee jerk reactions. Oh, so Orca's can't be enslaved? Fisherman should start suing Orca's for damages or losses to their hauls.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby yurell » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:22 am UTC

Orcas declare bankruptcy? And how do you go from 'shouldn't be kept in captivity' to 'should be held legally responsible for their actions'?
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:23 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:I did that at first as well, but I was confused because it's obvious orcs should be enslaved.

That's crazy, only bugbears and below (intellectually) should be enslaved. Once you enslave orcs, you're on a slippery slope for enslaving half-orcs!

Izawwlgood wrote:I hope I'm not alone when I say I'm annoyed by these legal stunts by idiots utilizing knee jerk reactions.

Eh, PETA might be crazy (perhaps even really crazy), but I'm not sure idiots or knee-jerk really applies to them. I'm going to stick with my earlier idea that they know they have no chance of winning this case, but are doing it to bring attention to an issue they think needs it. In this case, it would presumably be the conditions for animals at SeaWorld.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Save Point » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:32 am UTC

Meh, just a standing case right now. Doubt they'll ever make it past that hurdle to the merits.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Diadem » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:33 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:I always get confused, because orcs don't exist, until I re-read it.

Orcs don't exist until you re-read it? Well in that case better not re-read it!
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby folkhero » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:04 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
Vaniver wrote:I did that at first as well, but I was confused because it's obvious orcs should be enslaved.

That's crazy, only bugbears and below (intellectually) should be enslaved. Once you enslave orcs, you're on a slippery slope for enslaving half-orcs!

I thought it was pretty well agreed-upon that it's acceptable to enslave anyone with at least 3/8 orc blood. Or is that a regional thing that I only though was widely agreed-upon?
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:48 pm UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:It's relatively generally considered that the Constitution applies to Humans only.


Except in the case of corporations.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby lutzj » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:59 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
Djehutynakht wrote:It's relatively generally considered that the Constitution applies to Humans only.


Except in the case of corporations.


Corporations are made up of humans. Orcas can't incorporate either.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:55 pm UTC

yurell wrote:Orcas declare bankruptcy? And how do you go from 'shouldn't be kept in captivity' to 'should be held legally responsible for their actions'?

Because the grounds by which PETA is claiming Orcas should not be 'enslaved' is that the Constitution bars the enslavement of people; ergo, they are trying to make a case that Orcas are, or have the same legal status as, people.
Sorry, you think it's reasonable for a non-human entity (ALL the Orcas!) to declare bankruptcy, but not be held legally responsible for their actions? In all honesty, I think your refusal to connect the two is a larger leap than my linking 'cannot be enslaved because granted human rights' and 'held responsible for actions'.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Aikanaro » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:56 pm UTC

yurell wrote:Orcas declare bankruptcy? And how do you go from 'shouldn't be kept in captivity' to 'should be held legally responsible for their actions'?

You are SO not helping me keep this separate from Dragaera in my mind....
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby yurell » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:08 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Because the grounds by which PETA is claiming Orcas should not be 'enslaved' is that the Constitution bars the enslavement of people; ergo, they are trying to make a case that Orcas are, or have the same legal status as, people.


I didn't think the constitution of the United States stated that you had to be a person to be protected from slavery. Besides, I think they know they have a snowball's chance in hell to succeed, and this is just a publicity stunt in order to draw attention to the living standards of these highly intelligent cetaceans. It certainly serves to drag the public eye towards places these animals are kept.

Izawwlgood wrote:Sorry, you think it's reasonable for a non-human entity (ALL the Orcas!) to declare bankruptcy, but not be held legally responsible for their actions?


No I don't, it was a tongue-in-cheek response to your stupid hypothetical wherein fishermen are suing animals because they're not being allowed to capture and kill other animals freely.

Aikanaro wrote:Remind me again why PETA doesn't go and preach to animals in the wild about how eating eachother is wrong?


Because a) it wouldn't work, b) PETA are an insane eco-terrorist group that have demonstrated willingness to injure humans over minor perceived-violations of animal rights, and it's a lot easier to cow people via threats to their safety than it is to get the animals to stop eating each-other, c) it's not necessarily a given that it's wrong for animals to eat each other, and d) PETA are a bunch of hypocrites.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Vaniver » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:11 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Because the grounds by which PETA is claiming Orcas should not be 'enslaved' is that the Constitution bars the enslavement of people; ergo, they are trying to make a case that Orcas are, or have the same legal status as, people.
Try rereading the 13th Amendment! I helpfully quoted it in this very thread.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:31 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:ry rereading the 13th Amendment! I helpfully quoted it in this very thread.

Yes, and perhaps also outlawing pets.
yurell wrote:Besides, I think they know they have a snowball's chance in hell to succeed, and this is just a publicity stunt in order to draw attention to the living standards of these highly intelligent cetaceans.

Yeah, that was kind of my initial point. These publicity stunts don't really do anything.
yurell wrote:No I don't, it was a tongue-in-cheek response to your stupid hypothetical wherein fishermen are suing animals because they're not being allowed to capture and kill other animals freely.

My 'stupid hypothetical' is no stupider than PETA suing for recognition that these animals are 'slaves'. Just like Bolivia declaring Mother Nature having the same legal status as a human, it's a shortsighted stunt that really only underlines how little thought they've put into it. By declaring Mother Nature, or Orcas, legal entities, Bolivia/PETA isn't just waving a magical legal wand that makes everything better for Mother Nature/Orcas, they're only neglecting to recognize the multifaceted ramifications this change would incur. So, lets work it out: If Mother Nature or Orcas have the same legal status as humans, then lo! they are relieved from toxic waste dumping (assault!) and being kept at Sea World to dance and do tricks for us (slavery!). But that also means (or should) that when a flood kills an entire village, that the village should be able to take Mother Nature to court for x counts of murder and destruction of personal property. It also means that when Orcas, using their intelligence and cunning, steal trapped fish from a fishermans lines, that they are poaching another humans livelihood.
These examples are of course somewhat tongue-in-cheek, because the whole idea of granting legal status to Mother Nature, or to Orcas, should make you laugh with it's stupidity.

Also, of all the animals to pick, Orcas? Really? Cetaceans have a pretty wide range of intelligence, but why not at least pick the smartest of them? Also, I think they'd have much better luck with primates.
EDIT: Bolivia'd.
Last edited by Izawwlgood on Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:37 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Angua » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:34 pm UTC

pssst - it was Bolivia

carry on...
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Zamfir » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:38 pm UTC

Yeah, that was kind of my initial point. These publicity stunts don't really do anything.
Their goal is presumably not to have orcas recognized as human beings, or even to win this case. The goal is to draw attention to animals in captivity, and to convince some more people to oppose that.

Perhaps it has no chance of convincing you, but that just means that you are not in the intended audience.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Plasma Man » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:45 pm UTC

The difference between Bolivia and this is that Bolivia granting nature rights was a specific act of the government, whereas this is PETA trying to twist an existing legal structure to apply to orcas. Generally speaking, governments can pass whatever laws they want, even if they don't make sense. PETA going ahead with another stupid publicity stunt is in no way the same thing.
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Re: Court To Decide Whether Orcas Can Be Enslaved

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:56 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Yeah, that was kind of my initial point. These publicity stunts don't really do anything.
Their goal is presumably not to have orcas recognized as human beings, or even to win this case. The goal is to draw attention to animals in captivity, and to convince some more people to oppose that.

Perhaps it has no chance of convincing you, but that just means that you are not in the intended audience.

Yes, a fair point, and perhaps by foisting into the limelight the words 'Orca' and 'slavery' side by side, some people will get motivated and do a bit of research. And maybe even join PETA. I'm certainly not discounting the efficacy of raising awareness of your causes position.
Lets just not discount the number of people who probably feel the same way I do, and in hearing about this will simply roll their eyes and go back to remembering that PETA is a group of idiot hippies with no grasp of reality or interest in engaging in reasonable discourse about mankinds treatment of animals.
Plasma Man wrote:The difference between Bolivia and this is that Bolivia granting nature rights was a specific act of the government, whereas this is PETA trying to twist an existing legal structure to apply to orcas. Generally speaking, governments can pass whatever laws they want, even if they don't make sense. PETA going ahead with another stupid publicity stunt is in no way the same thing.

Yes, of course, there are differences, but the gyst of trying to sue for legal status for a non-human entity is a pretty strong commonality between the two.
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