Whales ARE human beings, fat flipper babies born in water birth, probably malformed by pollutants like thalidomide.
To more directly address the OP – yes, it will help them. They will gain a few converts, they will amuse some people, they will get a bunch more money out of their crazier donors. I bet they’re establishing some kind of legal defense fund for these particular whales and have already hit up the usual suspects for big bucks.
No. I’m a bit rusty on the terminology, but you have to have suffered harm in order to sue - you can’t sue just because someone else suffered harm, so they can’t sue on behalf of PETA to stop this. And they can’t sue on behalf of the orca either, because the orca hasn’t given them permission to act as its agent in this manner.
Something tells me that one of their themed photoshoots would backfire horribly in this case.
Pretty much this. They may or may not have good reason to believe that they’re being treated cruelly, I can’t speak intelligently about whether or not there are any violations or it is cruel even without violations. However, I think drawing an equivalence to slavery with the 13th Amendment is offensive on so many levels, particularly that I feel it belittles the sufferings of the people who endured slavery, the terrible price that we had to pay to bring that institution to an end, and the lasting imprint it still has on society.
Sadly, it seems to continue their tradition of taking what might be a point that could be well received, like this here keeping highly intelligent mammals captive in relatively small tanks, and taking it so far to the extreme that even most sympathizers think they’re crazy and aren’t willing to listen. I think it hurts their cause because it only paints them as more sensationalist and possibly isolates people who may have previously been sympathetic but are not pissed off with this equivalence. Yet another bad move, they deserve to get laughed out of court for it, and I hope they’re forced to pay the legal fees of Sea World too.
I’m ambivalent about PETA. On one hand, they’re the crazy, alcoholic uncle of the animal rights activist family, who you wish you weren’t related to and pretend not to know when he goes off on one of his mad rants in public. On the other hand… sometimes I think that all publicity is good publicity. Getting into people’s heads at all is often the hard part. At least PETA are getting on the damned news, and if the animal rights equivalent of taking your pants off and running down the street with a lampshade on your head is what it takes to do that, well, then so be it. Then, other activists can step in and say: “OK, now that we finally have your f’**king attention, here’s some real information.”
It is hard to even talk to some people about animals rights because they immediately knee-jerk and flinch and think you are a PETA crazy. Yes, this is their blindness, but I don’t entirely disagree with them - PETA has done some horrible stuff in the past.
No, I don’t think it helps them - people just think of them as wacky kooks. Including me.
“In a perfect world, all other-than-human animals would be free of human interference, and dogs and cats would be part of the ecological scheme, as they were before humans domesticated them and as they remain in some parts of the undeveloped world.”
– From The PETA Statement on Companion Animals
“In a perfect world, animals would be free to live their lives to the fullest: raising their young, enjoying their native environments, and following their natural instincts. However, domesticated dogs and cats cannot survive “free” in our concrete jungles, so we must take as good care of them as possible. People with the time, money, love, and patience to make a lifetime commitment to an animal can make an enormous difference by adopting from shelters or rescuing animals from a perilous life on the street. But it is also important to stop manufacturing “pets,” thereby perpetuating a class of animals forced to rely on humans to survive.”
– PETA pamphlet, Companion Animals: Pets or Prisoners?
Is it helpful to PETA’s cause? Well, maybe. It will raise awareness about any animal cruelty issues that are occurring at Sea World (their animals are treated much, much better than those of most aquariums, but they’re not perfect) which will help legitimate animal rights organizations, probably.
It it helpful to PETA? Probably not.
The term is standing. The orca doesn’t have to empower PETA to act as its “agent”; there are two ways in which it can sue on behalf of the whales.
First, parties can sue on behalf of others with or without permission; this is called third party standing. The test is three-pronged. The first prong is whether the party seeking to assert standing has been harmed itself; the second is whether the interests of party seeking to assert standing are closely tied to those of the party which has standing but isn’t suing (ie., the orca); the second is whether there are factors which prevent or make it unlikely that the party with standing will sue on its own (like being a whale, which makes it difficult to retain an attorney or appear for court proceedings).
It’s pretty clear here that PETA’s claim doesn’t really meet the first prong, because PETA have not suffered harm. They more than likely do not meet the second, because they have no legally cognizable interests in common with the whales. They obviously meet the third, but it’s not an either/or test so that doesn’t help.
Second, Congress can grant standing to parties which wouldn’t otherwise have it, because third party standing is a prudential (“we don’t want to bother courts with this”) matter, not a constitutional limitation. I am not aware of any legislation granting people the right to sue on behalf of animals for 13th Amendment violations, but I suppose it might exist.
PETA seems to think that animals are actually humans-that is, they have the same righst as humans.
So, if this is the case, can the killer whale that drowned that Seaworld trainer last year be charged with murder?
For some reason, this brings to mind a science-fiction story I read long, long ago. A group of humans were picked up by aliens, whisked away and placed in their alien zoo, where they proved a popular attraction. There was some sort of mouselike creature I think it was that would run in and out of the humans’ enclosure, and the humans finally captured some and fashioned little cages for them out of boredom. That’s when the aliens stepped in and freed the humans, apologizing profusely for thinking them ordinary animals, because as everyone in the galaxy knows, only intelligent beings enslave other creatures.