The judge ruled against PETA in its case accusing SeaWorld of holding orcas as slaves in violation of the 13th Amendment. PETA calls it a victory anyway. But a leading animal rights attorney fears the case may have set back the cause of animal rights.
The good news is that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has accepted the recommendations of an expert panel to cut way back on using chimpanzees in medical research.
There’s a lot of long, hard work to be done on behalf of these animals and others. But never before have there been so many lawsuits and government actions being leveled against the captivity industry.
Mark Peters takes up the question of what is a person. He says the word first appears in English in the 13th Century, when it was often used to describe a role – like in the theater.
There’s something a bit creepy about SeaWorld spokesman David Koontz telling us that Ikaika the pre-teen, troubled orca “will become a member of our family.”
While a pair of cells may be deemed to be a person, a 40-year-old elephant or orca, who carries the wisdom and culture of her community, is no more considered a person than is a computer or a pile of garbage.
If our justice system can view a corporation a person, like Romney said, perhaps one day it will be able to see at least some of our fellow animals as persons, too.
Laws that protect animals from cruelty are granted as acts of kindness, not inherent rights. One attorney is setting out to put a crack in the legal wall that separates humans from nonhumans.
This is from Part Three – A New Beginning for Dolphins – of our feature “Dolphins and Us”