People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA) filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Orcas at Sea World, arguing that keeping the huge mammals in captivity violated the Thirteenth Amendment, which prohibits slavery.
Last night, comic and journalist Wyatt Cenac of The Daily Show poked fun at the animal rights organization for the analogy.
“So you’re the Freedom Riders of the Whale Liberation Movement?” jokingly asked Lisa Lange, a PETA spokesperson.
According to Huffington Post, PETA filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in San Diego last fall, and said that the whales “were forcibly taken from their families and natural habitats, are held captive at SeaWorld San Diego and SeaWorld Orlando, denied everything that is natural to them, subjected to artificial insemination or sperm collection to breed performers for Defendants’ shows, and forced to perform, all for Defendants’ profit.
“As such, Plaintiffs are held in slavery and involuntary servitude.”
PETA’s attorneys claimed that the Thirteenth Amendment does not concern itself with any particular species. But the federal judge hearing the case wasn’t really feeling that reasoning: last week, he threw out the lawsuit.
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Is SeaWorld’s treatment of its killer whales comparable to slavery?