Signostication comes true: Cetaceans sue to be free!

With much swagger and a Very Important Science Fiction Author air of self-importance, I’m going to say that I called this shot. The BBC is reporting that five killer whales are the “plaintiffs” in a lawsuit to set them free from Sea World in San Diego, CA.

The whales are being kept “as slaves.” This is apparently the first time a US court has heard legal arguments over whether animals should enjoy the same constitutional protections as humans.

“Called it?” Nay, I do believe my work actually made this happen.
Unfortunately, the shot I called is being fired by the loons at PETA (they of the Sea Kittens fame). While I am glad people at PETA are reading my books, influencing their actions is a mixed bag at best.
Junkies, if you recall the tale of Huey, Dewey and Louie from one of THE ALL-PRO‘s historical segments (they of the intelligent Dolphin species Delphinus albietz):
The world celebrated the first known non-Human sentient species. The three dolphins became worldwide media celebrities. Within weeks, however, the dolphins demanded to be released into the wild. They claimed that they had the same rights as any other sentient Earthlings, and that to keep them confined to Bietz’s research facilities was akin to imprisonment without cause.

Bietz strenuously objected, saying that Huey, Dewey and Louie were his property, not world citizens. He claimed more study and testing was required. Louie’s eloquent “Freedom Swim” speech dramatically rallied world opinion toward the plight of the three captive Dolphins. Just four months after Huey’s press conference, authorities ordered the dolphins’ release.
Compare that excerpt to the comments of Jeffrey Kerr, the lawyer representing the five whales:
“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.”
Interestingly, one of the whales is Tilikum, who drowned his trainer during a show in February, 2012. PETA has not commented on whether or not Tilikum will also be tried for that murder of a living, breathing, feeling being.
A thank-you to Junkie Jason Farrow (@JMFTheVCI) for pointing this out to me on the Twitters.

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  1. In_The_Out_Hole

    on the plus side i would make a nice payday from the government becoming the guy version of an old cat lady collecting 30 or 40 of those badboys and claiming them all as dependants…

  2. avinjer

    If rights extend to all and laws apply to all then should be start charging predators with murder? After all, Fluffy is a cold blooded killer when she stalks and kills that defenseless mouse that’s just trying to get by and find enough food to raise a family.

  3. hotwhitetiger

    Tilikum… Murder? This is PETA after all, they probably view it as the first shot of the Revolution.

  4. steffiebaby140

    Nah, no overthinking…I’ve thought about it probably just as much lol. I think you are exactly right, where do you draw the line?  Are roaches more equal than ants? Is it just mammals, but then what about birds? Personally if we start living in a world where you need a bill of rights just because you “happened to not be born human”…I mean, seriously that makes it sound like its a choice to be born human or not.  If this is where things end up going…can I choose to stop being human? 

    @bigun – well said.  There is a huge difference in showing respect and kindness toward animals in the world and insisting they be granted human rights.

  5. wyrdwyrd

    That was a beautifully written article.  When a weird thing like this happens, trying to reference it in a way that correctly represents what’s at stake without making (too) light of it, and also relating it back to the “see, I told you so!” element can be tricky.

    But you did a great job here.  And I also would like to thank Junkie Jason Farrow (@JMFTheVCI) for pointing out the actions of the whale Tilikum.  Because that’s the important sort of detail PETA seems all too willing to gloss over or ignore.  If it is to be the case that we humans must grant any set of non-human species the same rights we enjoy, then it only stands to reason that they must be subject to the same or similar laws and penalties as well.

    Even if it wasn’t murder, it’d still probably be a manslaughter charge or something similar.

    Furry cows moo and decompress.

  6. JP

    Bella, to quote Red Foreman, “The problem with cats is you can get the smartest one out there and it still sh**s in your house.”  Given the whole litter box thing though, I think you’re the one who needs to sue for liberation from bondage!

  7. bigun123

    I am all for the good welfare of all living captive/beasts of burden/live stock, at the end of the day what gives us the right to be cruel, we should be thankful for the work they do, the knowledge we gain from studying them and last but not least the meat we eat so we should treat them right but to start giving them civil rights Really………Look around PETA there are worse things to focus your energy on

  8. deltrimental
    “…whether living, breathing, feeling beings have rights and can be enslaved simply because they happen to not have been born human.”

    Jokes aside, I assume supporters of this move would sit to the left of the political spectrum… a side which is vocally opposed to discrimination of any kind. It’s easy for me to say (and wholeheartedly believe) that “All humans, regardless of race, creed, sexual preference, gender, etc should be treated equally”. 

    It’s not so easy to say the same about ‘anything that wasn’t born human’. Should horses and sheep have the same rights as, say, flies and cockroaches? What about pet rats – how do we distinguish these from vermin? Do we deem some rats more worthy of protection than other rats? Or do we protect them all and let the world become overrun? Do we free enslaved whales, but continue slavery of pack horses and water buffalo, because they’re vital to human survival in the developing world? 
    Formally extending basic civil rights to all “living, breathing, feeling beings” would first involve determining an animal’s worth based on things like species, perceived intelligence and social status – which is a level of discrimination and bigotry that no self-respecting lefty would engage in. I’d really like to know what kind of end game PETA and their ilk are hoping for. I get the feeling they maybe haven’t thought this through. 
    (And yes, I am aware I may have thought this through a little too much. :p) 
  9. dozier1375

    That’s right!!! You can’t keep my people down!!

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    Free Willy! Let’s free all the animal in all the zoos around the world. FYI I’m being sarcastic, sar-cas-tic! That lawyer probably can’t get any real human clients so he now goes after the non-human clients. Now I can’t stop thinking about fish sticks.

  11. steffiebaby140

    We can cure the national debt!  Just force animals to report their income.  No wait, that will just increase unemployment because they’ll have to be paid minimum wage, get benefits, worker’s comp, and knowing those damn horses they’ll unionize.

  12. MuchAdo

    I saw that article yesterday and thought about the Lundy!!!  You know my image of Lundy has FOREVER been changed.  I’ll never see him as human again.

  13. steffiebaby140

    Why stop at harassment, let’s just go with sexual assault!

    If a deer jumps in front of a car and lives, we better send the poor suicidal creature to the psych ward for a few days. 

  14. steffiebaby140

    LOL!  Wow, this is why even the most ardent animal lovers just can’t take PETA seriously.  Or as my mom’s husband calls them…People Eating Tasty Animals.

    I guess I better sue those birds who keep crapping on my car for damages. 

    because they happen to not have been born human.because they happen to not have been born human.”  = Funniest things I have heard in a very long time

  15. occupy_my_rocktopi

    Sounds like my dog might need to get a job.  Cause if he has equal rights, he has some rent to pay!

  16. Belladonna420

    The day my cats start crying about equal rights they better have learned to clean their own damn litter boxes!