Target: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
Goal: Give enslaved orcas their freedom and stop the future enslavement of orcas by SeaWorld.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have brought a lawsuit against SeaWorld demanding that five orcas be released from their slavery to the park. This is the first lawsuit of its kind to challenge the interpretation of the 13th amendment to include non-human animals as slaves. SeaWorld claims capturing orcas and other marine mammals from their natural habitats and placing them in captivity to perform with humans is educational for the public. If by educational SeaWorld means portraying orcas as man’s trainable best friend instead of the intelligent wild animals that they are then SeaWorld is succeeding in its goal. However, orcas are not happy living in small enclosed tanks that limit their freedom of movement which can include swimming up to 100 miles per day to catch live prey. The instances of orcas lashing out against their trainers and exhibiting behaviors of aggression and depression are because of this involuntary service they are providing in the name of education and entertainment. By bringing this lawsuit against SeaWorld and naming the orcas as plaintiffs PETA is bringing direct attention to the fact that every living thing regardless of species has the right to a life free from the conditions of slavery.
The 13th amendment outlaws slavery or involuntary servitude without any specificity to human animals. Slavery can be defined as an individual being forcibly taken from their natural environment, put into captivity, and held there to perform work they would otherwise not do voluntarily. The plight of SeaWorld’s orcas fit this unfortunate definition perfectly.
Animal cruelty lawsuits are nothing new, but PETA’s lawsuit is one of a kind in that it places the animal itself in the role of plaintiff. What SeaWorld does isn’t considered cruel in the eyes of the court. Therefore, PETA’s lawsuit needs to be supported in order to bring awareness and action to the role SeaWorld plays in the life of the world’s orcas. By signing this petition you will support PETA’s attempt to give enslaved orcas their freedom and stop the future enslavement of orcas by SeaWorld.
Dear SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment,
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are demanding that five orcas used in SeaWorld’s shows be legally defined as slaves and subsequently receive their due freedom to an appropriate habitat where they can live out the rest of their lives. This unprecedented case names the orcas as plaintiffs which challenges the interpretation of the 13th amendment abolishing slavery. However, the language of the 13th amendment is not specific to the species of the slave. The definition of slavery however, is specific in its requirements. SeaWorld’s orcas are forcibly removed from their natural environment, put into captivity, and held there to perform work they would not naturally do for the benefit of SeaWorld. In other words, these orcas are enslaved and we can not allow this to continue.
Any educational value in observing animals in captivity is lost when they are placed in an environment so unlike their natural habitat and asked to perform tricks they would never do with other species they would never encounter in nature. The results of orcas performing with humans in captivity have unfortunately resulted in tragedy too many times.
Orcas are intelligent wild animals that belong in nature. PETA is giving these animals a chance to stand up for their rights and end the enslavement of their species. Please provide the currently enslaved orcas with freedom and end the future capture and enslavement of wild orcas for entertainment purposes.
[Your Name Here]