Tim Gilmore

Whales are people, too! At least, according to a lawsuit from an animal rights group.

The group is suing SeaWorld on behalf of five killer whales that are part of the park’s aquatic performances, hoping to extend Constitutional rights to animals. Specifically, they think that the 13th amendment, which outlawed (human) slavery in 1865, should also include protecting the orcas from involuntary servitude.

Professor David Steinberg of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law told Reuters that the suit is “patently, absolutely frivolous.” He added that “PETA is demeaning the integrity and humanity of people who were owned as slaves.”

This isn’t the first time PETA has crossed that line. Their founder once boasted that “even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we would be against it,” and they even went so far as to run a campaign comparing eating meat to the Holocaust.

This particular suit ultimately wants the park to release the quintet of orcas to a suitable habitat. But, according to studies, animals released to the wild after they have been accustomed to a relatively safe life in captivity struggle to readapt. They can’t socialize with other members of their species and haven’t developed the necessary fear of predators. They face a higher risk of disease than their wild counterparts and aren’t capable of finding a way to feed themselves. So if the whales are released and their living standards drops, would the orcas have another suit . . . against PETA?

Is this the most ridiculous lawsuit from the past month? Or is it one of these?

40-year-old actress suing website for revealing her age
Woman sues over movie trailer; says not enough driving in ‘Drive’
Man suing for age discrimination says judge in his case is too old
Suit claims placebo containing no medication caused rash

Vote at FacesOfLawsuitAbuse.org.


Tim Gilmore

Tim Gilmore is an associate manager at the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.