Michelle Rosenthal

social worker, Dr Susan Smith McKinney Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

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The US constitution 13 amendment bans the condition of slavery. PETA is suing Sea World for enslaving Orcas. Do animals have rights in USA?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are filing a lawsuit in US Federal Court charging that Sea World has been holding ORCAs as slaves in violation to the 13th amendment, enslaving them, forcing them to work for dead fish. PETA argues that the US Constitution 13th Amendment prohibits the condition of slavery. PETA claims "Slavery does not depend on the species of the slave any more than it depends on gender, race, or religion." Our understanding of animals grows every day. Animals should no longer be regarded as "things" to dominate, but as breathing, feeling beings with families, intellect, and emotions. The 13th Amendment exists to abolish slavery in all its forms—and this lawsuit is the next step. Please read about this precedent-setting lawsuit. Do you agree with its premise? Are all species covered by the 13 th Amendment or should they be? There are many industries that may be affected if a decision comes out against Sea World such as all zoos, horse race tracks, dog tracks, bull fights, rodeos etc.
Please see the documentary called Earthlings at www.Earthlings.com.

For the first time a political party for the Animals won representation in elections in the Neatherlands. See: http://www.partyfortheanimals.nl/

Have humans been enslaving and abusing animals, overeating them excessively almost to the point of extinction and with health consequences to humans as well? Many people shoot animals just for target practice, go angling, killing live animals to make hand bags, belts, ivory, throw rugs, fur, being very cruel to them with out regard for the fact that they are a living, breathing, feeling creature. Our factory farming process is barbaric.

Please see many of the videos on PETA.org There are much more humane ways to animal care. PETA advocates for a process called Controlled Atmosphere Killing as a more humane method for poultry.

TedTalk Growing Up In the Universe theorizes that all life on Earth has a common ancestor. Do u Agree?

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    Oct 27 2011: I feel that PETA give all the moderate animal rights activist a bad name, as long as they're around, animal rights won't be taken as seriously as it should be because all PETA is is a great circus. James Turner has an excellent point when he mentions house pets, do you have a house pet Michelle? If you do, you're no better than the people at Sea World. Not that they are actually bad given that those seals will, almost without the shadow of a doubt, live a better life than the seals who have to constantly live under the threat of predators. I hold members of PETA guilty of never having set eyes on the wonderful documentaries of Sir David Attenborough, to be blind to nature red in tooth and claw, to not see the absolute madness in asking people to give up pets when cats, dogs and cows have been evolving towards domestication for millenia (basically you let them go, they're all...I can't swear on TED, because )

    Furthermore, I hold PETA guilty of a crime they would hold other people guilty for if they realised they were doing it: Lumping all animals together in one category. A gradualist approach is severly needed for animal rights. We shouldn't even be talking about animal rights, we should be talking about specific rights, like that of Great Apes or the rights of dogs or the rights of cats. The idea that a spider needs the kind of rights a chimpanzee needs is prepousterous. PETA also ought to know that violating human rights and dignity for animal rights is not the way forward. Threatening scientists and their families? Digging dead people out of the ground? Throwing pig blood on kids at Disney? That's just psychopathic if you ask me.

    "TedTalk Growing Up In the Universe theorizes that all life on Earth has a common ancestor. Do u Agree?" It's not a hypothesis, it's a fact, all life on Earth have a common ancestor that we've nicknamed LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor). Only Religious fanatics doubt this.

    Let's have a real societal debate. PETA is not invited.
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    Oct 26 2011: The 13th Amendment reads as follows:

    Passed by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865.

    Note: A portion of Article IV, section 2, of the Constitution was superseded by the 13th amendment.

    Section 1.
    Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

    Section 2.
    Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    Section 1 forbids slavery and involuntary servitude except for punishment purposes for crimes. It was written at a time when slaves were considered property. The founders would laugh in derision at the PETA for filing a law suit to include animals under the 13th Amendment. They would also be horrified if a court heard it. Read carefully it did not fully out law slavery it was just used to confine convicted criminals. Likely the basis for our current jail system. If PETA wants to file lawsuits like this the will find that they are dismissed as silly law suits that tie up the courts docket. PETA has had a good history of protecting animals so I am not negative towards it. They are just wasting court time and judicial effort and we need the courts for more important things like judging cases for people. Animals are a more emotional issue than a legal issue. Would you like to be sued by PETA for keeping your dog fed, housed and taking care of it's health against it's will and who can decide the will of a dog? A law suit like this would set a very bad precedent in law. What is next house plants growing in a home against their will?
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      Oct 27 2011: PETA is actually opposed to house pets. They're an animal rights group gone way wrong.
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        Oct 27 2011: Right on beam. They have fooled the city of San Francisco into banning all pet shops and will soon have it free of all but "illegal pets" What do you want to bet they have pets. TO much time and not enough brains
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          Nov 2 2011: I haven´t heard about this pet shop ban in San Francisco - is it already in force? How is it working so far? I would love to hear more about that. I don´t usually agree with PETA but I totally agree that pet shops are something we can live without. If you want a pet, go to the shelter, as simple as that.

          On the other hand, PETA is making me furious almost every time I hear their new ideas and suggestions. I actually believe that they are one of the main reasons, why people like me gets little undertanding from the public. "I am a vegetarian and I believe in animal rights." Try to say this in a local pub. You´re gonna be laughed at. Because they only know all the PETA´s ridiculous campaigns.
          I am not trying to convert my meat-eating friens into vegetarians. When they ask me about my vegetarianism, I explain my reasons. If they are interested about animal rights, I´ll tell them about organic meat, free range chickens and eggs, sustainable fishing, send them some links, for example the TED talk "Graham Hill: Why I'm a weekday vegetarian". And then it is up to them.
          I am a vegetarian and I believe in animal rights. I support many organizations which are trying to save animals - whether it is a local shelter or organization saving endangered species in the wild.
          And you know what? PETA hates me, because I am not vegan...
    • Oct 27 2011: "PETA has had a good history of protecting animals"

      What about all the dogs that PETA euthanizes?

      I'd rather take my chances in a world without PETA.
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        Oct 28 2011: Yes I remember about that! Outrageous! Stole cats and dogs from an adoption center, only to put them down. Some of them would have been adopted. Looks like PETA is not ok with animal slavery but animal murder is fine. Uckfay PETA.
  • Oct 27 2011: I agree with James Turner.

    PETA has some very big problems. Yes let them make sure that no animal goes extinct, or is tortured for no good reason, BUT! the second when PETA crosses over into human territory and tries to make a law where humans can't do a certain "thing" with an animal is where it should be stopped. Laws are to be taken seriously.

    Imagine if PETA were to have their way....
    After that law was passed what is next? No more gas fueled cars on the highways because it destroys the ozone layer. No guns allowed for civilians. Each household is only allowed a certain amount of animals on the property... I mean I could go on forever!

    The problem with PETA is they take things to seriously. Enslaved Orcas??? What?
    Why didn't they start with horses? There are hundreds of big name ranches in the USA with hundreds and thousands of horses "enslaved to do hard labor for mankind"! (sarcasm)
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    Oct 28 2011: I think that this should hinge on the issue of sentience. All sentient creatures on this planet should have rights. It sure would put a dent into a lot of what we do if it were enforced under our laws though. Pigs are apparently more intelligent than dogs and we still eat them. What a can of worms this opens, even within my own conscience!
  • Oct 28 2011: If animals have rights that are protected by the U.S. Constitution, it would have to follow that they be held accountable for their actions toward other animals.

    Do we really want to have a trial with a prosecution and defense for the cat that killed a mouse in a hate crime?

    Some things are just "white noise". Much of what PETA does should be categorized as having no worthwhile content by public opinion. Unfortunately, people like looking at a train wreck, so these kinds of stories get huge media coverage.
  • Nov 4 2011: I agree with James T. This is little more than a publicity stunt by PETA. When the amendment was passed whaling was legal and lucrative and I have no doubt that only humans were intended to be included. However the action does do something; it gets people talking about the problem about such animals being held in captivity. Orcas go rogue too often that it is difficult not to think that they too might have an 'opinion' on the matter. The question which PETA doesn't address is: what do about it? Ban Sea World? Good idea but I doubt it's a runner;. Repatriation to the ocean? Unlikely given the experience of Keiko. Held in a large holding tank until they die? Boredom is likely as not to set in. The answer lies with publlic opinion. When the public ceases to be amused at the antics of captive whales and dolphins and stops paying money to see them then Sea World will stop the practice. If PETA actions stop just one person from attending these ludicrous sideshows, then it's a start.
  • Oct 28 2011: When I first heard the news on this I shuttered, knowing full well where this could lead to. Sure! I'd rather see Orcas living in the wild instead of in marine exhibits mainly due to the fact that those tanks are never big enough. But to sue Sea World because of a slavery law? The domino effect alone is mind boggling! As some of you folks have mentioned. It is also true that we do need better laws, in various areas, concerning animals but that can only be achieved with common sense and cool heads.
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    Oct 27 2011: Animals do have rights. There is no question about that (and i can get into the philosophical aspects of that)

    But I would have to disagree with PETA on this and for two reason:

    1) It is not like Sea World is holding the Oracas hostage and putting them in the worse possible conditions.

    2) I honestly think that Orcas are safer at Sea World (where they are mandated to maximize their well-being) instead of the open ocean, in which they will become a commodity and where other countries (including the U.S.) will try to make a profit off these Orcas for whatever than can get from them.

    By this Logic they might as well close down Zoo's.
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      Oct 27 2011: Actually zoo's parks that do animal work to try and save endangered species, all medical labs, all animal trainers that make help hollywood make movies, all dude ranches , all cattle ranches, all SPCA facilities, all vets, all industries that use animals or animal products for food, good bye restaurants, one section of the super markets and other food stores, all fast food joints, all fishing boats, all fishing permits, hunting permits, trapping permits, animal control people, some parts of the park rangers, city and county planners etc. These will all be impacted. rabies could spread because hunting of rabid animals by park rangers would be outlawed, national parks could be in danger since they control populations etc. That is why it is way to broad for the courts to touch
    • Oct 28 2011: I have a question about your statement: "Animals do have rights. There is no question about that" Orlando.

      What do you mean by "rights"?
      If you could, please give me an example. That would help.
  • Oct 26 2011: Wouldn't this then make unconstitutional laws restricting a woman's right to end her pregnancy? Isn't the fetus subjecting the mother to involuntary servitude?
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      Oct 27 2011: How about the reverse the mother is enslaving the baby to be born into a world it had no choice into so she can fulfill a goal that baby may not share, lets not even start talking about unwed mothers, what about women who come here from other countries will they be stopped at the border for enslaving their children ? Does that mean that mothers should be outlawed by the courts?
      Of course not this is a silly action by PETA and I hope the good judges have the sense to slap it down and maybe fine the lawyers for filing a frivolous law suit.
  • Nov 1 2011: The reverse? Are you suggesting that a fetus, if given the choice, would not want to be born? Also I'm not clear on the goal you are referring to. If that goal is to give birth you are correct the baby is forced into that, however I go back to my initial question doesn't a baby want to be born? If you are referring to goals beyond birth I think those questions are already in another sphere of influence.
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    Oct 26 2011: There are people working for dead fish too in the USA, or do you think they just love to clean toilets?
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      Oct 27 2011: You do realize that if the law passes it could ban animal food in restaurants, canned tuna, Mahi Mahi farming, tuna farming, trout farming. Next it will ban vegetable farming and fruit groves etc. They have no clue the impact they are asking for.