My love for animals, not counting whales
This may come as a surprise to you, but I am not the sort of person who derives pleasure from wanton cruelty to animals. In fact, I would go even further and say that I am against wanton cruelty to animals. “So,” you are probably now concluding, “you are a tree-hugging liberal zombie marching in lockstep with the eco-terrorists at PETA.” Hold on just a second there, anonymous reader. I do normally agree with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and their methods. I love it when they throw buckets of red paint at celebrities. I am not sure why they do that, but it seems oodles of fun for everyone involved. And I do thoroughly enjoy their photos of women who would rather go naked than wear fur (along with the presumed slogan: “Don’t exploit animals. Exploit women.”). But friends, PETA has recently done something rather distasteful in their attempts to protect animals.
A week ago, lawyers working for PETA filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in southern California, claiming that five killer whales at SeaWorld were being held as slaves, in violation of the 13th Amendment. Now, when I first heard this, I searched in vain for a whale constitution with numerical similarities to the United States Constitution. When I was unable to find such a whale constitution (I was, inexplicably, able to find constitutions for porpoises and sea urchins), I had no choice but to accept the fact that PETA was filing this lawsuit with respect to the U.S. Constitution.
I did have one last hope. Perhaps, I thought, the folks at PETA were simply unaware of the historical background of the 13th Amendment. Perhaps they did not grow up in America, or else were high during their history classes from kindergarten until their senior year in high school. Perhaps they were reading the Constitution one day and stumbled upon the 13th Amendment and thought, “my goodness, how odd that one December day Americans decided, completely out of the blue and with absolutely no catalyst, to outlaw slavery and involuntary servitude.” But when I called up Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of PETA, she gleefully informed me that she was, in fact, fully aware of the horrors of slavery in America and was deliberately comparing the lives of five Orcas living at SeaWorld to the systematic enslavement of millions. “Oh,” I said.
Friends, I am at a loss for words. Just kidding. I have so many words for Ms. Newkirk that right now they are welling up inside of me, threatening to burst Alien-like out of my chest. Unfortunately, many of these words rhyme with things like “shmignorant shullbit” and “ducking regarded” and are thus unprintable in this newspaper. So instead, I’ll close with a simple thought experiment. Imagine that the presiding judge has just done a massive amount of hallucinogenic drugs and decides to rule in PETA’s favor. This would set a precedent that I don’t think PETA truly wants. Orcas would then have rights under the Constitution, and would also lose their jobs at SeaWorld. Personally, I would not want to face down five unemployed Orcas with a newly gained right to bear arms.