Monday, February 6, 2012

The Right to Declare Rights... all beings

Some rights can only apply to humans.
But some rights, like the Right to Air and the Right to Life,
belong to all beings.

In an action that I find unprecedented, provocative, and beautiful,
the U.S. non-profit group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
filed a lawsuit against SeaWorld (located in San Diego and Orlando)
for illegally enslaving five killer whales
in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s 13th Amendment 
which made slavery illegal in the United States.


The U.S. 13th Amendment text states:
"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..."
There is no mention which species this applies to,
but of course, we all know that this really meant humans.
Nonetheless, this fact is not in the writing.

It is time that rights belong to other earth species.
This action is a start, and I salute the creativity of thought used
to stretch this right to include whales in captivity.
They won't win the case, but they have made history.
Indeed, this action supports the Right to Animal Liberation.

Some rights can be extended to all species,
such as the Right to Life and the Right to Liberty.
Why can't wild animals (not domesticated) have the choice of freedom?

When surveyed, humans have a hierarchy of preference
to who/what should have rights:
first, humans (especially children)
second, animals
third, plants.


Revision: thanks to commenters TL, RCW


30 comments:

Anonymous said...

We are all animals and we all have the right to rights. Whales have feelings too.
JR

RCW said...

Although I believe this widely publicized and exposing of the whales, in some aspects the captivity of these whales can be seen as giving them the right an opportunity to live a different life. Although it is unlawful to remove them from their natural habitat, consider these laws to be righten by humans only because animals do not have a choice. People have choices as to where and how they would like to live.

Anonymous said...

I am torn about this one. I am for animal protection, I rescued my pets (4 dogs to be exact) however, when animal rights takes over that of human rights, I become biased. I appreciate the circle of life but do not condone animal cruelty.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gspElv1yvc

I see the commercials for the ASPCA, they move me, and for an $18a month donation they will send a picture of an animal I would have rescued. However, for $15 a month I could feed a hungry child anywhere in the world.

https://secure2.convio.net/ftc/site/Donation2?df_id=1784&1784.donation=form1&s_src=button_091030

Who would you pick if you could afford only one?
T.L.

Anonymous said...

Well I do not agree with this at all. The 13th amendment was written for humans and we all know that. For the animal aspect do you think that maybe a family pet should be free? I don't think Lasie likes saving her family all the time she was more or less a slave. But for the animals maybe they may not like it but until they can talk and say so then I feel that they are ok. And honestly it is not like the animmals are being treated bad they are treated well. - JPG

Anonymous said...

I consider that all living species have a right to have rights, although their contrary to our own, animal rights are just as inalienable. I do believe that animals are in subjection to humans, therefore the only reason to end the life of an animal should be because of protection, shelter, or food if necessary for our survival. However, we have an obligation to take care of any living person or species that is in subjection to us. As humans we are responsible not to brutalized, cause fear, or pain upon them unnecessarily or deliberately. If we begin to abuse rights from other species in subjection to us, we are a hairline away from doing the same to our own.-YEM

Anonymous said...

I believe that the animals have some sort of rights, although they may not speak, they come from the wild and once they are held captive in a certain size tank, there is an issue. As the amendment does state its law nowhere does is say which life form this amendment contributes to. All animals come from the wild and when brought in to a house or zoo and are held against their will they are unfortunately being enslaved.
ABL

Anonymous said...

Mankind has gained a sense of superiority, but it should never take the better of us. In reality, we are just a different species of animal that live among the rest. That fact should never keep us from achieving our goals, but all other animals deserve the same amount of respect we are given. We hunt them and they hunt us, it’s a cycle, we are not special, nor superior, just different.
AG

Anonymous said...

I agree with the right to declare rights... all beings. I am happy with the lawsuit against SeaWorld. These people have no right to take a free wild animal from its natural environment and then force it to perform for others. I can understand if they took the animal because it was in danger and needed their help, but that does not give anyone the right to keep it. You help it and then set it back into its environment.
M.D.L.

Anonymous said...

The Right to Declare Rights for all living forms should not be second guessed by any human. The only crime an animal has to their name is not being able to speak. They are guilty for not being able to tell us how they feel, knowing that they're defenseless then why do we mistreat them? Yes we, because we have all once felt superior then an animal even if it was a pet dog that we screamed at. Us humans wouldn't like to caged or be told what to do, so why should animals be the ones to suffer? Finally, a movement that is being done and has a case. SeaWorld knows they mistreated they're whales so now they have to pay the price. Justice will be done, and hopefully the whales will be free again.
A.Q

Anonymous said...

It is humanity, it is us on the constant mission for equality and order.Thus, why do we take what we fight for away from organisms who give and take from the planet just the same.If not for safety,what fair reason could you give me for holding whales under our commands and altering their behavior. This goes against all the hard work in history. Justice!Countless chickens are manipulated and slaughtered everyday.We are both blind and accustomed to obtaining all we desire.We are not superior.We are simply components to a larger machine known as society.Is it so difficult to limit eating meat?Oh is it out of the norm to abuse our right and actually stand up and speak? I believe the non profit group PETA are the true hereos of our time. LINA.A

Fidela said...

I believe that the U.S. 13 Amendment, Abolition of Slavery and Involuntary Servitude, is one of the rights that should be applied only to humans. The whales in Sea World (San Diego, CA and Orlando, FL) are domesticated whales, and they might suffer by not exercising freedom but are not suffering as much as those animals used in a cruel manner for entertainment. For example: elephants, cockfighting, dog fighting,and bullfighting.
The Right to Air and the Right to Life belongs to all beings; therefore,this issue must be a priority for those that advocate animal rights. I do agree and strongly support the right to declare rights to all animals that are being slaughtered. PETA claims to have more than 3 million members and is the largest animal group in the world. PETA should fight urgently and strongly to punish those individuals who use animals for entertainment. These practices have been in the entertainment arena for quite a while without much success. PETA's slogan is, "Animals are not our to eat, wear, experiment on or use for entertainment." If you want to advocate for animal rights, become a vegan and a vegetarian like my friend Gloria. Mahatma Gandhi said, "Changes come at the level of one individual. You must be the change you want to see in the world." Fidela

Bruna said...

As human beings instinctually preserve their lives, animals do too. This can be seen in various aspects of our lives, such as food procurement and procreation. For example, one of my kitties passed away a week ago. Although she was very sick, she tried very hard to keep living, by eating even though the act of chewing caused her intense pain. Nature has its own rules. But sometimes, being human, we interrupt that perfect harmony that has its intrinsic value to the preservation of life. No being has the right to infringe upon the rights which are basic to an animal’s life.

Anonymous said...

Everything and everyone should have the right to declare rights but the rights most of us are concerned about is our own. Do we ever think about other species rights? We're so caught up in our own world that we don't think about anything else unless it is affecting our rights. BRM

Anonymous said...

I think that the actions of PETA are completely irresponsible and make no sense. Do not missunderstand my words I think animals are beings and they're important to maintain equilibrium in what some call the circle of life, but if we want to protect these types of beings we should think first in not killing cows, chicken and fish to give some examples which they are not only born and grown slavery but they are brutally killed every day in massive quantities for us human beings to have a delicius piece of meat to eat. I would recomend PETA executives to go and enjoy disneys shows With a little of the money they have made from these "non-profit" causes.
ASR.

Anonymous said...

I’m glad that PETA is speaking for the animals, while they should have the same rights we do, they are usually ignored. I understand keeping a wounded wild animal in captivity but healthy killer whales being used as entertainment is inhumane and needs to be stopped. A lot of people will agree with this but later endorse them by spending money at their facilities.
CP

Mr.Drama said...

Supporting the rights for all species should be in the human agenda. We are all creatures who inhabit the earth; Full of lush green meadows and the sky as blue as the sea, As if painted by Micheal Angelo. Why should one creature be more superior then another? We are all different, but what makes us similar is the capacity to share life on earth. "the right to declare rights" can only be managed by human life. So it is our job to support the rights of not just ourselves, but for other species that give life to earth.

Anonymous said...

The problem with humanity is the incapacity to accept that this world is not only ours. As much as we like to impose our superiority, we fail to understand the inner relation between all organisms. It is a dependent chain reaction that breaks as soon as we become reluctant to realize that “all” species have the same given rights, those above the 13th amendment, and mentioned many times before, the right of freedom and life itself.
AYS

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that suffering and abuse of animals takes place before a step is taken to protect them. We the People, need to work on an amendment for animal rights if they are to live a humane life... I do not condone the captivity of animals for human entertainment and wish that they would cease the "shows" immediately.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that suffering and abuse of animals takes place before a step is taken to protect them. We the People, need to work on an amendment for animal rights if they are to live a humane life... I do not condone the captivity of animals for human entertainment and wish that they would cease the "shows" immediately.
G.C.
February 18, 2012 8:54 AM

Anonymous said...

It is endearing to know that there are a group of people fighting for the rights of beings that cannot defend themselves. Although I am not a vegan, I can hardly stand the idea of animals being brutally kept or enslaved. Certain animals have killer instincts, and the killer whale is the perfect example. Not too long ago, one of them ate their trainer. I guess, after all, they can speak for themselves.
ALB

Anonymous said...

I believe there should be more animal rights that limit malicious human behavior, and animal cruelty. Animals are vulnerable, and miserably at man’s disposition. The moment we begin to implement and punish those who violate these rights, maybe will see more drastic results. If we cannot protect those who cannot defend themselves, who will?
*NG*

Anonymous said...

All things that have life on earth should all have a right to rights. Plants, Animals, People Insects all need certain essentials to live. We all have a right to breath, a right to sunlight, a right to air, a right to water, etc. because without these things we would not be alive. - SKT

Anonymous said...

Humans, animals, plants, insects, etc... should be treated equally. Enslaving whales is just as wrong as killing and eating cows, pigs, and chickens. That same killer whale that was enslaved is capable of killing humans. In this world, beings fight to survive but there is no reason to start the fight by enslaving or mistreating other beings. -S.S.

Anonymous said...

I think the lawsuit was filed in good faith, but it is too late to release these whales now. Studies show that after a certain amount of time in captivity, releasing animals back into the wild would be detrimental to them. In captivity they are used to being fed. In the wild the whales would have to hunt for themselves. PETA means well but what they are asking for specifically is not smart. Maybe a lawsuit to prevent the future enslavement of whales would be more prudent on their part. MBS.

Anonymous said...

Non-domestic animals should be free, and they will when human’s anthropocentric way of seeing the world changes. I consider this an individual decision other than a governmental one as it starts with each one of us.
Dowel

Anonymous said...

I am very passionate when it comes to animals and us as humans who can speak need to speak up for animals. Whether it be non-domestic animals or domestic. Wild animals should be living in the wild. Domestic animals should be living in healthy, happy, nurturing homes. We as the people need to speak up for these beautiful living creatures. SC

Anonymous said...

As humans we tend to try to control everything around us that we can, even in innocent ways. The right to declare rights for every living thing is very important. Like babies animals can't really communicate, therefore; it is our job to take control and declare rights for them.C.N.J

Anonymous said...

Many people love animals, so much to the extent that they would treat them better than other human beings. However, it becomes an issue when the rights of animals affect the rights of humans. Let's be honest many pet lovers take good care of their pets, and would give them the world. But animals can't speak and that leaves animals being in subjection to human beings. I agree with the right to declare rights...all beings, so let's continue to do the right thing for all animals. AA

Anonymous said...

The right to declare rights belongs to any being that feels pain and/or has the capacity of memory. One only need to know the true story of the famous TV star Flipper, who’s real life trainer felt like a hypocrite and left the entertainment business altogether after witnessing first hand dolphins held in captivity for entertainment purposes, committing suicide. Yes, they would show signs of depression and hold their breath underwater until they passed on. “The Cove”, a documentary regarding the real story of how dolphins are caught in the wild, reveals the abuse that goes on against beings that were meant to declare their right to freedom. Animals are beings who do indeed have rights and it is up to the higher species, to assist in the plight to protect them from abuse, enslavement and extinction. I am proud to say I support PETA and their plight to protect animals as the 13th amendment surely applies to all beings, whales included. MMSEAWOLF

Anonymous said...

Who will speak for animals if not us humans, can anybody hear the cries for help, for freedom. The right to live free is an incredible feeling, something me as a person could understand. Great job by that nonprofit group I applauded them for a job well done, just like the blog says they won't win the case, but is a step forward in the right direction, one step at time, freedom belongs to every being in this earth. LEG