PETA Fights For Whales’ Rights

November 24, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. slavery (n.) [sley-vuh-ree] –a system in which a person is forced to work against his will
    Example: President Abraham Lincoln opposed slavery in the United States.    

2. appoint (v.) [uh-point] – choose somebody for a job or position
    Example: Mr. Chow was appointed as the new CEO of Great Foods Inc. after the retirement of Mr. Lee.

3. guardian (n.) [gahr-dee-uhn] – someone or something that watches or protects something
    Example: When I moved to another country, my aunt became my guardian.

4. accreditation (n.) [uh-kred-it-tey-shuhn] – official authorization or approval
    Example: Our school received accreditation to officially accept students.

5. plaintiff (n.) [pleyn-tif] – somebody who brings a civil action to court
    Example: The plaintiff a case against the robber.

Read the text below.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and three mammal experts filed a lawsuit last October 26 against SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment for keeping five whales and forcing the animals to perform in shows.

The case is said to be the first to argue for animals’ constitutional protection against slavery. The suit asked the court to order the release of the whales as well as appoint a legal guardian who would bring them to a suitable environment.

According to PETA, SeaWorld took these marine animals out of their natural habitats to perform in SeaWorld San Diego and Orlando shows. Moreover, they were subjected to artificial breeding to produce more of their kind for SeaWorld’s profit. Forcing animals to work against their will can be considered involuntary service and slavery, which are prohibited under the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution.

SeaWorld countered by saying that the court case is baseless, because protection under the constitution applies only to humans. In addition, SeaWorld argued for the right of the public to enjoy and learn about marine mammals.

According to SeaWorld, it is legally permitted to display marine mammals. Its parks have accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums.

For years, US courts have considered laws related to animal ownership and cruelty applicable only to human actions. This means animals themselves could neither sue nor become defendants or plaintiffs.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
Discussion A

·         What are the common animals that you see in animal shows?
·         What do you think are the effects of animal shows to animals?

Discussion B

·         Is there a law in your country prohibiting animal shows?
·         What do you think are the advantages of animal shows?

November 24, 2011