When Animals Attack—With Lawyers

If you’ve ever watched FOX News or been annoyed by someone who does, then you’re undoubtedly familiar with the freakish leap in logic many members of the Christian Right and the Republican Party cling to when arguing against gay marriage. Namely, that if men were allowed to marry other men, the floodgates would open up and soon you’d have people marrying dolphins.

And as well know, God created Adam and Eve, not Skipper and Flipper.

While this line of reasoning confounds many, the fact is it’s a very simple “X leads to Y” cause and effect argument, wherein gay people cause stupid people to say some really retarded shit.

A strange irony to this line of dogma, however, is that while gays and lesbians are still denied the right to marry, a lawsuit filed last week could end up giving those who like banging fish* a constitutional thumbs up.

The lawsuit in question has nothing to do with bestiality, at least not directly. Instead, it has to do with Sea World, orca whales and—as you’ve likely already surmised—slavery.

You see the suit, which was filed Wednesday by People for the Ethical Treatment of Appetizers (PETA), argues that Sea World has violated the constitutional rights of orca whales. In particular, PETA hopes to convince courts that Sea World is guilty of slavery.

PETA points to the 13th Amendment, which both abolished slavery and limited indentured servitude—largely to cases involving adjustable rate mortgages, student loans and Nike-owned sweat shops.

According to PETA, Sea World’s forced captivity of killer whales constitutes as slavery. The case relies solely on the fact that the 13th Amendment doesn’t use the words “people” or “person” to qualify who and what this constitutional protection extends to. Now, if you’re not familiar with the 13th Amendment (and let’s face it, you’re not), it reads as follows:

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 3: Free Willy.

The language of this amendment proves two things: first, that while the constitution has stood the test of time, it can’t survive Microsoft Word’s grammar check; and second, whales are people too.

Because based on language alone, Shamu represents a “party” that has not “been duly convicted” of a crime—even if the court of public opinion finds him to be guilty of “awwww.”

Some of you porpoise-hating luddites out there might think PETA’s argument is insane and has no chance in the courts, but that’s because you haven’t been paying close enough attention to our courts as of late. No shit, based on recent legal precedent, the only things not technically protected by the constitution are people protesting in an inconvenient and poorly marketed manner, “terror” suspects, and vaginas.

In fact, as recently as last year, incorporated businesses were granted constitutional rights by the SCOTUS—which is both text-speak for the Supreme Court and one of the most obnoxious, douche-bag identifying acronyms in history. Seriously, you lazy-ass Twidiots, SCOTUS sounds like a reference to the human taint** not one to the most esteemed court in the nation.

Though, to be fair, “taint” is a pretty apt description of Clarence Thomas.

In any case, there are far better terms with which to label the Supreme Court, particularly since it decided that corporate bribes to politicians were protected as “free speech.” For instance: Shareholders in Goldman Sachs.

Either way, as our courts appear intent on replacing our system of checks and balances with one that declares might is right, while at the same time reducing our constitution to a hand gun, I’d suggest you get used to respecting the rights of the animal kingdom.

Frankly, it’s about time we all did. Personally, I’m a huge supporter of the rights of animals, not to mention their salty, savory tastes (I’m looking at you, Mr. Bovine). And that’s the point really. I mean, what’s the benefit in being a United States citizen like Bank of America, GE or Wal-Mart if you can’t gleefully cannibalize your fellow Americans?

That said, I want to be the first to welcome all the killer whales to the American family. And now that you are a person, Sea World can continue fucking you without upsetting the Christian right with the “unnatural nature” of it all.

Regardless of how the court case turns out, I want to be the first to thank PETA for reminding us all that the rights of animals can always be balanced with the wrongs of our courts.

Oh, and that Clarence Thomas is a total SCOTUS. #Longjohnsilver.

*For the record, I know that dolphins and whales are mammals, not fish, and if that’s been bugging you for the last 720 words, you’re probably too busy counting exactly how many words are actually in this article to ever make it to the end of this sentence.

**The “human taint” is the area on the body between the genitalia and the anus. Thus, a proper usage of SCOTUS would be as follows: “I was wiping my ass and noticed that my SCOTUS was itchy as hell. #Foundacheesedoodle.”

Not only would that fit well within Twitter’s ADHD-inducing character limit, it’s also far more interesting than anything anyone has ever Tweeted.

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