Can animals be slaves?
Killer whale 'Tilikum' appears during its performance in its show 'Believe' at SeaWorld on March 30, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. 'Tilikum' is back to public performance March 30, the first time the six-ton whale has performed since killing 40-year-old trainer Dawn Brancheau at the marine park on February 24 2010. (Getty Images)
January 26th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Can animals be slaves?

Editor's Note: Jennifer O’Connor is a staff writer for the PETA Foundation. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) works to promote animal rights and mitigate cruelty toward animals.

By Jennifer O'Connor – Special to CNN

The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the condition of slavery. But it does not refer to a "person" or any particular class of victims.

So, can animals be slaves?

In a precedent-setting case, PETA, three marine-mammal experts and two former orca (killer whale) trainers are suing SeaWorld on behalf of five orcas who were taken from their home by force, locked up, put to work and never allowed to leave - the very definition of slavery.

Corky, Kasatka and Ulises went from exploring the vast seas with their families to a sterile tank barely larger than their own bodies at SeaWorld San Diego. Tilikum and Katina float listlessly between performances at SeaWorld Orlando. Now all five orcas will get their day in court. 

The case - the first-ever seeking to apply the 13th Amendment to nonhuman animals - represents a growing trend among a new generation of legal advocates who recognize that society moved away from the outdated notion that animals are unfeeling things a long time ago. It is time for our laws to follow suit.

The lawsuit calls for the five orcas to be released to a more appropriate environment, such as a coastal sanctuary. Protected sea pens would allow these orcas greater freedom of movement; the opportunity to see, sense and communicate with their wild cousins and other ocean animals; and the ability to feel the tides and waves and engage in behavior that is natural to their species.

Orcas in the wild lead rich, complex lives. They are intelligent animals that work cooperatively, form multifaceted relationships, communicate using distinct dialects and swim up to 100 miles every day.

We know that these marine mammals have sophisticated social structures. We also know that being jammed into an oversized fish bowl causes them to lose their minds. They destroy their teeth chewing on steel divider bars; they alternate between aggression and depression; they attack each other and sometimes they decide that they can't take one more minute and lash out against their captors - with tragic results.

These intelligent animals are held against their will. Slavery does not depend on the species of the slave any more than it depends on the race, gender or religion of the slave. The case will be heard in a U.S. federal court in February.

In another case drawing widespread interest, a New York City woman has filed a civil suit against the pet store that sold her a puppy, named Umka, who quickly developed chronic, debilitating medical conditions. The suit seeks to establish that animals are living beings, not inanimate things, and to hold the store accountable for Umka's pain, suffering and medical bills.

The legal system currently considers animals to be "property." If the legal definition of an animal is rightfully amended to recognize that animals feel emotions such as pain, joy, fear and grief, it could significantly affect the level of compensation that could be awarded when a buyer purchases an unhealthy dog born in a puppy mill – a mass-breeding facility in which animals are kept in tiny, feces-caked cages and never given any love or attention or even a chance to roll in the grass.

If successful, the lawsuit would leave pet stores financially liable for selling animals from puppy mills. No matter what the outcome, the issue has focused attention on the miserable lives ofanimals churned out in breeding mills and the far-reaching consequences of buying animalsinstead of adopting them from shelters.

Around the world, laws are being revamped to afford animals unprecedented protection. Last year, Peru's president, Alan García, signed a law banning wild animals in circuses. The decision comes on the heels of the British Parliament's unanimous vote to direct the government to introduce a similar ban. Similar legislation is also pending in Scotland, Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia.

India's minister of environment and forests issued a directive that banned the use of bulls in performances - including cruel races and other abusive spectacles. Spain's Catalonia region outlawed bullfighting. And Puerto Rico's Supreme Court recently determined that a monkey-breeding facility that would have sold primates to laboratories would not be permitted to open for business.

Increasingly, society is regarding animals not as "things" to dominate but rather as breathing, feeling beings with families, intellect and emotions. Hopefully, the laws that support that cultural evolution will follow suit.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of Jennifer O'Connor.

Post by:
Topics: Animals • Human Rights • Law

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soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. CynicalSam

    No, because they don't have any grasp of complex emotions. Just because I put a rock in a box doesn't mean im keeping that rock from living its fun-filled rocky life. Because its a rock, and all it will do if I take it out of the box is to continue being a rock until it falls apart. Don't let me catch this kind of sensationalistic crap on such a respectable blog again GPS.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Reply
    • Martni

      You are comparing a rock to an living thing?????

      January 27, 2012 at 6:27 am | Reply
    • John S.

      By your logic we should take away the rights and protections of any retarded person whose IQ is below a certain level. I can tell you for a fact my dogs have a higher intelligence than many retarded people I have cared for. If it has a central nervous system it is sentient and shouldn't be labeled property.

      January 27, 2012 at 7:50 am | Reply
    • VampireJack

      Wow – so you may as well say that a brain damaged 6 year old should be able to be used as a slave, as they are unaware of their mistreatment.
      MASSIVE difference between a SENTIENT being and a rock.

      January 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • VampireJack

      Good luck to PETA on this one. Although because of the ramifications when it comes to other animals, such as pigs and other livestock, there is no way they will win because of companies like McDonald's being so damn powerful.
      Just remember that those burgers you are eating are down to animal slavery and other forms of abuse.
      And don't give me that crap about free-range happy meat. A slave is a slave no matter how far he is allowed to roam (within the boundaries that his master has set).

      January 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
      • Shane

        So how far do we take this particular debate? Farmed vegetables, cereals and fruits are taken from their natural environment, bred in slavery, executed en masse and subjected to some pretty horrendous treatment. I'm sure you'll try and split hairs about at what level we stop calling a living thing a slave and start calling it lunch, but that's just semantics. Should we push for the elimination of agriculture in all it's forms or do we recognise that sometimes, fringe nutbags should not control public debate?

        January 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
      • VampireJack

        Shane – there is also a massive difference between animals and plants.
        Animals we KNOW have feelings and are self aware.
        Plants are different. They have no central nervous system nor a brain. The "myth" that they feel pain has be shown to be that – a myth. The claims about plants having "feelings" were by an Indian scientist ( I don't recall his name, but a quick google should turn him up pretty quickly ) who also claimed that it was possible that plants could telepathically communicate with humans, and that rocks and metal also have feelings and can do the same. He was a Hindu, who believed that all things have a life-force, and was trying to prove this.
        Also, when we grow plants we don't have to whip them, or abuse them in any other manner, to TRAIN them to perform for us. If there was no money to be made from zoos, circuses etc then the so called "carers" wouldn't give a damn about the animals.

        January 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
      • Shane

        As I said, splitting hairs. The fact remains that it is alive. Do we have a right to take a living thing out of it's environment, subject it to (for want of a better word) slavery and mass murder just to feed us? The presence of a central nervous system is not sufficient to determine a just course of action – invertebrates do not have a CNS and are capable of feeling pain, and even something as simple as bacteria will attempt to escape from adverse stimuli. A plant by its very nature cannot escape – it is rooted to a single place. If that is where we draw the line – a capacity to escape from adverse stimuli rather than a response – then simply nailing a cow to the ground resolves all moral issues. The second point I would make is that our understanding of other life is still limited and while we do not yet understand enough about plant life to make a call about responses to adverse stimuli, I would argue that ignorance is never an excuse. As an enlightened society should we not be motivated by ideals?

        January 27, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
      • chris

        Shane...your logic is so horrendously stupid it's almost as if you never received any formal education at all. Unless of course, you are just arguing to argue. In which case; you made a valiant attempt at crafting a point, even used some big words...but at the end of the day buddy; only an idiot draws comparison between a Killer Whale and a fruit/ vegetable. You, my friend, are clearly someone who understands very little about biology, zoology, and maybe just intelligence in general. ...just, wow...

        January 30, 2012 at 3:20 am |
      • Brad

        VampireJack: I agree to a degree, should animals be in a circuis? No, should they be tortured, no. However, animals, wether you like it or not, are food, just as other animals are food to other animals. We should still be able to eat meat, that is part of being human, we are omnivore, however, that does not mean that we should miss treat our food. These feed lots today are torture to these animals and should stop, but responsible breeding for food should be allowed. Even ants will tend to affids to farm them for their nectar, farming is not uniqe to humans, we just do it better.

        January 30, 2012 at 8:51 am |
      • Shane

        Chris, we don't eat people because we've decided that it's immoral to do so. We do eat plants and animals, and raise them for that purpose. As a society the idea of cannibalism is where we draw the line. What PETA (and VampireJack) is saying is that we should move where we draw the line, based on what exactly? The idea that something is alive? Because it's been removed from its natural environment and bent to our purposes? All I've done is extrapolate that concept to its conclusion. Unfortunately the elimination of agriculture (slavery) will sentence billions of people to death. It's easy to be moralistic when you're being shortsighted and not considering the end result of a proposal, but that would be so horrendously stupid that I start to wonder if you have a brain in your head at all.

        February 10, 2012 at 3:00 am |
    • carole raphaelle davis

      CynicalSam, the rock is you. Cold, heartless and belonging in a box. Of course animals are capable of complex emotions. You, on the other hand, are incapable of empathy, something that mice are able to accomplish.

      January 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • Jackie-k

      A machine is also a slave by definition and one of the definitions of machine is 'An intricate natural system or organism, such as the human body' (from which means that slave can in fact refer to all animals and couple that with the fact that all animals can and do feel pain (without even going into emotions which we now know is a very valid point with orca) with the current climate around the world in regards to animal rights in general, will be interesting. As for puppy mills, the sooner they are all shut down the better, they are disgusting places that are run solely for financial gain with no consideration given to the deplorable lives of the breeding dogs or condition of the offspring.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:32 am | Reply
      • Beverlee

        Ducks Unlimited is prlbaboy pretty popular where you are. MN has a pretty large population of hunters.

        February 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
      • Mey

        Oh kintets yes. This is the only reason I was born. To find you, my long lost blogging soul-mate.

        February 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • manco

      @ John S...Agreed 🙂

      but sadly there are idiots with a 1 % brain function out there who are beyond uneducated and were raised in senseless, heartless, useless environment in there own lives , them their selves cant comprehend, pain is pain. Unfortunely there are a majority of waste of space like these morons filtering this planet with their Useless acts.

      @ CynicalSam, you are that ROCK sweety, but doesnt mean every other living thing is too.. Now go back under the USELESS ROCK you came from, and we will keep ignoring you 😉
      ok , thanks so much , bubye

      January 30, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
      • Juan

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        February 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • susan ballarini

      You probably enjoy hurting them too don't you Sam?

      February 6, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  2. Thecentrist11

    I think neutering animals is barbaric. You are cutting off an animals reason for living for your own convenience and amusement.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Reply
    • Jared

      Spaying and neutering companion animals is for the benefit of the animals themselves, not for human convenience or amusement. About four million animals are euthanized in shelters every year because there simply aren't enough homes for them. This number would be dramatically decreased – if not eliminated entirely – if people responsibly spayed and neutered before their dogs or cats could contribute to the overpopulation crisis.

      January 27, 2012 at 10:01 am | Reply
    • TheLeftrist11

      orrrr... maybe population control....

      January 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
    • johndoe

      And why these pets usually dont stop reproducing?
      because their owners let them do it.
      Pets.. would be under control if the owners were responsible.. hint.. alot of them are NOT.

      January 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Reply
    • TheLeftrist11

      Actually, you know...there's nothing that amuses me more than sterilizing animals. In fact I wrote a song about it, wanna hear it? Here it goes:

      She laughs about it
      Shrinking infections if the wind blows just right
      jacking themselves off polyester!
      I wanna jump, this isn't right!
      Hey, when am I getting it back?

      I got my diddly spayed (x3)
      I got my diddly
      I got my dingaling spayed!

      January 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • Jamie

      Seriously, go work in a kill shelter for a few months. Specifically in the euthanasia rooms, and tell me again how neutering to keep the population at a reasonable level is for our own amusement....

      January 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Reply
      • David

        Not only for population control, which is a very good reason for spay/neutering, but also for their health, in both males and females. After decades of caring for many dog and cats, one thing that I have found to be true is that very often life threatening health problems arise from not spaying and nuetering, such as testicular cancer, various prostrate problems, uterus infections (which can often be a silent killer) and uterus cancer. As for PETA pressing charges, good luck to them, I completely agree with their cause, even though Sea World may be the wrong target, as they help contribute a lot to marine environment programs in Flordia and all around the world. It is long since time however that we get serious in this country about animal rights-especially in the food industry. I really wish they would go after most of these livestock businesses, which only care about making money and maximizing profit.

        January 30, 2012 at 1:58 am |
  3. Quasi-neutrum

    If cows are not only regarded as "T-bone-steak," this will have a big impact on the way we live. But it is somehow cynical to see that there are dogs and cats who are better looked after than kids and folks in some poor areas. Animal protecting agencies and WWF should bring more attention to all animals and their needs. (Artgerechte Haltung)!

    January 27, 2012 at 3:59 am | Reply
    • Animals have no voice

      There are human charities to look after humans. Animal charities need to use their funding to protect those who have no voice.

      January 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  4. j. von hettlingen

    The answer is NO! Every living creature is born free.

    January 27, 2012 at 5:23 am | Reply
  5. USMC Forever

    Can animals be slaves? Yes, they can. For instance, back in the 1960's the U.S.Navy was training dolphins to kill Vietnamese during the Vietnam war. Even now, our military is traing dogs to do the same over in Afghanistan. This needs to stop simply for humanitarian purposes.

    January 27, 2012 at 9:56 am | Reply
  6. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    The GOP thinks/wants people(animals) to be slaves. The GOP mantra: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Unemployed, and Gay people into slaves. Then whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Employed, and Straight. Or until they are dead. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military.

    January 27, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • Bob Bales

      Sorry, but this is not the mantra of the GOP, but of the GOP*. The GOP* is the creation of others, mainly liberals, who attribute to it all the characteristics they dislike. Any resemblance of the characteristics of the real GOP to those attributed to the GOP* is mostly coincidental.

      January 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Reply
    • Joe Robaidek

      You're a terrible troll...

      January 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Reply
    • prettygreenbird

      This really isn't a political issue. It's an issue of compassion, and for that matter, what type of species we as humans wish to be. I know plenty of animal advocates of various political persuasions. Repeat after me: animal rights are not the the same thing as tax policy, foreign policy, etc.

      January 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  7. Lacey

    I think that organizations like PETA are quick to forget the importance of organizations like Sea World, zoos etc, in guaranteeing the perservation of animals. Getting kids to experience the joys of seeing animals up close gets them to care! It provides an opportunity to teach young people, not just facts about the animal, but more importantly about the importance of conservation. Then when they grow up, they care about animals, and as a result, are more likely to care about the environmental malpractices that endanger these creatures.

    January 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
    • VampireJack

      Yup – and if it wasn't for McDonald's and their burgers Cows would take over the world.
      Everyone knows that breeding animals, mistreating them,slaughtering them just so we can eat them is best for the animals themselves as otherwise they would massively breed and starve due to lack of food. Yup – everyone knows that we do it out of kindness to other species.

      January 27, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • MMarce

      I think that would be pre-cable t.v. and internet. Kids today fall in love with and care about many types of animals they've never seen in person. Years ago, zoos, aquariums, National Geographic magazine and an occasional t.v. show were the only access children had to wild animals. Nowadays, kids have channels dedicated to animals and an incredible amount of websites and videos. These have allowed both children and adults to see wild animals live in their natural habitats and come to love them and care about their well-being without cages or aquariums.

      January 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • Jamie

      I have no problems with zoos etc keeping animals that were born in captivity or that were rehabilitated from injuries or something along those lines. I worked in a zoo during high school. I get it. However, these places need to give them a higher quality of life. Room to run/swim, proper meals and health care, etc. The whales at Sea World don't seem to have the quality of life that they should and it shows.

      January 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Reply
    • Kitty

      I think there is a big difference too between a place like the Monterey Bay Aquarium that seems truly dedicated to helping the seas (they produce a list of what fish to eat and what fish not to eat for environmental reasons, etc.) vs. SeaWorld, which is an amusement park that forces these mammals to do stupid tricks for our amusement. It is very unnatural for them.

      January 30, 2012 at 3:30 am | Reply
  8. Mike Ryan

    Most animals aren't intelligent enough to have rights, but there are some that are. Orcas definitely belong on the list. They have very complicated social lives with language and a taught culture. They learn to overcome their instinct.

    For GOPisGreedOverPeople, I am a registered Republican and have always been so. Don't be so bigoted as to classify me.

    January 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • Intelligence shouldn't dictate rights.

      Though I think the "non-human persons" classification for dolphins is a fascinating idea, I don't want to stray away from the main point. No living creature deserves to be treated with inhumane and violent means. If a being is sentient, it has the right to live.

      January 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
      • Bob Smith

        We should also create the category: people-that-are-good-on-sandwiches.

        January 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • VampireJack

      When it comes to intelligence I am reminded of an off the cuff remark my cousin once made.
      He said that goldfish are the most intelligent creatures on the planet as they never created the atom bomb.

      Whether or not you recognize an animals intelligence (or are arrogant enough to believe that we are the only species of animal – yes, animal – on the planet with intellegence) is irrelevant – you don't have to be intelligent to suffer.
      How can we be expected to evolve into more spiritual beings if we are still abusing the other inhabitants of our planet?

      January 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  9. Godi Gutierrez

    Then, why not includes plants, which are also living beings. How about viruses, bacterias, germs, etc.?

    Is it time for another civil war? This time between the animal advocates and the rest of us?

    January 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  10. thatguythere

    There need to be a few classifications to this. As much as I don't agree with a lot of PETA concepts, some animals should be treated differently than others. Farm animals for food, should be treated differently under the law than pets, and wild animals that are not commonly domesticated should be left on their own, or if the need exists, an environment as close to the wild as possible created for them. We eat farm animals, and since most of the population doesn't raise cattle, the producers need to keep costs low at the expense of "happy" animals in many cases. This can change, as there are many PETA supported farms. We keep pets as companions, and we bond with them, it's expected that we will purchase or adopt a healthy animal – or one that we will know may need special care – same statement above, this can change by knowing and supporting where your pet comes from.

    January 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  11. Bob Smith

    Animals SHOULD be kept as slaves. That's what they're for. And food.

    January 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • Professor Trollworth

      Agreed. I eat many burgers every day because cows taste good. You can't take that away from me.

      January 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Reply
      • VampireJack

        There are those who claim that longpig tastes good – so maybe I should eat you ?

        In my opinion, being a vampire, YOU are MY food......


        January 27, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  12. Mike

    If the animal can be considered a slave then logically the animal should also be brought up on murder charges. There are plently of laws protecting the treatment of animals. I am pretty sure the 13th Amendment was intended for all HUMANS.

    January 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  13. maryam

    Scene is very strange snake swallows girl

    January 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  14. Mr. Robert

    Just take your time to visit Ric O'Barry's site:

    Kathy, the dolphin who most often played Flipper, died in O’Barry’s (trainer) arms, commiting suicide, in the 60's. It was so moving for him that he turned from hunter/ trainer to animals activist.

    January 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply
    • Kitty

      Thank you for this link! Fascinating stuff!

      January 30, 2012 at 4:08 am | Reply
    • Ranil

      “By any means naesescry”: Brainwashing naive, idealistic youngsters to engage in criminal activity that will land them in jail while taking refuge behind a computer screen and credit for their actions. Also known as “doing a Jerry on someone”.

      February 10, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  15. TheLeftrist11

    come my minions of dolphins, we will rise and overthrow the corrupt american government!

    January 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  16. Metta

    Before one opposes ask these three simple questions:
    1. Is 'animal' pain the similar or different from 'human' pain
    2. Does suffering arises from the pain?
    3. Do we like suffering to be inflicted..upon oneself..and upon 'animals'.?
    If it is ok for animals to is ok for us to suffer too.
    If it is not ok for us to is not ok for 'animals' to suffer too.
    All 'breathing being' avert suffering... all wants happiness.

    January 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  17. Metta

    If we deny happiness on others,
    it is natural that happiness will be denied upon us!
    This is irrevocable natural law.

    January 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Reply
    • Chen

      sotafusirn August 4, 2009 too bad na from their point of view, hindi sila nahahabag o nababahala. They wouldn't say such if they were ignorant. Hindi sila manhid para maging mapangdiskrimina. If you talk to such (kind of) people, prepare yourself – baka kailanganin mong magsumbong.

      February 11, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Reply
  18. Skittlez!

    THIS IS TERRIBLE. How could people think such things and put living breathing beings through such... TORTURE. Think this: how would they like it that was them??? I dont think they would. I feel very sorry for these poor animals and I hope that the criminals will be brought to justice.

    January 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  19. Skittlez!

    Thecentrist11 you are compleatly right...Shouldnt everyone have the right to have children? Or to have something to care for and love? I think so.

    January 27, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  20. Gustavo



    January 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  21. eman

    Strangest way to the marriage application

    January 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Reply
    • Orciano

      January 16, 2009 P150K?!!?!?SERIOUSLY?!!? haha. asan na yang mga kstneog yan! Ilabas na yan! Haha

      February 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  22. chosenone

    Those DAMN YOGURT COMPANIES KEEPING THOSE TRILLIONS OF MICROBES ENSLAVED, cranking out waste products in vats until they get packed up in their own filth and sold to cruel humans who eat them both dead and alive!!!!!!
    END YOGURT NOW!!!!!!!

    January 27, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  23. Anne

    Lets make this easy, shall we. The definition of Slave: slave
    [sleyv]   Origin: slave   [sleyv] Show IPA noun, verb, slaved, slav·ing.
    1. a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant.
    2. a person entirely under the domination of some influence or person: a slave to a drug.
    Definition of Person:
    [pur-suhn]   Origin: per·son    [pur-suhn] Show IPA noun
    1. a human being, whether man, woman, or child: The table seats four persons.
    2. a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.

    Animals are excluded from being a "Person", they therefore cannot be considered a Slave. EASY! Hopefully the court will sanction the idiot attorney that is wasting the courts time on this ridicules garbage.

    January 27, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Reply
    • Alan L.

      Ignorance is never something to be proud of. Read this:

      The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery.
      ISBN-13: 978-0962449338

      January 29, 2012 at 6:58 am | Reply
      • Anne

        Do not be to hard on yourself, ignorance can be overcome with just a little bit of hard work. As for your recommended reading, not really something that grabs my interest. I see distinct difference between Humans and animals, and I believe in the cycle of life as well as the food chain. What I do NOT believe in is anthropomorphism and a misguided claim that an animal could be considered a slave. Taken even further, it is hypocrisy to claim this for some species and not all. Again, my desire, is that the courts will see the absolute waste of time and resources that this is, and sanctions the filing attorneys. Now that is something I will help fight for.

        January 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  24. PETA H8R

    Doesn't PETA murder... I mean "euthanize" thousands of dogs a year? What an evil and worthless organization.

    January 27, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Reply
    • Tigerskpr

      PeTA, which is well-known for wanting nothing less than eradication of *all* pets and companion animals, not to mention forcing a vegan diet on everyone. PeTA – their belief that animals would be "better off dead" than risk suffering at the hands of humans is truly frightening.
      Next they will be coming after our pets!

      January 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  25. maryam

    See the elephant is dying and die a very sad situation

    January 27, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  26. sameh

    The most powerful horror film in the history of world cinema

    January 28, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  27. Aristocles

    It is sad that liberals have so many people willing to fight for animals and trees, but so very few willing to fight for unborn humans. Unborn dogs, sure, but not their own species.

    January 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • todd

      Conservatives have no room to manuever when it comes to inconsistency of care for degrees of life. You care far more for proto-humans than you do for the real flesh and blood variety

      January 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Reply
    • guest

      it is sad that so many fight for the rights of the unborn but applaud the death penalty, war, hunting, and slaughter and abuse of all of God's creation. if you want to be Pro-Life, then be it for all of creation!!! I do.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  28. Esayas

    I have always felt that animals in Zoo are like slaves.It is nice that some people are taking it further to help animals using law.that is cool!!

    January 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  29. dougaussie

    at what level of brain development does an animal become a reflective emotional feeling thing and not an advanced biological robot responding to environmental stimulus. We're probably talking small than rats or mice, since i think those creatures might care for their do they feel for their young or they simply automated to? Pain is a real motor response in a frog but is the frog feeling pain or responding to it...?

    January 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Reply
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