The historical origins of ‘whales as people’

In an attempt to garner attention and raise awareness regarding the problematic use of orcas and other marine mammals in captivity for entertainment, PETA, an animal rights group, has sued Sea World, a corporation that builds and manages aquariums and marine parks. Opposition  to Sea World’s brand of entertainment-driven aquariums is nothing new, but this fresh lawsuit adds a novel twist to the boilerplate “intelligent animals don’t belong in captivity” – PETA is suing Sea World for violating these oceanic dolphin’s constitutional rights under the 13th amendment.

The 13th amendment to the United States Constitution explicitly outlaws slavery or involuntary captivity:

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