Earlier this month, PETA took part in a history-making court case, which attempted to prove that Seaworld orcas are slaves under the 13th amendment. Recently the case was dismissed. Of course this doesn’t come as a surprise for most, but many of us involved in the cetacean captivity scene are scratching our heads wondering if this was a victory for anti captivity activists, or a defeat.
Yes, the case was dismissed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that PETA was defeated by the dismissal. There is good reason to believe that the point of the case was to put captivity in a negative light and bring it to the nation’s attention. I think PETA wanted to get the public to think about captivity in terms of imprisonment or enslavement, which was accomplished. So in a way, this was a great victory for anti captivity activists. I believe that PETA got what it wanted out of the case…But it wasn’t all victorious.
The ground breaking court case which presented animals as slaves and persons was highly controversial, and there is a good chance that it made many people view PETA as a bunch of crazies. Well, more people than already view them as crazy. (Chances are we cetacean activists will be lumped into that group by captivity supporters)
As of now, we have the chance of a victory and a defeat on our hands. It all boils down to the results of the case – not in court, but in the public. Are there more people now who are anti-Seaworld? Or are there more people now who are anti-PETA? The answer to these questions will never be known, so whether or not this is a victory or a defeat is up for debate.