Nichols: Sorry PETA, constitutional rights are exclusive to people

Ian Nichols

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has done it again. What is it going to come up with next? It is becoming even more of a joke after every media stunt it pulls. This organization has been well known for its bizarre media stunts, but its most recent lawsuit might be one of the worst.

Earlier this month, a California judge threw out PETA’s suit that five orca whales at Sea World were having their rights violated. PETA claims that the animal’s rights are violated under the 13th Amendment, which prohibits slavery.

PETA is using the argument that dismissing animals as property was the same argument used against African-Americans and women before their rights were protected. This is a very racist and sexist claim. Human life, no matter what race or sex you are, is more important than little Fido. It is insulting that PETA is comparing zoo animals to the civil rights and woman’s rights movements.

I love animals, I really do. I grew up with an amazing dog that lived almost 16 years, and I currently have a golden retriever. No offense to my dog, but if I had to choose between my dog and my friend to rescue, I would save my friend. If animals are going to be treated like humans, then what about a few other things?

I am going to borrow a page from PETA’s playbook. Doesn’t Fluffy have a right to life — or at least a court hearing — before he gets PETA’s lethal injection? How about the right against cruel and unusual punishment from the Eighth Amendment? Do animals get the right to vote when they turn 18 (or 3 in dog years)?

A 2010 inspection of 290 PETA animal custody records performed by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services discovers that PETA killed approximately 84 percent of the animals it took control of by lethal injection. Additionally, the inspection discovered that PETA’s Norfolk, Va., animal shelter doesn’t even meet PETA’s own published guidelines for running a shelter.

For those of you who watch “The Daily Show,” they did a little special segment on this case. They brought in a PETA spokesperson, Lisa Lange, and, Jon Stewart-style, began asking questions meant to entertain the audience for comedy. It was hilarious watching this lady respond to some of the questions.

One asked if she considered owning her dog slavery and the lady was unable to respond. She also was unable to respond when she was asked, “Are you just exploiting the history of the slavery of black people in this country for publicity?”

The biggest joke out of all of this that I found was that she claimed the courts would see it in PETA’s way because it doesn’t say anywhere in the Constitution that it just refers to people. I do believe the first three words of the Constitution are “We the People.” By this phrase, it is saying that the rules and rights in this document were created by people and for people, not animals.

Animal cruelty is one thing and it does happen, but when you start to say that it is on the same level as assaulting a human being, that is just plain wrong. I am surprised they didn’t get all over Lady Gaga for wearing an all-meat dress. I am very curious to see what the next PETA stunt will be. It will probably be something like it is illegal for pets to wear collars and leashes.