Photo via mrmritter via Flickr Creative Commons
Orcas at East Point Saturna Island, July 19, 2008, working against a strong flooding rip current, going slow.
I'm not entirely comfortable with anybody's position about the rights of animals in the lawsuit PETA has brought on behalf of 5 orcas. So I picked two songs I'm not entirely comfortable with to represent that.
The first is deadmou5's "Orca."
The second is Wintersleep's "Orca."
Only the Canadian band's song has words:
I'll be a killer whale, when I grow up,
I'll be a vulture
I'll be an animal, a carnivore,
I'll be a monster
Clenching my jagged jaws over the captured
I'll be a killer whale when I grow up
I'll be a monster
deadmau5 has the sort of speed I imagine of a deadly pod of orcas. But the thing that's intriguing about the lyrics of Wintersleep's song is that they've got the menace. Dolphins are outstanding pack hunters, after all.
Both of these songs imagine, in their way, what it's like to be an orca. But the imagining is done by people. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that. It's making for interesting law, and legal theory, and ethical discussions. There's something valuable in trying to see the world from someone else's point of view than your own; why not some other species? I guess I'm doubtful about what we're hearing straight from the orca's mouth, as it were.
I've just read the brief and done a short story on this; it'll be on this afternoon on KPCC, and I'll update the link to the story here. In the meantime, I wanted to post the complaint PETA filed on behalf of the dolphins. I'm interested in what's called "animal law" in US legal scholarship, and I think there's something more to say than punchlines about People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and this case.
Anyway, here's the complaint. More in a bit.