Good news for…. Whale-kind

SeaWorld is being sued by five of its killer whales following a campaign by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to grant dolphins and whales the same rights as humans. PETA claims that the whales are “treated like slaves by being forced to live in tanks and perform daily at SeaWorld parks in California and Florida”. The whales themselves have yet to issue a statement and will most likely not attend their hearing as they won’t fit in the courtroom.

PETA have been campaigning to grant cetaceans equal rights after arguing that they are sufficiently intelligent to justify the same ethical considerations as humans. Though it is unlikely that the whales will win their freedom, they will no doubt be delighted to finally have their voices heard and will regard this decision as a huge step forward for whale-kind.

One of the whales, known only as ‘Tilikum’, refused to comment on the situation.

 

Bad news for…. Martin Johnson

He is considered England’s most successful rugby captain, and has managed the England squad through a World Cup; however, instead of spending his summer revelling in his sporting achievements, Martin Johnson will instead be coaching kids at a holiday resort.

‘Manager Martin’ has been asked by Super Skills Travel to teach children how to play rugby at a luxury holiday resort in Sardinia. Parents willing to pay over £4,000 will be able to relax in the sun at Forte Village Resort, safe in the knowledge that their children are being treated to morning rugby training sessions by the man himself.

You may think this an undeserved demotion, but Johnson has fallen from his former glory over the past few years. When he led the England rugby squad in the 2011 New Zealand World Cup, the team was accused of several controversies, ranging from drunken abuse of hotel staff to dwarf tossing. England also only reached the quarterfinals, making it one of our poorest performances in a World Cup.

Johnson will be joined in Sardinia by some of his former teammates, including Will Greenwood and Austin Healey, who run the Super Skills Travel company.  Let’s just hope Johnson and his teammates stay clear of any dwarf tossing – it might not go down so well with the parents.

 

And in other news… A Gender Disordered Five Year Old

Zach Avery is one of the 165 children to be diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder (GID) this year, but at five years old, he is the youngest case ever to be recorded in the UK.

When Zach turned three, he told his mother that he was a girl and swapped his bowl cut for pigtails, Thomas the Tank Engine for Dora the Explorer and his trousers for tutus and tiaras. His mum, Theresa, decided it was just a phase and left him to it. However, when his parents realised he wouldn’t budge, they took him to a string of doctors and child psychologists, who diagnosed him with GID disorder, his condition making him feel like he’s a girl trapped in a boy’s body.

He has now been living as a girl for more than a year, backed by both the NHS and his Essex primary school, who have given the school toilets unisex status in support of his condition.

Zach’s mother does admit that things will be harder for her son as he grows older, but she is supportive and says she wants him to be happy. “If this is the route he wants to take, if this is what makes him happy, then so be it. I would rather him have my full support.”

Suzi Collins & Antonia Paget

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