COMMONWEALTH BAY, Ata. – Amid mounting international pressure and cries for justice from animal rights groups, a panel of judges at the International Court of Justice at the Hague have ordered the destruction of an iceberg the size of Rhode Island on the grounds that it was responsible for the deaths of nearly one hundred and fifty-thousand penguins.
Dubbed BO98, the 1,120 square-mile iceberg allegedly dislodged itself from the coast of Antarctica nearly six years ago and, in doing so, separated the Adelie penguins from their natural habitat and severed their food supply. This, according to a criminal complaint filed by the rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), directly contributed to the penguins’ starvation and eventual death.
“This inexcusable act of genocide mustn’t go unpunished,” declared Mariah Chapman, an attorney representing PETA, while speaking before the International Court on Friday. PETA acknowledged that humans were likely to blame for creating the conditions which led to the iceberg becoming unhinged but said pinpointing exactly who was responsible and exacting punishment against them would be “unrealistic and time-consuming.”
Rather, PETA argued, the iceberg itself should be sentenced under the same guidelines as its human counterparts who have been convicted of genocide and other crimes against humanity. “Deliberate and systematic acts of murder are just as prevalent in the animal kingdom as they are in the human realm,” stated Ms. Chapman, but added, “However, for obvious reasons, animals are often unable to report these heinous acts.”
The presiding judges, it seems, were inclined to agree with PETA. On Monday, the ICC found the iceberg known as BO98 guilty of genocide and other atrocities stemming from its dislocation from the arctic mainland and subsequently ordered its immediate destruction by NATO forces.
The United States, a founding member of NATO, has taken it upon itself to carry out the iceberg’s execution and announced Monday afternoon that it has deployed the USS Momsen, a guided-missile destroyer, to the Southern Ocean. The vessel’s commander, Rear Admiral Martin Giancola told the Associated Press that the U.S. will use a combination of cruise missiles and high-explosive depth charges to destroy the iceberg. “Justice will be served swiftly and without hesitation,” the rear admiral promised.
In the meantime, PETA has called for a global moment of silence on Tuesday, March 1st, at twelve-noon (Rothera Research Station Time) in honor of the one hundred and fifty-thousand penguins who perished off the coast of Antarctica. “May their memory live on, and may all who look upon them be inspired by their devotion,” read a brief statement posted to PETA’s official website Monday afternoon.