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Thread: Give Cetaceans 'human' rights?

  1. #1
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    Give Cetaceans 'human' rights?

    I read an article today in the local rag, that Scientist can now prove Dolphins, Whales and other Cetaceans have a sense of self awareness, consciousness and individuality. They are also highly intelligent. As Humans have the same qualities and it is proposed we extend the same rights we enjoy to Cetaceans.

    Similar article:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wil...elligence.html

    For me, this is a step in the right direction. Long has my gut instinct told me Dolphins and Whales are far, far more intelligent than commonly believed. I’m glad research is now proving this correct.

    Of course, giving Cetaceans their one set of “Human” rights would mean they could no longer be held in captivity, paraded on show or removed from their natural environment. Personally, I do not have a problem with that.
    And I am sure, given the choice; some may even choose stick around and perform for us. All we need to do is give them the choice. This would mean facilities for Dolphin/Whale shows would be limited in location by their proximity to the sea. A canal or natural waterway would need to be used to allow the animals to come and go as they please. I am confident that many dolphins will choose to perform; it appears as though they derive pleasure from it just as we humans do.

    More importantly, it we would need to stop all whaling and slaughter of Cetaceans.
    The Japanese still engage in whaling and have a tradition of driving tens of thousands of dolphins into small coves each year and senselessly slaughtering them. Most die slow, agonising deaths.
    I once, long ago, saw a documentary on such an activity on an island, Taiji or some such, and the screams of pain from those poor dolphins still haunt me.
    Apparently similar events take place in the Faroe Islands too.

    So, what do others think on this? Are they smart? Are they self aware? If they are, should we grant them the same level of respect and rights a human enjoys? I think so.
    Bmused55

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  2. #2
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    I think so, yes.

    We certainly have no rights to hunt them

    As to imprisoning them for our entertainment? I am uneasy with that too.

    Moggy
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  3. #3
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    I think we will eventually find that all life is more significant as far as self-awareness than our current flat-earth anthropocentric view holds to be the case.
    The way we humans treat other life forms is abhorrent to me. You only have to have a cat, dog or horse to know that other life forms can be self-aware. It is only science that demands such a high level of proof before it accepts the obvious.

    I imagine that consciousness is the basis of all life everywhere, and not some (as yet unproven) bio-chemical genetic drive to evolve. It is consciousness (which implies self awareness) that causes evolution.

    Therefore we should probably treat all life of as value because it exists, and not of value because it is a usable resource for us to consume.

    Were we ever to come across a more advanced non-human race of beings we would fervently hope they'd take the same approach to us.

  4. #4
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    Yes, agree totally.

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    When I read this, I thought; Hello, I've missed a month, it must be April 1st. already.


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  6. #6
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    Interesting.
    I'm not sure how provable any of this is...but no animals should be made to suffer.

    One thing about whaling...the Japanese get all the bad press, but Alaskan (and Canadian?) natives have permission to hunt whales too and no one says a thing. Surely the whales they kill are as intelligent as those in the South Atlantic.

    It seems a case of PC where no one wants to accuse the tribes of doing anything bad. Like the Japanese, whaling is a long-time tradition but not really necessary for survival today.
    Last edited by J Boyle; 21st February 2012 at 17:58.
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  7. #7
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    Hi JB, And there also the baby seals that are clubbed to death, I would give my b***s to be behind one of them with a 12 bore(Guage in USA speak). Also the same applies to the Japanese who state they "Only" kill their quota of Whales for scientific reasons, if these so called intellegent Japs havn't realised what makes a Whale tick by now they never will, (Sorry, but Greenpeace) has the right idea, but thats just my opinion, same with the slaughter of Dolphines in the coves, I watched it on TV, and felt like puking up.
    I have seen the killer whales perform at Sea World, San Diego, and also the dolphines, I and my family thoroughly enjoyed it, but did those creatures?. If and it's unlikely they would be released back into the wild, could they fend for themselves?.feed, and fight for themselves?.
    And whilst I am on my little rant, what about the U.S. Navy who have trained Dolphines to attatch limpet type mines to the hulls of ships.
    Leave them all alone, they have a right to life as we do.
    There is hardly anything that we can obtain from these creatuures we cannot make ourselves, so why the need to kill them?.
    When they are nearly at extinction levels, some bright chap will come up with the great idea of trying to save the remaining few pairs. OH yes, they mate for life, the same as we do, and their pairing up frequently lasts a damn site longer than ours.I know some of our Polititions have bird brains, perchance they should have Dolphines brains instead.
    B.T.W. Moggy, I agree with your comments.

    Jim.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmused55 View Post

    The Japanese still engage in whaling and have a tradition of driving tens of thousands of dolphins into small coves each year and senselessly slaughtering them.

    Don't see the Porpoise in this..............
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  9. #9
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    Moggy and Lincoln I agree with you. Cant think of one good reason to keep dolphins and killer whales in captivity to perform for humans' entertainment. These animals belong in their natural element. Visited a water park in Majorca some years ago where they kept performing dolphins a matter of a hundred yards from the sea, where they should really be.What a bloody shame for these poor creatures. As for killing whales for "research"-just sounds like an excuse. I saw trailers for a documentary about what happens to dolphins in the Faroes a while back. Could not watch the programme. I did see one about sharks being landed just for their fins to make soup,however. Just as bad in my view.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moggy C View Post
    We certainly have no rights to hunt them
    Please correct and forgive me if I'm wrong Moggy, but I seem to recall from another thread that you were sympathetic to either the fox or deer hunting community? If so, how can it be right to choose which animals are OK to hunt on the basis of their perceived intelligence? Again, my apologies if I'm wrong about that earlier (deleted?) thread.
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  11. #11
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    It would be a slippery slope if we choose what animals we can eat/breed/use based on their perceived intelligence.
    How about the involuntary sterilization of Labradors?
    Their use as guide dogs?
    Riding horses?
    Laws against vermin extermination?

    Extreme examples, but all somewhat plausable if some animals are promoted as having human rights.

    What's next put fishermen/whalers (and those who eat their catch) on trial for crimes against humanity...well not quite humanity?
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  12. #12
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    John. I may be wrong, but I thought that this thread was all about the senceless killing of various fish// mammals for no good reason.
    No, why would you wish to sterilize your Lab dog?.
    No we are on about the slaughter, just for the sake of needless slaughter, as somewon has stated here, I too saw the TV prog re the sharks being hauled aboard a Long Liner boat, their Dorsal fin cut off, and the still living shark throw back into the sea, Can you explain why, apart from the fact, they are just slaughtered for their fins WHY they should be killed?.
    It is I agree a very slippery slope, we killl sheep, cows etc, and whilst I don't condone this slaughter, we at least make sure we are killing them, but at the same time breeding more, so we will never see Chickens near extinction, just as an eg. Look at all the endangered species we have made exstinct, even today something will die, and be it a plant, fish, animal, it will never be able to be replaced, and we are supposed to be compassionate, humans with a brain. Unfortunately, unless all these endangered are going to cost Governments Billions of currency to stop, I am afraid it will, very sadly carry on, and what will we do,?, just sit back, do nothing, and hope it will go away.
    Just think, there will come a day, when some parents will have to show their kids a picture of some wild animal, simply because we have hunted it to extinction.and cannot show that child the real deal, be it in the Zoo, or in it's natural habitat.
    Jim.

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  13. #13
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    No Jim.

    This thread is not about 'slaughter', it is about giving Cetaceans the equivalent of human rights. The problem is why extend those rights to whales and dolphins but not to your common cattle, sheep, pigs, lions, polar bears, giraffes and even John Boyle's labrador?

    While not doubting the intelligence of the dolphin, it is clear that the other animals I listed, and millions of other species, show intelligence, pain, fear, posessiveness, compassion and any number of other traits which we describe as emotion and are part of being not only self aware but aware of others. Whilst there are degrees of difference in intellect between species there are degrees of intellect within species and it is very noticeable between humans.

    Are you suggesting that what has been referred to as 'human' rights should be granted only on the grounds of intellect? Perhaps those who passed the '11 Plus' should be given more rights than those who failed it? The last person who tried to link intelligence to rights was responsible ultimately for the slaughter of millions.

    it is a very slippery slope indeed.


    Regards,

    kev35
    Last edited by kev35; 23rd February 2012 at 09:28.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev35 View Post
    No Jim.

    This thread is not about 'slaughter', it is about giving Cetaceans the equivalent of human rights. The problem is why extend those rights to whales and dolphins but not to your common cattle, sheep, pigs, lions, polar bears, giraffes and even John Boyle's labrador?

    While not doubting the intelligence of the dolphin, it is clear that the other animals I listed, and millions of other species, show intelligence, pain, fear, posessiveness, compassion and any number of other traits which we describe as emotion and are part of being not only self aware but aware of others. Whilst there are degrees of difference in intellect between species there are degrees of intellect within species and it is very noticeable between humans.

    Are you suggesting that what has been referred to as 'human' rights should be granted only on the grounds of intellect? Perhaps those who passed the '11 Plus' should be given more rights than those who failed it? The last person who tried to link intelligence to rights was responsible ultimately for the slaughter of millions.

    it is a very slippery slope indeed.


    Regards,

    kev35
    Yes Kev. I know what you mean re human rights, and it cannot possibly happen. I sort of cross referenced it to what we are doing to our fish, animals etc. Megga thread drift I know, but I can't stand cruelty to animals, sharks or whatever.So I made my stand, and rest my case.
    I am sure you realised that.
    Jim.
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  15. #15
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    The only types who would gain from this would be the legal profession, after all, until we speak their languages, animals will always need someone to speak for them, in court, won't they? Until the human race can learn to stop killing itself, with as little thought as stepping on an insect, animals won't have a chance.

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    According to dear old Wiki, some Killer Whales prey on other whales and sharks, so if they all had "Human Rights" enshrined in law, does that mean we'd have to police the seas to stop it happening? Seriously, I'm all for stamping out cruelty and exploitation of these lovely creatures, but to grant them "Human Rights" is just farcical.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_whale
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  17. #17
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    I agree, and as I stated to Kev, I went off thread megga big time onto the needless slaughter. Without a question of a doubt, Dolphines are extremely intelligent. About a year ago, a surfboarder came off his board and was about to be attacked by a shark, when two Dolphines appeared on the scene and kept headbutting the shark off the attack, until the surfboarder was safe and back on shore, This was seen by quite a number of folks. and this is not the first time these creatures have helped folk in trouble when in the sea.They do have rights, and they are that WE, also supposidly intelligent humans,leave them alone, period. Back on thread again........................................
    Jim.
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  18. #18
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    I read an article in science magazine. A leading scientist was asked "if a fly flew into your lab what would you do", and his response was interesting. He replied..
    .."consider the following. Imagine there are no insects on earth. Then as a scientist I created a small fly. Well, I would be a noble prize winner and the scientific community would be in awe.
    However we do have flys so what would I do, I would swot it!".

    The point being familiarity breeds contempt especially where life is concerned. We will only miss it when it's (Whales, Dolphins, Flys, Mice) are gone.

  19. #19
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    The Japs slaughter the Dolphins...they say..to protect fish stocks. That's just a lie and we all know it.

    It is still a percieved intelligence in Whales / Dolphins and any other living being that is not human.
    And, it all depends on doing the measurement. In the 60's Dolphins were found to be able to distinguish between different metals (All painted to remove visual assistance). Very handy for planting limpet mines on Soviet Ships.
    At the end of the day...it's all for a reward of some description.

    We are the superior race on this planet and we should use that superiority with due care. Kill for food, only.
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  20. #20
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    I dont know about animals,--but there's a few humans on this world that need their rights taking away .....!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AutoStick View Post
    I dont know about animals,--but there's a few humans on this world that need their rights taking away .....!!!!!!
    Yeah, I excluded those. Some needs rights taking away, some need killing for the sake of just being human, some need sorting out with a small War.
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  22. #22
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    I myself do not have a problem with the concept of people hunting whales (or indeed any animal) for food. Nb excluding endangered species and out of season.
    However I do support the ban on whaling because the animals cannot be killed in a humane manner.
    Likewise similar barbarities such as cutting the fins off sharks should be banned.

    Which leads us to seal clubbing, like everyone else im horrified by the notion that seal cubs were literaly beaten to death. The fact they are clubbed and are young creates a highly emotive issue.

    However I have seen the video footage of this taking place and its not beating as such it is generally one instantly incapacitating blow.
    So the question is (assuming that it is necassery to cull the seals) what would be the most humane method available and is it the case that barbaric as it seems from the description seal clubbing is it in fact more humane than say shooting.

    Note I am not condoning seal clubing it is a point for debate, I personnally couldnt do it.
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