Dolphins Declared to be ‘Non Human Persons’

From the Web: Nature, Science & Tech

As recently reported by The Daily Mail, scientists, philosophers and animal welfare groups have made a declaration of dolphin rights, affirming that all cetaceans as persons have the right to life, liberty and wellbeing.

This bill of rights states that every individual member of the cetacean order – whales, dolphins and porpoises – has a right to life.  It has been drawn up by what is known the Helsinki Group, formed out of the ‘Cetacean Rights: Fostering Moral and Legal Change Conference’ held in Helsinki, Finland in May 2010.

It was said that after extensive scientific research we now know that dolphins are so intelligent that they should be thought of as ‘non-human persons’ and given their own bill of rights; the aspiration is to persuade governments to declare these principles a law, to stop cetaceans from being kept in zoos and water parks, and being killed by fishermen.

Dolphin and Human
© Unknown

“Whales would also be elevated above other animals by the list of rules, leading to whalers being classed as murderers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual conference heard in Vancouver. Whale watching trips would be subject to regulations which would respect the creatures’ privacy, and developers and oil companies would have to give huge consideration to the effect their projects would have on the animals’ life and culture.”

Philosopher Thomas White said: “Scientific evidence is now strong enough to support the claim that dolphins are, like humans, self-aware, intelligent beings with emotions and personalities. Accordingly, dolphins should be regarded as “non-human persons” and valued as individuals. From an ethical perspective, the injury, deaths and captivity of dolphins are wrong.”

It also says that no one has the right to own the creatures or to do anything that undermines their rights, freedoms or norms. Its authors are using the Vancouver conference to try to get more scientists and members of the public on their side.

Millions of people have seen the horrific and senseless slaughters of dolphins in Japan last year, and at the time a public outcry went viral over the internet. However, to this day, cetaceans are being murdered in our oceans but the media has moved on to other issues and is barely following up.

Animals also have rational minds, they are not as developed as man’s, but the difference is only of degrees. Now there are suspicions that dolphins have even more developed minds than man; certainly they have bigger brains than man.

Before it was discovered, man was thought to have the most developed brain amongst all the animals. Dolphins have more developed brains. The people who are studying dolphins are very puzzled because they show tremendous intelligence and there is every possibility that they may have some kind of different intelligence from man himself, more subtle. So the old definition, the Aristotelian definition, is no more valid – that man is a rational animal.”

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Visit if you wish to support the Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans


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