Friday, May 18, 2012

Whales, Dolphins deserve Human Rights for their Intelligence

Marine biologists and philosophers have joined forces to support a declaration of rights for whales and dolphins on the grounds that their astonishing intelligence and emotional empathy puts them on a par with humans. Research into the complex behavior of cetaceans – whales, dolphins and porpoises – is revealing that these sea mammals are so highly evolved and complex in terms of their behavior that they deserve special protection with a universal bill of rights. Dolphins and whales have complex vocal communications and are able to learn an astonishing variety of behaviors when they come into contact with humans, such as cooperative fishing with native fishermen.

The proponents of the bill of rights argue that the cetacean mind is so advanced and self-aware that whales and dolphins should be classified as “non-human persons” who deserve the right to life, liberty and wellbeing. The declaration of rights states that every individual dolphin, whale and porpoise has the right to life and liberty and not only should they not be killed by hunting, but none should be kept in captivity or servitude or subject to cruel treatment. It states that no cetacean can be the property of any individual or government and calls for the legal protection of their natural environment and a ban on any activity that disrupts their ‘cultures’.

Courtesy: The Independent