Home > Law and Public Policy > Dolphins Are Non-Human Persons

Dolphins Are Non-Human Persons

21-Mar-10 01:13 pm EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

I used to get laughed at by people in the small town I grew up in, Beausejour, Manitoba, saying exactly what scientists said a month ago at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Of course, I didn’t have 30 years of collected evidence to present in making my argument.  But even at that time many scientists were coming around to the view many species of dolphins exhibit traits of intelligence, self-awareness and even consciousness approaching those in humans.

So it begs the question: shouldn’t we afford dolphins the same rights as human beings: as “nonhuman persons”?  Well of course we should, and if we did some priority might be given to researching ways to communicate more meaningfully with our oceanic brethren.  More importantly, rights for dolphins might result in nations like Denmark and Japan being prevented from committing, what amounts to, unfortunately, mass-murder.

And therein lies one huge obstacle to dolphins being declared nonhuman persons a reality: nobody wants to be called murderer.  For this reason alone, I suspect there will be certain countries resistant to even declaring a ban on dolphin cullings never mind the larger issue around recognizing dolphins as people.

Categories: Law and Public Policy
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