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Scientists Say Dolphins Should be Treated as ‘Non-Human Persons’

The Sunday Times

by Jonathan Leake

Dolphins have been declared the world’s second most intelligent creatures after humans, with scientists suggesting they are so bright that they should be treated as “non-human persons”.

Studies into dolphin behaviour have highlighted how similar their communications are to those of humans and that they are brighter than chimpanzees. These have been backed up by anatomical research showing that dolphin brains have many key features associated with high intelligence. Read More…

Dolphins Teach Their Young to Use Tools

Science on

WASHINGTON — A group of dolphins living off the coast of Australia apparently teach their offspring to protect their snouts with sponges while foraging for food in the sea floor.

Researchers say it appears to be a cultural behavior passed on from mother to daughter, a first for animals of this type, although such learning has been seen in other species.

The dolphins, living in Shark Bay, Western Australia, use conically shaped whole sponges that they tear off the bottom, said Michael Kruetzen, lead author of a report on the dolphins in Tuesday’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Read More…

Dolphins Save Surfer from Becoming Shark’s Bait


by Mike Celizic

Surfer Todd Endris needed a miracle. The shark — a monster great white that came out of nowhere — had hit him three times, peeling the skin off his back and mauling his right leg to the bone.

That’s when a pod of bottlenose dolphins intervened, forming a protective ring around Endris, allowing him to get to shore, where quick first aid provided by a friend saved his life.

“Truly a miracle,” Endris told TODAY’s Natalie Morales on Thursday.

The attack occurred on Tuesday, Aug. 28, just before 11 a.m. at Marina State Park off Monterey, Calif., where the 24-year-old owner of Monterey Aquarium Services had gone with friends for a day of the sport they love. Nearly four months later, Endris, who is still undergoing physical therapy to repair muscle damage suffered during the attack, is back in the water and on his board in the same spot where he almost lost his life. Read More…

NZ Dolphin Rescues Beached Whales

BBC News

A dolphin has come to the rescue of two whales which had become stranded on a beach in New Zealand.

Conservation officer Malcolm Smith told the BBC that he and a group of other people had tried in vain for an hour and a half to get the whales to sea.

The pygmy sperm whales had repeatedly beached, and both they and the humans were tired and set to give up, he said.

But then the dolphin appeared, communicated with the whales, and led them to safety. Read More… | Watch Video

Dolphins Should Not Be Taken From the Wild


I refer to the letters “Marine park walks the talk” from Resorts World Sentosa and “RWS must comply” from the Singapore Tourism Board (Jan 8).

These letters were in response to recent concerns and objections to the importation of wild-caught dolphins for the planned Marine Life Park at the integrated resort.

The shocking news (reported in Today, Dec 18) that two dolphins from a pod of seven being housed at Langkawi Island, Malaysia, had died, only brings home the reminder that these animals should never have been removed from the wild in the first place. Read More…

Dolphin Slaughter in Japan


The picturesque Japanese fishing village of Taiji (in southwestern Honshu) has become notorious in recent years for its annual dolphin hunt, in which some 2,500 dolphins and other small cetaceans are killed in coastal waters between September and April. Using a technique called drive fishing, hunters in a line of motorized boats create a “wall of sound” between the dolphins and the open ocean by banging on metal poles lowered into the water; the poles have bell-shaped devices at one end to amplify the sound. The dolphins, who rely on sonar to navigate, are immediately disoriented and terrified and swim frantically to shore to escape the noise. There they are corralled into a small cove and trapped overnight by nets; at sunrise the next morning they are herded into an adjacent “killing cove,” where they are stabbed to death by hunters using harpoons, fish hooks, and knives. The emerald waters of the cove literally turn red with the animals’ blood. Some injured or exhausted dolphins simply drown. Fishermen drag still-living animals onto boats with hooks and harpoons or tie them to boats by the tail, forcing their airholes under water. Read More…

A Star is Overdue as a Cove Guardian in Taiji, Japan!

Sign the Petition

A big name movie star, sports star or music star would bring the much needed publicity to the Dolphin Holocaust that exists today in Taiji, Japan. The barbaric hunters would be foolish to conduct their hunts amidst the media presence that would be attracted by a well known celebrity.

The horrific slaughters depicted in the Acadamy Award winning film ‘The Cove‘ are still happening. More than 800 sentient beings have had their lives snuffed out since early September of 2010; some of them have even been held underwater and drowned. After witnessing their families murdered, others have been hauled off to a life of slavery in Marine Theme Parks to do tricks for food.

The Cove Guardians have been at The Cove since the season started. They have filmed, photographed and documented the atrocities on a daily basis. The dolphins need a Star to be a Cove Guardian! They need one yesterday. They need one last week. They need one Three Months Ago! But I am sure that the dolphins will settle for RIGHT NOW!

There are many stars that are aware of the mass murders, but they have not been in Taiji for even one day since September 2010.

Please sign this petition today! Pass it on asking others to share. Tweet it, email it, blog about it, chat about it and post it everywhere you can. Thank you, for the dolphins.

Sign Now! Share Daily!

Let’s stop the slaughter before even one more dolphin dies!

Watch ‘The Cove’ and Tell Others To Watch!

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Comment by Jeff Melton on February 21, 2011 at 6:35

Well, you know, I've known several people--and heard of many others--who have watched Earthlings and not gone vegan.  It reinforced my returning to veganism after a couple of years off the wagon, but it doesn't work that way for everyone, because honestly it shows a lot of gore but doesn't promote a strong message that animals are not ours to use in general.  It spends maybe about 2 minutes on the dairy and egg industries.  Many people who are exposed to things like Earthlings think that continuing to consume animal products is just fine as long as (they're led to believe that) the animals are "treated humanely." 


When Tilly the killer whale killed his trainer, public sentiment was pretty strong from what I could tell that killer whales should be left in the wild and not kept in aquariums.  There was even more overwhelming public anger over Michael Vick's involvement in dogfighting.  So the impulse to empathize with SOME animals is already there.  The problem is the public's double standard regarding both humans vs. nonhumans (i.e., it's okay to treat animals as property as long as they are treated less poorly than the typical farm animal) as well as regarding some species ("pets") vs. others.  Unless those double standards are explicitly challenged, showing people videos of animal abuse, especially those such as "The Cove" that are about animals people already feel more sympathy toward than they do toward cows, chickens, pigs, fish, etc., doesn't necessarily change people's attitudes very much by itself.

Comment by Holise E. Cleveland III on February 21, 2011 at 4:19

True! But that is another subject. This article is more for you to share with others who are completely ignorant to our cause. The move 'The Cove' turns regular people to activism. It makes them get involved and become more hungry for knowledge on ways they can help make the world a better place. I have quite a few friends who have seen 'The Cove' and have, in time, become vegans.

Your argument is a good one, but it is not declared by science and it will not be as effective for prompting people to see 'The Cove.'

Please see Message to my Vegan Friends and Utopians.

Comment by Jeff Melton on February 14, 2011 at 8:02
Regarding the article "Scientists Say Dolphins Should Be Treated As 'Nonhuman Persons" (i.e., not treated as humans' property to be displayed in zoos, slaughtered in cultures where people eat cetaceans' meat, etc.), yes, of course they should be.  However, their claim that this is because they are intelligent makes no sense.  By this logic, it's perfectly okay to treat a severely mentally retarded human as a non-person.   Treatment of animals should not be based on intelligence at all.  No sentient non-human should be either used as a food source or forced to do anything against his or her will, for the same reasons humans shouldn't be.  Human slavery was banned more than 100 years ago, and there shouldn't be enslavement of animals, either!


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