Thursday, 25 February 2010

Non-Human Persons

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The BBC news ran a story this week about how scientists are now trying to get dolphins reclassified as "non-human persons." They said that studies show dolphins have language/communication, complex family/society structures and the ability to see themselves as separate individual selves. They are hoping that if they get the world to realise dolphins are much more like us than we've realised before some nations, like Japan, will stop killing dolphins.

I don't want to sound cynical, but humans understand that they are human and it hasn't stopped us killing, torturing and abusing our own fellow humans. We go to war, we commit murder... a lot of the time we treat our own kind as bad, or worse, than we treat many animals. I truly hope dolphin hunting stops, but I'm not sure if declaring these amazing animals as being like us is a compliment.

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9 comments:

Lu said...

I agree with you Michelle, I doubt dolphins being differently classified will change people's behaviour towards them.

But hey they can go ahead and try :)

Amel said...

Yeah, I agree with you...and that dolphin picture is SUPER cute! :-D

Daisy said...

So true. If we can't even treat each other well, I'm not sure this will help us to treat dolphins better. They really are amazing animals though.

RA said...

No matter how dolphins are classed, humans remain humans. This said, hasn't Spain issued some kind of human rights to the animals to stop experimenting with them?

Michelle said...

hi Lu :-)

Yeah, all we can do is try to make the world a better place.

Amel
Yep, very pretty. :-)

Daisy
They were showing some of the tests they did to prove dolphins recognise themselves in mirrors, etc. It really was impressive stuff.

Hi RA
No, I didn't know that about Spain. I'll have to go look that up. Very interesting.

Kerry Bryne said...

I also agree, Michelle. "What a piece of work is man.." There have been no reports of dolphin terrorists or the creation of dolphin Pentagons. Wonder how a mind works that will allow the casual taking of any life.

Michelle said...

Very true, Kerry.

We humans have used our creative minds in some truly appalling ways.

Hayden said...

to me it seems that the illogical part is forgetting that humans are part of the animal world. We happen to be mammals, cousins to other animals. As long as we continue the fratricide in the immediate human family I don't expect us to be nicer to our cousins.

That said... as a legal maneuver to extend legal protection, it might be a stroke of genius. It's not so many generations ago that the Eurocentric considered humans of different races to be *animals*. That made slavery a whole lot easier.

The more we focus on the similarities between us, the more difficult it seems to be to abuse each other.

Unless, of course, one happens to be a sociopath.

Michelle said...

Hayden
I agree totally!