Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dolphins' day

Lucky dolphins. Maybe. According to the news story at the link below, dolphins have been determined to be brighter than chimps and second only to humans in intelligence, and therefore should be regarded as "non-human persons." This declaration includes the belief that it would be morally wrong to keep dolphins performing in captivity or to eat them.

So at least by implication, non-human animals' intelligence is the only standard by which we decide moral and immoral human behavior toward them? And those animals (most all of them!) whose IQs don't challenge ours are fair game?

I don't think so. The overriding argument against animal abuse by humans is that ALL non-human animals are sentient beings, with feelings, who are capable of suffering. Period. It is not our right to use them for our entertainment, our food, our clothing. . . regardless of how "intelligent" they may or may not be in comparison to humans.

Or rather, in comparison to some humans, because we know of course that countless humans are not particularly intelligent or are in fact intellectually handicapped. (Does that condition put them in jeopardy?!)

Come in, Peter Singer!

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