Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Dolphins are sentient

Here's a letter to the editor I wanted to share:

Maybe the general public doesn't grasp the idea that orcas and dolphins are sentient, conscious beings, probably more "intelligent" than we techno-chimps. And maybe most people didn't know that "Shamu" (and trust me, that's not his real name) and the rest of them have families and lives in the sea that they'd like to get on with. And probably most of us don't realize that after their life sentence in an aquarium, kidnapped from their families, these mammals die a premature, unimaginably lonely death.

But when Sea World presents a radio ad depicting these captives as being excited about their new show and all the video screens they have to entertain the tourists with, because, really, they're just so jazzed about their job; well, let's hope their marketing department has severely overestimated the gullibility of today's children.


  1. This is the only intelligent comment you have on your blog...

    You sound like a weirdo paranoid schizo when you talk about President Bush's supporters...

    Try respecting other people's opinions....Maybe you'll learn something.

  2. Dolphins have been known to come up on their own with new "tricks" and forms of entertainment beyond what human "keepers" have asked of them. Doing such a thing may in fact show a certain amount of excitement about their job. If dolphins are sentient, then it must be considered a possibility that some of them truly do enjoy what they do. Dolphins show themselves again and again to not only be tolerant of the Man's antics, but even friendly to our agendas. If they are sentient, then they can probably recognize our sentience as well, and may simply be humoring us through the serious communication gaps which exist. Like many other mammals, a dolphin's pod (like a dog's pack) can include members of other species. In the US, the dolphin caretakers can become surrogate family, thereby alleviating some of the loneliness and depression these sensitive creatures feel. Before we bash the efforts of the marine biologists working at Sea World, and other aquariums, we should research just how much effort they put into creating safe and loving environments for our marine brothers.