Nick Collins tells us that, according to researchers meeting in Vancouver,
Dolphins and whales are so intelligent that they should be recognized as 'non-human persons' and given their own bill of rights.
These animals, we are told by the experts, have distinctive cultures, societies and personalities, and are so complex that they should be considered in the same light as people. On this basis, it is argued, isolating dolphins in tanks at amusement parks is morally wrong and killing whales is tantamount to murder.
Hear the logic here: if whales are non-human persons, they should have the same rights to life, liberty and well-being as humans.
Such were the discussions about a proposed 'declaration of rights' for cetaceans at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting. It was ethics expert Dr Thomas White who suggested that dolphins are non-human persons. He maintained that "A person needs to be an individual. If individuals count, then the deliberate killing of individuals of this sort [non-human persons] is ethically equivalent to deliberately killing a human being."
You have to admire his logic, used in opposition to whaling. It is irrefutable when applied to abortion. To call a fetus a non-person leaves the logic intact. If killing non-human persons is ethically equivalent to killing human beings, so is killing those whom abortionists would describe as human non-persons.
How ironic that so few of those whose logic suggests we save the whales can see that their logic demands that we hug a baby.