In this week’s post we’d like to draw your attention to the incredible work of Australia For Dolphins (AFD) and their efforts to protect these wonderful marine mammals, which according to some scientists are so intelligent they should be given the same status as humans.
Experts say it is now time for dolphins to be treated as ‘non-human persons’ after research showed their brains have many features associated with high intelligence. A study carried out by Lori Marino, a zoologist at Emory University in Atlanta, used MRI scans to map the brains of several dolphin species and compared them to the brains of primates. She said: “Many dolphin brains are larger than our own and second in mass only to the human brain when corrected for body size.” Other studies have shown that dolphins have distinct personalities, a strong sense of self and can think about the future.
Dolphins are now considered to be the world’s second brightest creatures after humans – leapfrogging chimpanzees who have been pushed down to third in the cleverness stakes. It is therefore incredibly cruel to keep such intelligent animals in amusement parks, or to kill them for food or by accident when fishing. Some 300,000 dolphins, whales and porpoises die in this way every year.
Australia for Dolphins aims to stop this cruelty and gain legal protection for small cetaceans (dolphins and other small whales). It focuses on small cetaceans in particular because these highly sentient animals have no international legal protection and are subjected to some of the most extreme cruelty inflicted on animals anywhere in the world. While AFD is based in Australia, it works to protect dolphins and whales across the globe.
Their most recent campaign focuses locally on a controversial dolphin entertainment park, Dolphin Marine Magic, located in Coffs Harbour, where a two-year-old dolphin died recently after the NSW Department of Primary Industries granted the park a “variation” which allowed too many dolphins to be kept in too small a space. The Park was slammed by former NSW Premier Bob Carr for being “exquisitely cruel”. It was also found to be falsely claiming to be doing research with major Australian Universities in order to build up its green credentials.
AFD is asking the public to think twice before visiting Dolphin Marine Magic over the upcoming Easter holiday period. Please visit www.afd.org.au to learn more and to join this incredible organization.
As consumers it’s important to think about how the entertainment we choose for ourselves and our families impacts on animals and the environment. Please don’t support dolphin parks or any places where animals are confined in unnatural environments.
Thanks for being a conscious consumer, please help spread the word and as always, please remember to consume with care!