Animals in the news

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hey stump... sum dood has hacked your system... or drugged yer drink... either way, sumthin's up.

Or is it "athiesticlier than thou"? Or maybe "agnosticlier than thou"?

Good thing Stump doesn't support the aquarium, he might find out that they actually feed animals OTHER animals! Not only do we jail them, but we cut them up and feed them to things higher on the food chain.

I'm still 100% convinced that the aquarium is a net benefit not only to our society, but to the preservation of marine eco-systems.

Can you imagine how the antarctic would be doing if they didn't have a cute mascot? Without penguins for us to latch onto, preserving the antarctic ice shelves would be much more difficult. And without zoos and aquariums throughout the world, nobody would even care about the penguins. Let alone how several facilities primary mandate is to protect the biodiversity of species by protecting species at risk, INCLUDING the vancouver aquarium (in particular their program to protect frog species has been in the news lately).

I haven't said I don't support the aquarium. I would say I find whales and great apes in captivity to be IMO a situation that appears more and more like slavery with every new discovery about the high level of their intelligence.

I would also say that extending more rights to animals is a concrete way to protect species at risk, and that zoos and aquariums have a vested interest in maintaining ownership over their biggest attractions. The moral or ethical underpinnings of that assumed ownership are the real issues that need discussion, esp. with cetaceans and great apes who occupy a grey area between humans and other mammals.

Iz tht str8tforeword enuff n XplaNashoon?

Link below provided to establish baseline for nutty animal lovers.

www.sunderlandecho.com/daily/She-talks-to-the-animals.3937183.jp

1) your "intentional" use of poor grammar is ridiculous. If you're going to continue that, which is clearly deliberately offensive and your childish attempt to pretend you're better than everyone else, then you might as well hang your head in shame. You're rapidly losing respect with each and every post. If you're going to continue, then don't wonder why everyone thinks you're high on your horse and condescending. In short, if you >act< like an asshole, then you >are< an asshole (that's how people can tell assholes from the rest of us, like watching people treat waiters/waitresses with less respect simply because they're getting paid to bring you food).

2) Why do Dolphins deserve this protection but not Salmon? Because someone with a bone to pick says so? How about Seals? They're quite smart. How about sharks? Halibut? Or what about spiders and silverfish? Hey, maybe we can combine this with the housing rant and come to a consensus on how much social housing we should build for our flipper friends and 8 legged neighbors. While we're extending human rights to non-humans, perhaps we should start arresting elk for jaywalking over highway 1.

u shud relacks. Sins wen cant a gy hav sum funn whith hees splnk?

Big diff between Dolphin and salmon. Big diff between seals and great apes. You keep missing the point.

Nature doesn't need social housing... until the environment is overrun with humans.

I'm not trying to pretend I'm better than anyone, so take that somewhere else. I'm the only person on this thread who's apparently willing to consider humans MAY NOT have the right to determine the living conditions of other creatures, so by that reckoning I'm the guy who isn't condescending.

I WOULD put forth the position that I've given this issue more thought than the folks ridiculing what I'm talking about. That becomes obvious when you try to paint all non-human creatures with the same brush.

Thanks for proving me right Stump.

How's this for discussing at your level.

Gho Fuhq Urself

"I'm not trying to pretend I'm better than anyone"

you just know you are?

anyway, the point is, your assumption that you're the only one having given this topic any real thought because people disagree with you (and your seemingly inherent correctness and infallible logic) manifests itself in very condescending posts.

it's very difficult to have a debate with someone who believes with absolute certainty they are correct and mock those who disagree with them as though they are children. very bush administration like....

no mention of penguins. :-)

Drilling into a climate hotspot

By Martin Redfern
BBC Radio Science

Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey have just returned from one of the most ambitious projects of the season: to drill an ice core from the top of a mountain high on the Antarctic Peninsula.

linked below for full text.

Don't know why you're so worked up Dugly. Have you checked out the Great Ape project website? Spain's recent changes to its laws? The implications for people when machines are as smart or smarter than us? The subject of animals like apes and whales in captivity needs more debate. Equating those types of animals to fish and bugs is to ignore the varying degrees of consciousness that exist across the eco-system. If we do that, then we are also devaluing ourselves, inasmuch as we are a part of it. I think we need a few more gradations than black or white w/r/t the creatures we cage, keep, or eat. I think whales and apes definitely fall into the category of "none of the above."

Hi Kermit:

Instead of pointing out what a meanie I am why not point out the flaws in my infallible logic?

Please note, I'm not arguing against aquariums or zoos at this point, simply against cetaceans and apes in captivity. That's been my position from the first post. I can't seem to find many takers for the pro side of the argument, but it seems everyone wants to say I'm against all animals in captivity and tying it to food animals, or whether or not aquariums are educational, fun, for children etc.

Whales and apes don't need our research. They probably don't care if kids find them cute. They need to be left alone to live their lives in their way, with enough room to do so. Whether or not we are curious about them is of no consequence to them or their cultures -- except when we inflict that curiousity upon them. It's certainly not a good enough reason to pen and enslave them for our own enjoyment and 'need to know'.

I think my position is pretty straightforward. I don't think I'm being condescending. Sardonic maybe.

eye donut no y wen bil bissit duz it itz art bt win sTump haz a beet of fun, itz sew tranzgress-seive? Y due U hate Art?

Hi Stump,

I'm not bothering to decipher your last sentence, so perhaps that has something relevant I'm missing but so be it.

My point, again, is that it's not your message, it's your delivery. I haven't debated in this thread for awhile because of the futility of it, but I can see it's the same old. You might have a very valid point, perhaps you are correct. But the whole 'I'm right, you're wrong--you're disagreeing with me because you're ignorant tact' turns people off.

Again, you might be correct, they could be ignorant. But your delivery, as in many other threads, is poor. And this childish babble talk is a new low.

"But the whole 'I'm right, you're wrong--you're disagreeing with me because you're ignorant tact' turns people off."

I believe I am right and I do have a very valid point. You may be wrong. I don't know because you are busy chiding me for believing I'm right instead of tackling the point I keep making, but no one wants to address. So, I don't know what you think about the issue. I continue to believe that based upon the responses people are posting, I HAVE given the problem more thought. And I haven't given it much thought.

Don't like the cre8teev spelling? Why does it offend you?

BTW, I don't think I've been very condescending at all. I took a look through this thread and have responded to the questions and comments put to me in the pretty much the same way people are addressing me.

I think I've pretty successfully made my point frankly and some of the outrage y'all are venting on me relates to long-held beliefs being challenged. Your mileage may vary.

I think it's obvious why the 'creative' spelling is offensive.

I haven't given my opinion on this topic lately because what does it matter? I either agree with you, or I'm belittled for being ignorant.

"I think I've pretty successfully made my point frankly and some of the outrage y'all are venting on me relates to long-held beliefs being challenged."

This is a great example of the condescension that drips from your posts. The implication that the 'outrage' being written stems from the fact that our little brains can't cope with thinking is quite offensive.

I don't know who you are but your posts on this board really have you come across as some genius savant struggling to cope with all the ignorance surrounding you. Telling me my comments stem from the fact that I'm having to challenge my beliefs and can't handle it? That leads me to agree with Dugly's last comment about you...

New idea for Winter Hat 2009: Forum posters who frustrate each other are placed on the same team. By the end of Hat League, they each surprisingly discover that they are all very reasonable people in person, and they actually have fun together on the field. Who'da thunk it? :)

"I haven't given my opinion on this topic lately because what does it matter? I either agree with you, or I'm belittled for being ignorant. "

That's bullshit. Point out to me a single place in this thread where I haven't treated sensible objections to my P.O.V. seriously. Arguments such as why don't the whales run away from whaling ships, or let's equate dolphins to salmon are the condescending comments IMO.

You ask questions along the lines of "why isn't anyone responding to my infallible logic". The simple answer is because in order to have a fruitful discussion, we have to get through your tremendous ego, arrogance and constant belittling. If you managed to hold off of that for a few posts, maybe you'd find that we'd engage in the subject rather than pointing out what an ass you're being. You toss out the term bullshit. That's all you post anymore, maybe this time rather than just saying what we are ALL saying is bullshit, you should have a look at what you're saying and more specifically HOW you're saying it.

The first thing you did was opened the "discussion" with "Flame on...". Hardly a welcoming start to a dialog.

Go ahead and look at your posts.

Post 0: Flame on...

Post 2: Just to correct a small error in your statement. (*This wouldn't be offsensive except for both the tone, and the fact that you provide no evidence that he's wrong, you just say that he is. Your opinion is not fact. Even if he IS wrong, a more productive mechanism would be to say "according to X there have been Y" rather than "you're wrong, I'm right" which is how your post comes across.)

Post 4: Good post, mostly substance and responds to some actual questions.

... Let's jump to where the thread re-opened:

Post 85: You should ask them!

of course followed by 87: u guyz shud konsider making n acshuel contreebushun to the conversashun insted of just pooking fun and hiliting yr missndarstandin ov the isshoo

Post 93: BTW, deed u guyz hav N E thyng to ad reeguarding animal ritez, or did u jus wnt to pook funn at thet witch you havnt givin much thot?

Post 99: u doodz shud give it sum thot. thun u kin git a hi hurs 2

Post 103: Iz tht str8tforeword enuff n XplaNashoon?

Post 106: I'm the only person on this thread who's apparently willing to consider humans MAY NOT have the right to determine the living conditions of other creatures

(No you're not, you're the ass that THINKS that you're the only one smart enough to figure out the complex issues. Sorry pal, but you're just another brain among a sea of brains. Pun absolutely intended)

In short, virtually every post you make condecends to those you have attempted to engage in discussion. This has been pointed out to you time and time again, yet you still do it. Despite Craigs attestation that we are all similar, and would likely get along on the ulti field, I don't think I'd want to become acquainted with you. I'm certainly not innocent and many things I say can be taken the wrong way, and have done in the past. However at least I realize some fundamental points about it. I know that I slip up sometimes and post things not pertinant to the conversation, I recognize (in retrospect) when it happens. You, however, think you're so much better than everyone else, you argue semantics when you get called out, and in frustrate people with ridicule, condescension, attitude and arrogance.

I lost a long response to you Kermit when I tried to post it. Suffice to say this. Re-read this thread. Put your obvious emotional response to criticism of the Aquarium aside and show me where I've been sarcastic or whatever to anyone in this thread who didn't toss out the first bon mot. The spelling is just me having some fun. Don't assume it's all about you. Get over it.

Further, you've got some gall preaching about manners and calling me an Ass... Pal.

If you want to talk about keeping intelligent creatures caged for arbitrary reasons, then cool, I'm totally up to keep defending my position. If you want to take me to task because my communication style doesn't fit your kermit-approved template then I'm out because I'm a dull topic for conversation.

"Re-read this thread. Put your obvious emotional response to criticism of the Aquarium aside and show me where I've been sarcastic or whatever to anyone in this thread who didn't toss out the first bon mot."

Again, my 'emotional' response has nothing to do with your criticism of the aquarium. Like I said, I haven't said one word about that topic since rejoining this thread.

"Don't assume it's all about you. Get over it."

I'm not assuming it's all at me, in fact quite the opposite. If you don't get that yet, there's no point in me explaining it again.

"If you want to take me to task because my communication style doesn't fit your kermit-approved template then I'm out because I'm a dull topic for conversation."

I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm not the only one who finds your communication style offensive...

"If you want to talk about keeping intelligent creatures caged for arbitrary reasons, then cool, I'm totally up to keep defending my position."

See how you frame this sentence? It reads as 'If you want to keep talking about how you're wrong/ignorant, then I'll keep defending my position.' So I say again, why bother?

You shouldn't bother. I think I've already countered your points up-thread. That's why we're arguing about tone instead of substance IMO. I'm just trying to be nice.

Whales in tanks ARE intelligent creatures caged for arbitrary reasons. That's the whole point of the discussion.

No one else, esp. the ones who came into this thread with their sarcasm guns blazing is complaining about being offended. Nor should they. I haven't said anything offensive. You're finding stuff you want to find, not what's really there.

Now seriously, do you want to talk about whales in captivity or not?

Post 118 was meant for Dugly but it could be for Kermit too I suppose. Whichever of you thinks it's OK to be derisive, sarcastic, and humorous in your responses to me, but I'm not allowed the same privilege.

(watches flames go back and forth....warms feet)

hmmm animals in captivity....should animals with higher cognitive (read sentient) functions be granted human rights

my opinion ......no

1. rights are not meant to be all encompassing, they are by their very nature exclusive as in the case of citizens, the rights of citizenship are only afforded to a citizen of the state in question, this therefore excludes all non citizens (including dolphins and elephants) from these rights. therefore when we are discussing "human rights" it's seems simple; is a dolphin a human?? survey says no therefore it cannot have access to these rights. that may seem cold but it's how the legal system works, if you wanted to do a right of sentiance then you might have a better aurgument.

2. which leads to this....like the debate over abortion, the common law system is founded upon the principle hat "like cases be treated alike" read precedent...therefore if you have an animal considered sentient (call it A) and an animal not considered sentient (B) but animal B has many cognitive features like A legally B can then be given there rights because of it's similarity to A a pattern which can repeat itself

3. i personally find it ironic (and a perfect example of our broken western society) hat individuals would be so worried about the rights of dolphin's great apes, and whales when we cannot even enforce the basic human rights as agreed by the UN to the majority of the worlds population.

We're not discussing human rights though. We're discussing animal rights. No one is suggesting whales and apes get to vote. I (and only me I realize) is putting forth the radical notion that whales and apes AREN'T our property and we don't have the right to continue that tradition.

Also, the U.N as you mentioned, has outlined basic freedoms which all people are afforded regardless of citizenship so that's a bad analogy on two fronts I think.

Your point about sentience however is well taken and clearly the crux of the issue. I believe since we can't yet prove sentience, but so much evidence suggests it with whales and apes, that the first step (and one of the aims of the Great Ape Project) must be to outlaw the treatment of these animals as 'property'.

Further, by whose authority do we presume to apply our rules to very intelligent (arguably sentient) non-humans, or define them as our 'property'? There's the hubris in this thread (and the violence inherent in the system).

Stump, please find one post of the preceding 120 posts that indicates that someone holds the opinion that whales and apes are our property.

Too rich. Not only haven't you clicked on the link in the very first post (after having been asked more than once if you had) you've managed to completely miss the entire point. Along the way you've been derisive of my p.o.v., called me out for responding in kind, and whinged about respect... yet you haven't even done me or the discussion the courtesy to inform yourself about what the entire debate is about. And you have the temerity to accuse me of condescension????

What a joke. ROTFLMAO

Not sure who that is addressed to Stump...

I'm moving on from the previous discussion because as you said "Whales in tanks ARE intelligent creatures caged for arbitrary reasons. That's the whole point of the discussion." That sounds like a statement of fact from your point of view, not much to discuss.

What system of classification do you propose? Who decides?

And, big, big, ups to the Great Ape Project for their fight to have human rights extended to primates.

Flame on... a different debate for a change... what rights should we extend to animals?

this is the first post....am i wrong to imply that you did state that extending human rights to our primate relatives was a good thing?? and we are talking about "what rights should we extend to animals" so inherently according to your statement we are discussing the extension of current rights (those which apply to humans) to animals not creating any new ones. therefore i tihnk my analysis of weather they are human or not does stand up to the test posed by your original question.

if you were to argue that species of a certain cognitive function should be granted certain liberties perhaps but given our limited knowledge of higher processing mental functions i don't think we are at the point where we could even begin to define the concepts and boundaries necessary.

finally although no analogy is perfect i was merely trying to show how rights are both inclusive and by their very nature exclusive (thereby showing the weakness in the argument of extending human right to apes as per your original post). also yes the UN does have a list of fundamental freedoms which apply to all however 2 points for your consideration

I) freedoms are not rights they are two very different animals (pardon the pun) both in basic legal structure and application

II) there is a list of fundamental human rights and i found it worrisome that you were more concerned about the amount of miscarriages a dolphin has had recently rather then perhaps the fate of the citizens in Zimbabwe (note i did not specify from which state) and the fact that these fundamental human rights are currently about as enforcible as those found in the written constitution of the USSR

Kermit:

No one decides. We leave the animals in their environment and give them enough space to live. We don't have the right to trap and subject any animal to our whims. Again, this is the point. By what moral authority can humans claim to have that privilege?

If you want to catch and eat something, that's a natural process. Catching something, caging it, and taking away its freedom to satisfy our own curiosity verges on the sadistic. Especially when that captivity will probably shorten their lifespan and has questionable research value. After all, we're not finding out how these creatures behave in the wild by observing them getting spoon fed in a pool.

Sean:

Using the term human rights in my first post wasn't a great choice of words. Expanding animals' rights is a better description and I think I've made that distinction implicitly if not outright during the course of the discussion.

"given our limited knowledge of higher processing mental functions i don't think we are at the point where we could even begin to define the concepts and boundaries necessary."

All the more reason to err on the side of caution and not hold animals captive that we can't communicate with effectively, especially since they (the animals) display characteristics and behaviours that suggest they are probably sentient.

I assure you the citizens of Zimbabwe (and all the other places screwed up by human greed) have my sympathy as much as the cetaceans and apes. Of course Zimbabweans get a vote. Animals... not so much.

"No one decides. We leave the animals in their environment and give them enough space to live. We don't have the right to trap and subject any animal to our whims. Again, this is the point. By what moral authority can humans claim to have that privilege?"

If no one decides, then how do we differentiate between sentient and non-sentient?

"Especially when that captivity will probably shorten their lifespan and has questionable research value. After all, we're not finding out how these creatures behave in the wild by observing them getting spoon fed in a pool."

You're arguing the research done over the years at aquariums has been questionable? Do you think their would be a real debate over sentience if we had not some in captivity?

We leave the animals in their environment and give them enough space to live

now we wade into the messy topic of eugenics; given at the rate of current population growth in order to afford the animals in the wild their "space" should we then decide who lives and who breeds in our own species?? there is an interesting question on who decides

"That sounds like a statement of fact from your point of view, not much to discuss.

What system of classification do you propose? Who decides?"

Well, I think it is a statement of fact. But if you disagree, I'm happy to prove it.

As to who decides... let the creatures themselves choose. If they want to be domesticated or caged I'm sure they can make that obvious. As to whether or not all creatures or only some are offered that choice, I think there are some obvious candidates, some less obvious ones, and some creatures that clearly don't possess the necessary qualities of brains and behaviour to be in the same league as cetaceans and apes. So, let's start with whales and apes and move forward. These things don't happen overnite.

"We leave the animals in their environment and give them enough space to live

now we wade into the messy topic of eugenics; given at the rate of current population growth in order to afford the animals in the wild their "space" should we then decide who lives and who breeds in our own species?? there is an interesting question on who decides."

No one has to be culled from our species, we just have to not overrun every square inch of planet. We can build up, densify, and use less stuff and space before we need take over the rainforest and the oceans for human habitation. In short, live within the natural system rather than attempting to control it (an impossible task).

The human population behaving like greedy kids with a case of the "gimmies" would go a long way to dealing with this issue and a host of other ones we face. As always, it begins with education.

"Well, I think it is a statement of fact. But if you disagree, I'm happy to prove it."

You see, you telling me I'm wrong is not a discussion. It's instruction or lecture. I'm happy to discuss something, but discussion implies both sides engage in conversation to arrive a new idea or concept.

"As to who decides... let the creatures themselves choose. If they want to be domesticated or caged I'm sure they can make that obvious. As to whether or not all creatures or only some are offered that choice, I think there are some obvious candidates, some less obvious ones, and some creatures that clearly don't possess the necessary qualities of brains and behaviour to be in the same league as cetaceans and apes. So, let's start with whales and apes and move forward. These things don't happen overnite."

Let the creatures decide themselves...interesting. How do you suggest we do that?

They can make it obvious....how??

If, for arguments sake, we move past the obvious ones we've already gone over, then how do you suggest we decide the next group? And if we as humans don't have the right to decide that for them, then how does it get done?

emd By emd

You mentioned that dogs and cats are OK to have as pets because they have thousands of years of domestication. Therefore there was a time when they only had 1 year of domestication, right? How is that different than the big animals in cages? In a thousand years, might we not be making the argument that whales have ALWAYS been good pets?

You also seem to be arguing that because dogs have always been pets, it is OK to continue to do so. You are saying that they are sentient AND resigned to being a pet? Or are you saying that whales and apes should have more rights than dogs?

I am not totally disagreeing with you Stump, just trying to find out why/where you draw the line.

And on a side note, I completely ignored your l33t speak after the first time (which I found humourous).

"You're arguing the research done over the years at aquariums has been questionable? Do you think their would be a real debate over sentience if we had not some in captivity?"

I think we learn more about animal behaviour by observing them in their natural habitat doing what they naturally do. Most of our knowledge about cetaceans and apes w/r/t their social group behaviour, family structure, and societal organization has come about through field studies. That information is useful to us and them because it gives us guidelines by which we can interact with these creatures if that's our desire, or help us to know when and where to avoid them so they can live their lives without harassment. Poking them with needles merely satisfies our own curiosity and has no value to animals in the wild which are for the most part pretty much perfectly adapted to function in their usual environment.

Perhaps we have learned something about their sentience from cetaceans and apes in captivity. We might also have learned the same things in other ways. Might as well ask me 'how long is a piece of string." There's no definitive answer. But, if we've decided they are sentient, we have to let them be free. If we're not sure, we should err on the side of allowing freedom rather than imposing captivity. But, in the long run the question you're asking (to me) is like asking me if we should do medical experiments on prisoners, or prevent people from living their normal lives because they have an interesting medical condition we wish to study. To all three questions the answer is 'No'.

Link below goes to a biased description of life in a pool for orcas.

"You also seem to be arguing that because dogs have always been pets, it is OK to continue to do so. You are saying that they are sentient AND resigned to being a pet? Or are you saying that whales and apes should have more rights than dogs?"

I'm not saying dogs and cats are sentient. I don't believe they are based upon what I know at this time. And, yes, whales and apes should have more rights than a dog. Just as adults have more rights (or freedoms I guess, in a tip of the hat to sean's semantic distinction) than children. Also, a dog or cat can leave any time you let it off the leash or outside to take a crap. Captive beings don't have that option.

Should we keep pets? Or eat animals? I don't have a fully-formed opinion or answer on either topic. I would note that keeping or eating animals is an activity done to fulfil a human need. We don't see cows, or wild coyotes, wolves, or cougars making attempts to befriend us.

"Therefore there was a time when they only had 1 year of domestication, right?"

AFAIK, the relationship between people-habitutated dogs and cats with humans has been symbiotic from day one, with both providing the other with a benefit, esp. in pre-history. The development of zoos is predated by their domesticity, so I'm not sure we're comparing apples to apples with this scenario.

""Well, I think it is a statement of fact. But if you disagree, I'm happy to prove it."

You see, you telling me I'm wrong is not a discussion. It's instruction or lecture. I'm happy to discuss something, but discussion implies both sides engage in conversation to arrive a new idea or concept."

I didn't say you were wrong. You see, discussion takes two sides alright, but if you tell me black is red, should I arrive at a new idea that white is orange, even though I can see that's wrong, and prove it to be so?

Again with the complaints. Discuss or bow out, but please stop telling me how to communicate. I'm making the concepts I'm interested in perfectly clear. If the tone of the debate is offensive to you, you're welcome not to join in. Sound reasonable?

Not sure how you construe my statement as a complaint, but thanks for the talk coach.

I ask again

Let the creatures decide themselves...interesting. How do you suggest we do that?

They can make it obvious....how??

If, for arguments sake, we move past the obvious ones we've already gone over, then how do you suggest we decide the next group? And if we as humans don't have the right to decide that for them, then how does it get done?

Further to Kermit's assertion, there are dozens of examples of these species becoming voluntarily domesticated. Go on down to Graville Island and feed the Seal that hangs out there (it's actually pretty fun, just go down towards where the fishermen are). In Hawaii you can feed "domestic" dolphins that are un-encumbered by tanks. There are also domestic seals in Victoria, Port Hardy and other coastal towns. There are other "domestic" dolphins in San Diego (Go kayaking in La Jolla bay). In Gold River there was an Orca that entered into a partnership. They have made their participation obvious.

So according to Stump's own assertion, now seals and dolphins are fair game, as they have voluntarily entered into a symbiotic relationship with humans. (Correct me if my assumption that the Aquarium feeds the dolphins is wrong) According to Stump's own test of fair game, these species have all passed the test for aquariums and zoos.

Don't forget horses! maybe we need to free all of the horses in captivity since there is new evidence that they're smarter than we give them credit for:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?
view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/earth/2008/04/04/scihorse104.xml
(Editted to put on 2 lines so as not to extend width, linked below)

Also Stump as to this "We don't see cows, or wild coyotes, wolves, or cougars making attempts to befriend us." I'll excuse a city boy like you for being so woefully uninformed, and completely unwilling to check your assertions before you try and sound smart, but cows in particular can definitely show signs of friendliness.

Habituated is not domesticated country boy. (BTW, I grew up somewhere rural so I know as a little about cows and birds and bees too)

Dogs typically guarded camp and helped hunt. Cats have always been mousers. That's a symbiotic relationship. Begging for food down by the docks for the cameras of tourists and swimming away later is not the same thing. By that logic the bears at the dump are domesticated... and if you think that, go try to pet one.

That's just great that you think it's fun to feed the seal. More fun I suppose than putting a bullet in its head, but that's what will probably end up happening.

First rule of interaction with wild animals... don't feed them.

Btw, your link to so-called smart horses pointed out fish can count to four. Old Nelly isn't exactly about to hoof her way to university, nor is your local goldfish. Further, intelligence on its own isn't the key factor. It's things like social make-up, co-operative behaviours and a host of other markers that show how much like 'us' than 'them' apes and whales are.

"Let the creatures decide themselves...interesting. How do you suggest we do that?

They can make it obvious....how?? "

If they (whales) were so keen to be on display or to interact with humans in any way, they'd be swimming around English Bay every day trying to catch our attention wouldn't they?

Instead, most wild animals head for the hills (or the deeps) when humans are around. Doesn't strike me as the behaviour of a species looking to expand their social circle.

"(Correct me if my assumption that the Aquarium feeds the dolphins is wrong)"

You know of course that some of the cetaceans at the Aquarium have been bought and sold? They didn't show up at Stanley Park begging to be let in the pool. And, since they ARE bought and sold, they are the property of whoever pays the money. Once again we return to the core issue. What give us the right to own these (probably sentient) creatures and hold them captive?

"If they (whales) were so keen to be on display or to interact with humans in any way, they'd be swimming around English Bay every day trying to catch our attention wouldn't they?

Instead, most wild animals head for the hills (or the deeps) when humans are around. Doesn't strike me as the behaviour of a species looking to expand their social circle. "

I can't think of a single animal that doesn't 'head for the hills' when they sense danger, including humans. Hardly a measure of whether they'd be better off some place else.

And anyway, my question was how do you 'classify' for lack of a better term, which animals are sentient and deserve equal treatment vs those that don't? Like I said, by letting them making the decision themselves, everything from ants to humans choose to run.

How is swimming in a pool better than swimming in the ocean?

If they run, they don't want to be a part of your plan, human or otherwise. Honor and respect that.

The sentient animals that wish to cooperate will make that known. Otherwise, don't impose your needs and wants on unwilling victims.

You seem to be embracing the idea that humans have dominion over the earth and I put it to you that's the very first step down a bad road.

emd By emd

Seen this Stump (check the link)?

"How is swimming in a pool better than swimming in the ocean?

If they run, they don't want to be a part of your plan, human or otherwise. Honor and respect that.

The sentient animals that wish to cooperate will make that known. Otherwise, don't impose your needs and wants on unwilling victims.

You seem to be embracing the idea that humans have dominion over the earth and I put it to you that's the very first step down a bad road."

Is this a reply to me? You're not answering my questions.

sorry, but I think I've answered the question.

You said earlier dolphins and whales do not have the same levels of sentience as dogs or mice etc...

Your last post reads as 'if the animal runs away, let it run'.

I ask again, where do you draw the line between whale/ape and dog/mouse?

From a few posts earlier. As I've said... I've already answered the question.

"As to whether or not all creatures or only some are offered that choice, I think there are some obvious candidates, some less obvious ones, and some creatures that clearly don't possess the necessary qualities of brains and behaviour to be in the same league as cetaceans and apes. So, let's start with whales and apes and move forward. These things don't happen overnite."

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