RE: Animals in the News 2010 - 2

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An interesting article from Outside magazine about the life of former Victoira Sealand orca Tillikum, and the events that led up to the death of a trainer at Seaworld

CALGARY -- Three more horses have died at the Calgary Stampede and a young rider remains in serious condition in hospital.

So far, four animals have perished at this year's exhibition.

A Whale attacks a sail boat, attempting to kill two people and NOTHING posted? Come on, a few more points for the Animals.

m2c

Interesting that the Tillicum story came up.

When they took the whales from Seaworld, that was the end for that. Now kids
grow up even somewhere like Victoria without seeing a whale or giving any iota of
a worry for them.

Killing the aquarium in Vancouver is not a noble cause, it's not the good fight. It's
a misguided attempt at compassion with a healthy side of holier-than-thou

The cetacean exhibit is only one aspect of the Aquarium, so hopefully closing one part of it won't mean the demise of the institution.

Catalonia just banned bull-fighting. We keep huge animals in small tanks. I don't think anyone is being holier-than-thou to suggest that the latter practice isn't in keeping with our professed values regarding cruelty to animals. Those who disagree should be willing to spend a year in an enclosed and echo-y space while having their diet and feeding times dictated to them and gawkers allowed to watch their every move for hours a day. Anyone emerging without permanent mental scars can then tell us how great it is.

Really? Is the argument that if one cannot physically see an animal (kept cooped in a tiny space no
less), then one cannot learn about, nor have compassion for that animal?

That sounds rather silly to me.

VANCOUVER - Amidst public outrage over a trophy wolf hunt that involved bait and a high-powered snowmobile, Environment Minister Barry Penner said Wednesday he has instructed his staff to consider new regulations that would ensure a fair chase in the B.C. wilderness.

“The incident has raised a number of questions for me,” Penner told The Vancouver Sun. “I have asked my staff to review this matter and see if this is an area which is in need of updating and revision.”

He said he wants to “make sure that if there is any element of a chase in a hunt that it is done fairly. That is our policy intent, and if our regulations need updating then we’re prepared to consider that.”

Penner said any new regulations would first be put to conservation and hunting groups for comment.

The minister was responding to a Sun story Tuesday involving Wicked River Outfitters, which charges non-resident hunters more than $4,000 a week to hunt wolves.

A written account of one hunt — published online by a couple associated with the Dallas Safari Club of Texas — detailed the use of bait and a snowmobile travelling in excess of 140 km/h to prevent a seven-member wolf pack from escaping frozen Williston Lake reservoir last February.

So should their snowmobiles only go 40 mph so they can't outrun the wolves, and can the hunters only use their teeth and some claws made of bone?

There's nothing "fair" about hunting. If it was fair, it wouldn't be hunting, it would be fighting. Though that might be a good way to stop people from killing wolves for sport...

Injured Ninja: "There's nothing "fair" about hunting. If it was fair, it wouldn't be hunting, it
would be fighting. Though that might be a good way to stop people from killing wolves for
sport..."

But you forget about hunting the Most Dangerous Game.

Perhaps a solution exists in having a hunting license also serve as a Voluntary Prey Consent
Form, where you become the target of other hunters?

I suppose you'd have to keep everything non-lethal, or somebody's going to spoil all the fun.
Have it so that when you're 'tagged' you lose any hunting gear you brought with you, owe a
healthy tribute to your predator, an perhaps have to have a tattoo marked someplace
prominent (think "Pwned by N1nja69" on the bicep)?

That would be a fun game.

Hunting is what people do to put food on their table. The activity described above would be better described as a government-approved thrill-kill, done solely to prop up the ego of the individuals who have no problem with utilizing every technology at their disposal to ensure the kill is as unfair as possible.

Victoria aquarium closed soon after losing the whales. Like it or not the "big"
animals are the ones that draw the crowds and the students. I personally
believe that getting rid of the whales and dolphins would spell the end of the
aquarium, and the advice of the aquarium staff that know what their draw and
attendance is like.

Expanding the tanks is something I would support. If a big part of your
disagreement is the size of the tanks and you feel they're too small for their
health then that's a discussion I think is worth having, but I'm opposed to
getting rid of cetaceans altogether.

Suggesting that it's necessary to live in an aquarium to make a decision about
whether it's OK to have one is like suggesting everyone who wants to eat meat
gets eaten. Wy would it be necessary to do this?

Temple, once again you completely misrepresent what I said. Am I failing the
turing test thinking you're a human rather than a machine? Nobody anywhere
said that you have to physically see animals to learn about them, but go have
your argument against yourself somewhere else. You are a useless troll.

Dugly: "When they took the whales from Seaworld, that was the end for that. Now kids grow up
even somewhere like Victoria without seeing a whale or giving any iota of a worry for them."

Let's follow along with that...

Seaworld got rid of Whales. Now kids don't see whales and kids don't care for whales.

You presented an action and then immediately presented a chronologically subsequent
consequence. Your writing fairly well required the reader to interpret that as the action having
some responsibility for the consequence.

Did you not actually mean that? Perhaps what you wrote was what 'misrepresented what you
said'? Remember that 'what you said' isn't what you meant, it's what you wrote.

Do you actually read what you write? I do. Maybe this is where the disconnect comes in?

It must be wonderful to be able to write drivel and then chalk up any rebuttal of that drivel as
misrepresentation. Rather than needing to defend one's opinions, one can dismiss out of hand any
disagreement. Sure the victim is rational discourse, but at least you get to effuse your esteemed
opinions without any of those nasty requirements such as thought or validity.

OK, so you took:

Dugly: "When they took the whales from Seaworld, that was the end for that.
Now kids grow up even somewhere like Victoria without seeing a whale or giving
any iota of a worry for them."

and you got:

Temple: "if one cannot physically see an animal (kept cooped in a tiny space no
less), then one cannot learn about, nor have compassion for that animal?"

You're either a troll or an idiot.

Dug, there's a third possibility.

Though that third possibility precludes your ability to see a third possibility.

Let's agree to disagree!

Well, I'm a troll and an Idiot, but I have a different question.

RE: Voting on Voting on the Aquarium.

What, exactly, is the long range plan other than confirming our dislike for the current situation? This to me speaks of why the recent council vote was nothing more than political grandstanding.

The Vancouver Aquarium already does not take in "fresh" whales from the ocean. I think we can all agree that we can't release the ones we have into the wild at this point as they would not survive the transition. If we voted that we didn't want them then we could move them to another facility, but how does changing the color of the bars help?

So the last option is basically wait for them to die off, possibly taking steps to make sure they don't have any more babies in the mean time. No comments on using our God like abilities to prevent another intelligent species from procreating. Sounds a lot like the status quo.

So, can we stop talking about if we SHOULD keep the whales and start talking about some actual actions that should be taken? Right now I'm for keeping the whales, come up with a good plan and I will listen.

m2c

I guess Option 4 would be Beluga Sushi for all my friends!

M2C: "he Vancouver Aquarium already does not take in "fresh" whales from the ocean. I think
we can all agree that we can't release the ones we have into the wild at this point as they
would not survive the transition. "

This is my understanding as well, but has it ever been tried with cetaceans? What has
happened? Is it indubitably worse than living a longer life in an aquarium?

I've always assumed that this wasn't an option, but that wasn't based on anything more than
conventional wisdom. I see potential for an interesting debate, but one which I haven't heard
come up.

Is the objection to whales in captivity because it makes them sad, or because it
makes you sad? If it's the former, how do you know?

"Expanding the tanks is something I would support. If a big part of your
disagreement is the size of the tanks and you feel they're too small for their health then that's a discussion I think is worth having, but I'm opposed to getting rid of cetaceans altogether."

The small size of the tank is only one of the myriad reasons critics of cetaceans in captivity have regarding the policies of the Aquarium and other similar facilities.

Unfortunately, the two main reasons FOR keeping whales in tanks seems to be 'think of the children' and 'think of the profits'. Neither justification is sufficient to my mind to allow for apparently sentient creatures to be given no choice in the manner of their lives (and deaths).

Entertainment value and profits were the rationale behind old-time freak shows too. I find it hard to make a distinction between the treatment of the Dionne quintuplets and whale shows. In fact, I would say that at the core, there is none.

"Is the objection to whales in captivity because it makes them sad, or because it makes you sad? If it's the former, how do you know? "

CNN article excerpt (linked below):

'An orca can travel easily 100 nautical miles every day, and to put them in a pool where they swim around in circles continually, and kept away from their families, "takes a toll on their brains," said Jim Borrowman, who has worked with whales for 30 years and runs Stubbs Island Whale Watching on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.'

"A Vancouver-based animal advocacy group said eating debris is a sign of neurotic behaviour in whales and dolphins caused by living in captivity, and that Nala's death was a another example of this behaviour.'

http://www.canada.com/health/Baby+beluga+dies+Vancouver+Aquarium/3186676...

As to the likelihood of seeing whales in the wild... I've seen whales in the Georgia Strait more times than I can count, usually aboard a BC Ferry, and harbour porpoises are as plentiful as Range Rovers and trophy wives in West Vancouver. I wouldn't expect the City to keep a pgymy behind bars just because I haven't visited Africa, so I find whales kept for a similar reason to be slightly barbarous.

Dugly: "Is the objection to whales in captivity because it makes them sad, or because it makes you
sad? If it's the former, how do you know?"

Dugly wins the thread with this one.

Temple - I also have no hard evidance about what happens with a whale once it has been released after a lifetime of captivity. I think that they attempted to release "Willy" from Free Willy, and this involved flying him to Norway, working with him in a bay somewhere for months and then possibly he dies anyways. My expectation would be that the whales would starve to death, which wouldn't be plesant. Also, they would not be part of any pod or community, so a loney, hungry death...not great.

CK - Can I be cynical here? The guy who runs a business taking people to see whales says that it's wrong to have a place where people can pay other people to see whales. I'm not saying, I'm just saying. If this was an different kind of argument and an Oil Exec had that kind of logic I don't think you would give it much play.

Still waiting for "The Plan"...

m2c

Wasn't Nala's death attributed to stuff in her blowhole? Ie: not eating debris, but some jackwad throwing a penny into the tank?

"Can I be cynical here? The guy who runs a business taking people to see whales says that it's wrong to have a place where people can pay other people to see whales."

If that's the case then it also tends to invalidate the Aquarium's arguments for having whales in captivity too, as there's clearly a profit motive that might influence their comments as well.

"Wasn't Nala's death attributed to stuff in her blowhole? Ie: not eating debris, but some jackwad throwing a penny into the tank? "

The linked article explains it in further detail. Most of us have had milk or similar liquid come out our noses at some point and we can breath through our mouths... ie our respiratory and digestive tracts are linked. I can't say definitively but I assume most mammals share this trait?

CK

Yes, but I don't think the Aquarium has ever claimed that profit was not a motivator. I think it is, most people think it is. Would whale tour guy admit that removing whales from the Aquarium would help his business? How high is the high road he is taking?

m2c

M2C, you 'didn't say, you just said' that the points raised by one party were suspicious because of
his motivations. You seemed to want to discount the tour operator's assertions, not by arguing
against them and proving them invalid, but merely because he may be partly motivated
financially. That's an appeal to motive and ad hominem attack. Especially since you agree that
both sides have a financial stake.

Since both sides could be said to be biased financially, wouldn't ignoring the financial motives and
sticking to the points raised by both sides be more productive?

Temple - Actually, no matter what I said or how I said it, how productive this is stays the same. Own it.

m2c

"Would whale tour guy admit that removing whales from the Aquarium would help his business? How high is the high road he is taking?"

Given that one of the most prevalent arguments for captive whales is that whale-watching in the wild is too expensive for the average family, even the pro-whales in aquarium argument can be used to negate that supposition.

Profit or opportunities for research shouldn't enter into the question of large, intelligent mammals being held captive. It's simply a question of ethics IMO, and ethically, it's as wrong to keep whales in captivity today as it was wrong to display 'freaks' and indigenous peoples for public entertainment as we once did.

"Given that one of the most prevalent arguments for captive whales is ..."

That's the first time I've ever heard that as an argument. How prevalent is it?

Profit only enters as the motivation for the various players. Having a whale tour
operator suggest it's unethical to keep whales in captivity is pretty obviously self
serving. Questioning his motivation is completely fair.

I disagree that it's unethical to keep whales in captivity. What ethical model are
you using to reach that conclusion?

emd By emd

"I disagree that it's unethical to keep whales in captivity. What ethical model are
you using to reach that conclusion?"

And around and around and around and around we go.

Dugly: "I disagree that it's unethical to keep whales in captivity. What ethical model are
you using to reach that conclusion?"

Humanity.

Strange, so nobody can actually explain why it's unethical? It's just unethical
because it is?

The first rule of tautology club is...

Stop it, troll, i'll feed you. Forget the ethical argument, since you seem to be well versed in so called ethical "models". The science says it's bad. Exerpt from a paper I found (linked below):

It is true that the debate centered on captive cetaceans is one based on ethics and belief, but the claim by many in the
public display and scientific communities that science has no role to play in the argument is incorrect. The data
supporting the conclusion that capture of wild cetaceans is harmful to individuals are not in dispute, but are too often
left out of the discussion or inexplicably considered irrelevant. The fact that many captures are counter to sound
conservation principles receives even less consideration in the debate. The few data suggesting that captive
cetaceans fare poorly compared to wild cetaceans are ignored or misinterpreted, or else are viewed as justified, given
the educational and research benefits of public display. However, the research benefits are limited and the education
benefits have not been systematically evaluated. In short, the preponderance of hard evidence should lead to the
conclusion that captivity and its related practices are ethically and scientifically unjustified. That it rarely does is in
itself an ethical conundrum.

Dugly,

I'm not well-versed in ethics "models" (hell, I wasn't aware that there were any), but keeping a
whale in an aquarium seems similar to taking a random person and forcing them to live their
entire life in one room, just because it's interesting to some people. I suspect that most people
would find that repugnant. Since ethics is basically the study of right and wrong, and this
scenario seems pretty wrong, I'd consider it to be unethical.

Your-Mom,

That was a really good read, thank you.

Some very good points in there, including:

"suggests that, under certain circumstances, bottlenose dolphins at least can
adapt well and continue to exhibit natural behaviors in captivity "

- This leads me to suggest we shouldn't just assume all cetaceans are the same
as this argument generally does. If we're setting some "intelligence threshold"
for this ethical question.

another good point:

"this odd bias, Small and DeMaster (1995b) maintained that a “60-[day]
acclimation period is recognized as a distinct interval of relatively high mortality
that should be treated separately from long-term survival estimates when
evaluating husbandry practices of oceanaria and zoos” (p. 510). In other words,
they recommend treating the period of high mortality just after capture as if it
were unconnected to the overall impact of a facility’s husbandry practices on
cetacean survival rates"

I would agree with the author, this is a ridiculous bias, except they're probably
using this out of context. Looking to the original paper's title, it seems that the
paper is specifically about the husbandry, so if they're not attempting to breed
the whale, that seems like a logical distinction so long as the overall survival
rate includes that measure. So I suppose (and could be wrong) in the end the
author is just picking numbers out of context to make a point.

Oh, here's a tremendous point:

"while largely unknown and uninvestigated, may be substantial"

Way to get potentially get to maybe the heart of the matter Dr. Rose.

This part is also particularly awesome:

"However, the educational benefits are largely anecdotal and not supported with
systematic sociological analysis"

Followed in the same paragraph with:

"In addition, efforts to improve care and maintenance standards, through such
obvious actions as requiring larger enclosure sizes or natural sea water in tanks,
have been consistently opposed by the public display community (pers. obs.)."

So we're taking her own person observation as fact, but not accepting anecdotal
evidence?

She does have a good start to her conclusion though:

"It is true that the debate centered on captive cetaceans is one based on ethics
and belief"

and so far, nobody (at least here) has suggested why it's actually unethical. So
far, the discussion has essentially been "We wouldn't do this to people" which I
completely agree that we shouldn't do that to people.

I'm not convinced that cetaceans should be treated the same as people. I don't
see why they should be at any rate. Words like "Humanity" and comparisons to
taking people aside are simply confusing the issue. If that's what you rely on to
make decisions then I suppose the good news is that choices must be very
easy.

Dugly,

I don't see why you appear to be taking this so personally. I would like to respond to one of
your challenges to the article YourMom referenced (although I admit that I didn't actually
read it), specifically the one regarding anecdotal evidence vs personal observation.

The educational benefits that were mentioned were likely too difficult to quantify or
demonstrate to allow some anecdotes to form a basis for an argument. Perhaps it has been
shown that anecdotes frequently arise from observation (or recollection) of extreme cases,
while the general case fades into the background to be ignored, in which case anecdotes
would be an insufficient basis. Meanwhile, maybe her personal observations represent a
sufficient cross-section of the "public display community" that she's comfortable
extrapolating. In any case, she does identify the source of her information, allowing the
reader to draw their own conclusions if they wish to disagree, as you obviously do. I'm not
saying that Dr. Rose is right or wrong, but I don't find your reasoning for arguing the latter
particularly convincing.

As for the ethics of captivity, I'm pretty sure that saying that "we wouldn't do this to people"
is in fact suggesting why, in my opinion, it is unethical. You may not be convinced that
cetaceans should be given the same rights as people, but whether or not I believe so, that is
not what I'm saying. I am convinced that keeping sentient, intelligent beings who have been
shown to develop and maintain familial and social bonds caged is wrong, or unethical.
Bringing in concepts like "humanity" and comparing the situation to human captivity are not
ways of confusing the issue, but rather are ways to express why cetacean captivity is wrong in
a way that others might understand and relate to.

Vancouver Aquarium to upgrade with federal money

10 Aug 2010, Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Aquarium is upgrading and will get $15 million worth of help from Ottawa.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Vancouver Monday to make the announcement.

He said the aquarium is a world-class facility that plays an important role in marine research, conservation and education.

Harper said the Conservative government wants to ensure the aquarium remains an international destination.

The money will go toward the aquarium's expansion and to update its aging infrastructure.

The B.C. government also kicked in $10 million over three years to the project.

The aquarium has more than 70,000 fish and animals and has had more than 35 million visits since it opened in 1956.

"and so far, nobody (at least here) has suggested why it's actually unethical. So far, the discussion has essentially been "We wouldn't do this to people" which I completely agree that we shouldn't do that to people."

Perhaps a better comparison for people, rather than anthropomorphizing, may be: would it be ethical to confine a dog to a similar situation?

Dugly: "and so far, nobody (at least here) has suggested why it's actually unethical. So
far, the discussion has essentially been "We wouldn't do this to people" which I
completely agree that we shouldn't do that to people."

Ok, *why* do you you think that we shouldn't do that to people? And don't skirt it by using a
synonym for ethicality like 'human rights', tell us why that right to freedom is essential and
ethical.

Since you're sure that it's unethical to keep a human in captivity, surely you can provide that
same burden of proof that you are demanding.

More than likely you won't be able to actually answer that without completely undermining your
position regarding cetaceans in captivity.

"I disagree that it's unethical to keep whales in captivity. What ethical model are you using to reach that conclusion?"

The answer to that question, for me anyway, is the 'categorical imperative' first defined by Immanuel Kant:

"Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law."

Hey Gin-Boh,

Re post 35: I'm sorry if I appear to be taking it personally, I don't mean to, I'm
actually still open to changing my opinion on the issue, but I am waiting for a
good argument as to why. I'm not sure what I've done to make it seem like I'm
taking it personally. Although I do admit it's difficult to attempt to have
intelligent conversations with Temple so I'll probably just ignore him after this
post unless he actually contributes something remotely useful to the discussion
rather than his typical misrepresentation and deflection.

CK Re post 37: A good question, and frequently is the case, nobody seems to
question our "confinement" of cats, dogs, birds and other animals.

Temple Re post 38: Happily! And you're wrong about it undermining my
"position" regarding cetaceans, but perhaps next you'll try another deflection
technique rather than actually thinking about it for a change. (more than likely
you will)

Utilitarian model (the harsh one in which personal rights don't exist):

Ascribe value Z to the benefit per person (educational and entertainment)

Multiply Z by X visitors for X*Z "good" that comes out of confining a person for
entertainment/education

Subtract Y as the negative (being that you have to confine someone
presumably against their will)

For me, X*Z < Y, therefor by utilitarian ethics it is unethical.

Categorical Imperative:

If it were a universal law that everyone was confined for our edutainment it
would be self defeating as there would be no free people to be edutained.

Dugly, you do realize that a purely utilitarian model of ethics can lead to, say, infringing the rights
of a specific minority group, if the majority would prefer that, right?

There's an inherent problem with trying to measure and balance pain and joy between individuals
though. For example, some people (myself for one) find the idea of keeping some of the largest
animals on the planet in tiny pools of water to be an order of magnitude worse than any possible
benefit that could come *only* by keeping that animal in captivity and which *could not* be
achieved in another way. Forgetting about the creature's joy/pain for a moment (which I don't
believe we should), keeping them captive has a direct negative effect on many, many humans.

Others (perhaps you?) do not share that order of magnitude difference, they may see the benefits
closer to or greater than the negatives. I don't believe that there is any mathematical formula which
can accurately compare or balance my pro/con balance of the situation to yours. The utilitarian
model is inherently flawed in this aspect.

You know, you are right though. By a utilitarian model of ethics, one may indeed see keeping
cetaceans in a miniature pool to be quite ethical.

"Categorical Imperative:

If it were a universal law that everyone was confined for our edutainment it
would be self defeating as there would be no free people to be edutained."

That's an erroneous application of the tool IMO. A more accurate premise with which to apply the categorical imperative in this case would be:

"Humans have the right to decide upon the rights/needs and living conditions of whales."

Always. Every whale. And I can't imagine too many people feel this way.

"CK Re post 37: A good question"

Yep, it's a heckuva question. What's important is your answer. Would you subject a dog to the same treatment? No walks, no dog park, no interaction with the larger canine community. Confined to a windowless garage for a lifetime. Most people would consider that animal abuse n'est-ce pas? But it's OK for whales?

We may not be able to make a sweeping change to the treatment of all animals in captivity, but we can make a start. As Voltaire noted: the perfect is the enemy of the good.

CK: I see your point, and yes the phrasing of the question does change the crux
of the issue. I see that your question is more accurately what you're driving at
as the category.

I'm not sure if it's inherently self defeating though. The question of categorical
imperative isn't "do people agree with it" but rather "what's the consequence of
universality of the rule" i.e. is it self defeating. I don't think that the question
really is self defeating when generalized, but do you disagree?

Yes Temple, that's a possible conclusion (although erroneous) of the utilitarian
model. I'll encourage you to attend some ethics classes for more information
rather than trying to use this terrible communication vehicle to explain it to you
since you'll basically just ignore all the points I make anyhow.

One thing that you did manage to pick up on is that the "magnitude" is a
somewhat personal and subjective measure. I suggest you explore that line in
your study and how that impacts the existence of what we call inherent rights.

CK 42: I somehow missed the second part of your post.

I would be comfortable seeing a dog given the breadth and depth of treatment
that the whales in the aquarium receive.

Per your question though, I think I'd have to see the individual dog to make a
choice about whether that dog was being mistreated. Does the dog get constant
interaction with a few other dogs? Does it have full time attention from multiple
people? A veterinarian immediately at hand and access to various other doggie
activities? It seems on it's surface that I wouldn't agree with the conditions that
you're suggesting, but there's a lot of followup questions I'd ask to be sure.

If you're trying to suggest that's analogous to whales in an aquarium I think it's
incorrect:

No walks: The whales get regular exercise, both mental and physical.

Windowless Garage: Isn't the problem the windows? ;) (Tongue in cheek)

Interactions with other whales: there are I think 5 at the Vancouver aquarium
for instance. I don't think any of the dogs owned by my extended family
regularly interact with 4 other canines.

"No walks: The whales get regular exercise, both mental and physical. "

Stop it. I'm going to pull something laughing at this statement.

An orca (resident-variety) in the wild will travel as much as 100 miles in a day and interacts with far more of its kin than two or three other whales.

By your measure, two guys passing a disc back and forth in a jail cell is akin to an Ultimate tournament.

No one would suggest it's OK to keep a dog in a garage for its lifetime. It's utterly inhumane. As to the dog issue, a dog considers its owner and the other members of an immediate family part of the 'pack' Whether you consider a pet dog part of your family is irrelevant. Rest assured you are a part of his natural social grouping in the mind of the dog.

But you assume that whales don't consider their trainers as family? Seems to
me like they exhibit behaviors that lead to the opposite conclusion.

And I didn't suggest that throwing a disc is akin to an ultimate tournament any
more than you suggested taking a poodle for a walk is like a wolfpack on the
hunt.

So I suppose from your past few responses that you're not actually going to try
to show why it's unethical, but rather are going to just make up poor analogies
and ask if they're OK? You can make up all sorts of terrible things and suggest
it's the same, but it's not. The question is not about dogs in a garage, it's not
even analogous to it. The question is quite simple and trying to distract by
comparing it to other made up situations is merely distracting from attempting
to answer the question.

For the purpose of THIS discussion I'd even rather keep it to the Vancouver
aquarium, as it's most relevant. "Cetaceans" is a remarkably broad category and
I think we have ample evidence to suggest we shouldn't treat them as the
same.

Fine then. Let's keep it to the aquarium. How is confining a social, far-ranging animal to a small pool without its family, for the education or benefit of another species even a remotely ethical thing to do? What philosophy or school of thought are you using to determine such behaviour IS ethical?

Analogies btw are a time-tested way of illustrating a point. Aesop's Fables aren't really about the creatures in them. The boy who cried wolf isn't really a primer on effective sheperding. I think you find the analogies problematic because they all too well show the inherent cruelty of keeping whales in captivity.

emd By emd

Forgive me if this was covered in the other (much longer) thread, but (out of
my own ignorance), how does the aquarium acquire the animals?

I believe (again, not substantiated...I'll go off and look after I'm done here),
that all the animals are rescued, i.e. wouldn't have survived in the wild.

If that is the case, then CK et al, what do you propose we do about that? If it
is unethical to cage them, and bringing them in to help them heal means they
can't be released, how should we handle that?

When society sees a dog/cat being mistreated, they get put into cages to
remove them from harm. Granted that is supposed to be a temporary
situation, but is it not similar?

I don't find any of your analogies particularly useful or analogous though.

Ethically, I am arguing from the point that the educational, entertainment and
economic benefits are sufficient from a utilitarian model and that it doesn't
infringe on individual rights.

Consequentiality doesn't show this to be unethical (if this were generalized as
you propose it's not self defeating).

Since nobody seems to be able to even begin to show why it's unethical,
without trying to equate whales to people, then it kind of begs the question of
why you believe it's unethical? Because it makes you sad? Because you're anthropomorphizing these animals?

Simply because you're not comfortable with the practice isn't a reason to call it
unethical.

"If that is the case, then CK et al, what do you propose we do about that? If it is unethical to cage them, and bringing them in to help them heal means they can't be released, how should we handle that?"

Let them die in the wild as nature intended, where they will provide an important food source for other sea creatures.

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