Animal Emotions

Do animals think and feel?

Belugas Don't Belong in Captive Whale Mills

Plans to bring 18 whales to U. S. aquariums are scientifically and ethically misguided. We don't need any more whales in captive breeding mills that offer romantic settings along with champagne and strawberries for $450 and other forms of entertainment. There still is time to file comments on an upcoming hearing about this inane proposal. Read More

our ethics: all but extinct

Ignorant Americans who insist on being wowed by exotic creatures trained to do tricks in marine parks can indict themselves for being solely responsible for the cruel slaughter of dolphins around the world -- as depicted so heart-breakingly in The Cove. (The movie made it clear that the only way to kidnap dolphins for the entertainment industry is to murder all but the few who will fetch astronomical prices for the Japanese fishermen.)

Now, with this latest gambit to confine beluga whales in water prisons, are aquariums betting that these same Americans have already forgotten those powerful scenes of terrified dolphins crying out for their families as they die painful deaths in pools of blood? Are they hoping that the public, ever gluttons for pleasure, won't realize that whales must be captured in the same sickening way as the dolphins are?

If so, God help us all.

At this rate, our ethical intelligence will be extinct well before the current endangered species disappear.

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Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.


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