I am not a vegetarian. I love meat. I do not consider myself an animal rights activist. I’m just a guy who thinks that animals are far more intelligent than most people believe. In fact, I believe that some animals — dolphins, elephants, chimpanzees — have complex societies and rich emotional lives. They have language. They solve problems. They’re intelligent.
That said, I find the following video distressing:
Warning: Disturbing footage.
This short clip documents Japanese dolphin fishing. I was in horror as I watched this. These are not goldfish. These are not salmon. These are not trout. These are dolphins. They’re intelligent mammals. They feel. They suffer.
But ultimately, what will watching this video do for me? Will it change the way I act? Will it prompt me to action? And what sort of action will it move me toward? What can I do to stop dolphin fishing in Japan? Do I have the right to do so? The responsibility?
More importantly, if I’m distraught over how dolphins are treated, why am I not upset over the slaughter of pigs? (Pigs, too, are highly intelligent.) I have a friend who refuses to eat pork because he cannot bring himself to eat an intelligent being. I see his point, but my love of bacon and ham always triumphs. How do I cope with this cognitive dissonance?
Where do I draw the line? Why is a cow dumb enough to be eaten, but not a dolphin? What about cats and dogs? I love my cats, and love the intelligence I see in them, but I’ll bet I could eat a cat to which I had no personal attachment.
This site is easier when I just share funny animal videos…