Introducing Sonar: a bold new organization that is pioneering human understanding of who dolphins and whales are and working to increase their rights and protections.
Our species is undergoing an ethical evolution. We once believed that the sun revolved around the Earth; some of us still believe that the Earth revolves around us, humanity. Once again, science leads us towards whole new ways of thinking, as it challenges our long-held yet factually inaccurate notions that animals lack consciousness, intelligence and minds.
Sonar believes that cetaceans can be catalysts for this ethical evolution. Through research, advocacy and education we demonstrate that humans are definitely not the only ‘smart’ kids on the block.
WE DO RESEARCH. Sonar works with visionary scientists, researchers and experts as we conduct highly ethical studies involving wild cetaceans who choose to participate, on their terms. We incorporate indigenous and other methodologies that seek to remove the ‘researcher-subject’ dichotomy as much as is possible in order to facilitate a collaborative exchange that can lead to deeper insights into the minds and lives of cetaceans.
WE ADVOCATE FOR RIGHTS. Cetaceans have the moral rights to exist freely in their natural habitat, and it is time for us to officially recognize and protect these rights. Sonar provides abundant evidence indicating that cetaceans ought to be considered nonhuman persons. We work with individuals and organizations around the world to advocate for these rights and their attendant protections.
WE EDUCATE AND INSPIRE. The wealth of scientific and anecdotal information that exists about cetaceans should be informing public attitudes and policy, yet it remains scattered and largely inaccessible to most people. We address this by curating an online anthology, rife with essays, science, and compelling stories that are available to everyone, for free. This helps to give the public a seat at the table in emerging discussions of nonhuman rights that have remained largely behind the closed doors of academia and the court system.
Sonar represents the next wave in human ethics. We are shaping global discourse and policy, and make scientific contributions towards new understandings that cetaceans and other nonhumans are much more like us than we ever thought possible.
Photo by Craig Parry.