Guess What? Whales Already Have Rights

June 2, 2016 Sonar

When Roger Payne released Songs of the Humpback Whale, it helped to ignite the environmental movement. The global moratorium was enacted a shortly after. However, today, nearly thirty years later, little has changed for cetaceans – but, as Laura Bridgeman discusses, this is what Sonar hopes to address.

Because whales and dolphins are proven as having the type of consciousness that gives rise to needs and desires, this means that they already have rights that naturally emanate from themselves, as our human rights naturally emanate from each one of us. So, it is not a matter of us bestowing rights onto cetaceans and other species, it is our obligation to merely recognize this fact and respect it, through policy and individual attitude adjustments.

Public perception and education is absolutely key in this process. A look at the historical movement to protect cetaceans illustrates how these changes are actually psychological, even though they may be manifested through legal instruments. What we think becomes what we perceive.

For the full talk at the Santa Fe Institute, click here.


Laura Bridgeman at the Santa Fe Institute from Sonar on Vimeo.

Photo credit Craig Parry.