Thursday, February 9, 2012

Whales have rights

Disclaimer - I am an animal person and vegetarian. I also think rescuing a dog from a burning house before rescuing the family album is a perfectly sane thing to do.
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Sitting on the couch, reading the morning paper this morning lead to a rather unexpected event. A heated pre breakfast morning discussion.

What sparked off the debated was this article -http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/odd/news/a364683/seaworld-sued-for-killer-whale-slavery.html. For those too lazy to read the original article, its about PETA suing Sea World (the amusement park where killer whales shows are a key attraction)

Peta on behalf of the killer whales, was fighting for the independence of the whales to live a free, fearless life in the open seas and be rescued from the tank like confines that they were a part of. Normally, this could have been seen as a over zealous attack of activism, but there was something more to the article that caught ones attention..

2 years ago during one of the shows, one of the 'slaved' killer whales, took her own trainer, dragger her underwater, thrashed her at the bottom of the tank till she breathed her last. Note, the trainers are the ones who have the most intimate bond, with the whales, devote nearly there entire lives to the cause of being the caretakers of these creatures.

The debate centered on 2 topics. One the right to demand independence for animals and secondly,  if rights for causes such as animals, environment etc could only be implemented or even considered once human rights had been taken care of.

One side of the argument, centered around ensuring that the scarce resources of the world be first directed at uplifting the human beings, as only once the impoverished had a better chance of survival would they stop tampering the environment. The corner stone of this argument centered around the higher value of human life than say whales, and so the protective measures first must take care of this species. aka the human species.

The second argument, was revolving the inherent rights of every being. the right of life of a squirrel being equal to the right of life to say a donkey and moving away from speciesm. This would be a huge argument- and against the moral code of life as it exists right now. the human race is supreme. this is fundamental way the world has been organized. This supreme - power- allows it to determine who will live, who dies what is a species thats endangered and which one isnt.

A line in the article stated - merely because the being (whales) which were alive, feeling, emotive being, not born in the form of humans have fewer rights? In my view they dont. What would it mean if PETA did win this case?

A right to choose, for animals from animal testing, from circuses, from being puppets in zoos, leather making machines. A natural order of things, a reversal of the stone age. No that would be far fetched. However a natural extension of a favourable verdict could impact several forms of animal use. Interesting though.

If the animals could speak, am not sure how many animalistic revolutions would we have to deal with. This post is rambling, and there is no clear point to be made but one..

there is sanctity of life. in every atom of every being. every being wants to live. A book mentioned the wails a plant also lets out at a high pitch each time there is an perceived threat to its being. and it hurts.

I wish there were happy free whilly endings to all such situations. freedom. life.
to dreaming of these realities once, sometime.