OSLO, May 23, 2010 (Reuters) — Whales and dolphins should get "human rights" to life and liberty because of mounting evidence of their intelligence, a group of conservationists and experts in philosophy, law and ethics said Sunday.
As disturbing as it is to me that we might pretend that any animal has "human" rights, I'm even more disturbed about the basis for this distinction between whales and other animals: intelligence and self-awareness. Let's admit it...going down this road does not portend well for unborn babies, mentally retarded children and adults, or those suspended in a coma or near-comatose state. If awareness of self and IQ are to be our measures for whether or not to extend human rights, then a large part of our population is in trouble, not to mention animals with smaller brains than whales.
"Human rights" urged for whales and dolphins
*Lyrics from "I Am the Walrus," by Paul McCartney and John Lennon