The Dolphins of War and PETA


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals object to the US Navy letting slip the dolphins of war.


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  1. PETA has always had delusions of relevance- the poor things…

  2. How does PETA know the dolphins didnt volunteer?

  3. Yeah, its not like there’s a chain on their tail keeping them tied to the boat. If these dolphins arent volunteering? Then why don’t they swim off to Greece or Tahiti when the Navy lets them go on their mission. These dolphins have the right to leave any time they want.

  4. His name is Flipper, Flipper, Faster than lightning, no one can be blown up as fast as he.

  5. Perhaps the Navy has acquired the services of Aquaman for dolphin wrangling. That would be nice, as he always seemed underutilized in the Justice League. Of course it could be Animal Man instead.

    RK Jones

  6. I am not a member of PETA, but the argument is: Dolphins are just as important as humans, not more important than humans. Neither humans nor dolphins should be forced into combat involuntarily – barring exigent circumstances. The military has not established that using dolphins to perform these tasks is necessary (i.e. that robots or human volunteers aided by adequate technology could not perform these functions) or that the functions themselves are vital. Whether or not a dolphin has the mental capacity to make a voluntary decision is an open question. But all can agree that we are currently unable to meaningfully advise dolphins of their risks. Accordingly, dolphins cannot ?consent? to participate in the war as sentries, mine sweepers, etc. And if the only reason to use dolphins is to save a few dollars…

    That said, my understanding is that (in this instance) the dolphins’ risk of death is minimal, whereas the potential benefit, in terms of human lives saved, is great. Some probably believe it’s immoral to sacrifice one dolphin to save 1000 human lives. I don?t agree, but I don?t dismiss such arguments as sentimental idiocy. And I agree, too, that Aquaman was underused.

  7. Aren’t we all assuming these porpoises are christian? They could be islamic fundamentalist suicide bombers, but on our side.

  8. I’m sure PETA didn’t say these things on porpoise, although I’d like to see the doplphins being protected a bit more. Maybe they could be equipped with lasers or something.

  9. Hi Yet Another S.:

    the laser beams are currently booked: they’re used by the ill-tempered, mutant sea bass, of course.

    and even though they didn’t say that on porpoise, did they just say it for the halibut?

    sorry, couldn’t resist!

  10. drf,

    Something fishy about your comments. You’re not a Pisces are you? Working for scale?

  11. Prepare your hilarious monkey-related puns

  12. Monkey minesweepers! Tremendous!

  13. This just in! “PETA is boycotting the classic animated adventure series Marine Boy because Splasher, his cute dolphin sidekick, never received a treat in 78 episodes. PETA is exploring whether its charter covers reported abuses of Neptina, Marine Boy’s hot mermaid gal pal.”

  14. Dolphins are supposed to be one of the most intelligent creatures in the world. If I were a dolphin and all I had to do was swim around and eat fishies and make little dolphins I’d be pretty bored and WANT to be hunting for mines.

    They’re trained not to touch them–just to find them so they can be flagged and later destroyed. And they get paid (fed and tended to) very well. So far as I know we’ve never lost one in action.

    If PETA is opposed to the aid of dolphins to find mines are they also opposed to rescue dogs searching the rubble of a disaster area for survivors? Saint Bernards rescuing avalanche victims (does that still happen?)? Cats being used to catch mice?

    The dolphins know the dangers of mines because they’ve been trained to know them–and never to touch the mines. If they don’t want the job they can just swim off.

    PETA needs to focus on legitimate abuse of animals, not to be so knee-jerk extremist that they make a joke of themselves (too late for that, sadly).

  15. Of course they do.

  16. and just wait to see how we’ll use bambi as a “doe-shield”…
    heh heh heh,

  17. Hey, we give those dolphins the best fish money can buy, the least they can do is help us not get blown up.

  18. The sooner the dolphins check for mines, the sooner humanitarian aid gets in. The sooner the humanitarian aid gets in, the fewer camels get slaughtered. Why can’t PETA look at the big picture?

  19. They *do* look at the Big Picture, but for them the Big Picture is: Animals are more important than Humans.

  20. If they’re “just as important as humans” and if they’re so intelligent, why didn’t they grow an opposable thumb and CREATE something, for heaven’s sake. (Take note, PETA.)

  21. Everyone is entitiled to their own opinion! Dolphins are intelligent. Why are we using them in the war if they werent and who needs an opposable thumb anyway? We, humans, who think we are so smart, but we use dolphins as a means to help end a war. Dont get me wrong I want to see this war over as fast as possible and I think it is neat that they can help us but shouldnt we be a little more greatful that we have such intelligent creatures and shed a little more light on the fact that their intelligence is close to humans so we should care about their well-being just as we do the soldiers fighting?

  22. Talk about a conversation kiler

  23. Talk about a conversation killer

  24. Dear Jenn:

    YOU ASKED: “who needs an opposable thumb anyway?”

    ANSWER: I do. And (obviously) you do, too. (You couldn’t operate that mouse you’re holding right now if you didn’t.) And the people at * do. They couldn’t have made the PC you’re staring at if they didn’t.

    YOU may not be greatful for that.
    But I am very grateful for it.

    (Hit ‘n Run was made for conversation starters.)

  25. Jenn,

    It’s inaccurate to say that their intelligence is “close to humans”. It’s not, it’s very different. In fact, it’s spooky-different.
    Dolphins use bio-sonar (okay, echo-location, like bats) to navigate and locate objects in the water. That is at the heart of their consciousness. It’s a very “alien” intelligence.
    So, it’s not as if there’s some kinda pecking order of degrees of intelligence. Dolphin intelligence has a bizarre weirdness about non-human ways of perception. They “see” with sound. Completely different from our experience… bless the little guys *sob*

  26. Darwin and the other guy with no name:It doesnt make you intelligent just because you have an opposable thumb, regarding the comment that if they are so intelligent why dont they grow an opposable thumb….its a little irrelevant and yes I know I need my thumb but the comment made had nothing to do with dolphin intelligence. And just a little fact about their intelligence ….well, Dolphins have very large brains and some scientists believe that the brain of a dolphin was highly developed long before the human brain, and they might have once been the most intelligent creatures on Earth!

  27. OK, here’s the deal, Jenn. Those dolphins in the gulf are so smart that their intelligence has caused them to conclude that the the officers in U.S. Army are the good guys, and THEY VOLUNTEERED to join them in the fight against barbarism and medieval throwbacks. They willingly joined the fight, by offering their services to discover mines, and they are smart enough to know not to set them off. How’s THAT for intelligence?

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