There is no dolphin joy

The dolphins are obviously here to stay in Cayman.

So be it.

But stop telling us about how wonderful they feel about all of this. Look at a picture of a dolphin. Look at the shape of the beak. Imagine this beak shaped more like the mouth of a manatee.

Now do you still get the ridiculous illusion that they are happy? They just look happy because of the shape of their beak. They have the same expression on their faces right before they die. Just tell people to pay their money and use these living creatures like any other carnival ride. But don’t tell little kids that this is good for the dolphins!

How can you tell if an animal is happy? Can you tell by looking at a giraffe that it is happy to see you? Of course not.

Most animals do not have a visual expression that we can perceive except for the hearty wagging of a dog’s tail. So why do the ads for the captive dolphins say that the dolphins are happy to see you? The ads should say that you will have fun. But don’t pretend that the dolphins are having fun! The owners are making money; that is certainly making the owners happy.

The dolphin that was hanging around the dolphin pod was not necessarily hoping to get in, but dolphins are social and they want to be together. The captive dolphins more likely wanted to get out.

There was a famous chimpanzee named Washoe, (who died in 2007) who could communicate quite well through hand signs (American Sign Language.) Do you know what the most common request was that he made? ‘Let me out.’

So sell your dolphin rides, but stop the hypocritical stance that these animals like what is being done to them; stop saying that an intelligent animal does not prefer the vast open water and freedom to come and go. If freedom were no big deal, why are prisons so dreaded?

Cathy Church

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