Ask the EU to Recognise Cetaceans as "Non-Human Persons"

  • by: Judith B.
  • recipient: Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
People have known about the intelligence of dolphins and whales for centuries. However, it is only in the last few decades that scientists have begun to understand just how complex their brains really are. Although different to ours, they are comparable.

This year, a group of scientists, conservationists and ethics specialists have started pushing for cetaceans - whales, dolphins and porpoises - to be recognised legally as "non-human persons", with a fundamental right to life and to not be exploited. Practically, this would mean no more whaling and an end to the exploitation of whales and dolphins in aquariums.

The levels of intelligence and self-awareness in cetaceans justify such recognition, startling as it might sound. Ask the European Union to take the first steps towards legally recognising cetaceans as "non-human persons".
We the undersigned ask that the European Union recognise cetaceans as non-human persons, with the legal right to life and to not be exploited. This is justified ethically on the grounds of their levels of intelligence and self-awareness, which are comparable to those of humans. In practical terms, this would mean no more whaling or the exploitation of dolphins and small whales in aquariums.
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