Working With The Animal Totems
by JacobSloan on May 28, 2013
Are we moving beyond the human/animal binary?
India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests has decided to forbid the keeping of captive dolphins for public entertainment anywhere in the country. In a policy statement released Friday, the ministry said:
“[Their] unusually high intelligence as compared to other animals means that dolphin should be seen as ‘non-human persons’ and as such should have their own specific rights and is morally unacceptable to keep them captive for entertainment purpose.”
The grassroots Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organization, FIAPO, was pleased with the decision. FIAPO spokesperson Puja Mitra called the decision “a huge victory for the dolphins!”
Ric O’Barry, director of the U.S.-based Earth Island Institute’s Dolphin Project, said, “Not only has the Indian government spoken out against cruelty, they have contributed to an emerging and vital dialogue about the ways we think about dolphins – as thinking, feeling beings.”