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Thread: Should dolphins be kept in aquariums?

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    Default Should dolphins be kept in aquariums?

    Dolphins and other cetaceans (like whales) are highly intelligent animals. As far as we know, at any rate.

    They have an incredibly rich social life, to the point where they may even have culture. They have very large brains that can conduct incredibly sophisticated communication. They can problem-solve and use tools. They can pass the mirror test — a strong hint of self-awareness. Should we treat aquariums as a form of imprisonment?
    Last edited by xerx; 07-01-2020 at 03:52 AM.

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    Probably :/ It would be neat to see them in person, but I guess I could always try spending more time at the ocean for that lol.

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    Ah interesting, dolphins (males and females) can possibly rape humans. Captivity is not for them. Some zoos have already given up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by COVID 007 View Post
    Ah interesting, dolphins (males and females) can possibly rape humans. Captivity is not for them. Some zoos have already given up.
    Why not use the aquariums as prisons for the rapist dolphins?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    Why not use the aquariums as prisons for the rapist dolphins?
    Well, apparently US has executed mentally challenged people before so why not give imprisonment to animals in the land of freedom.
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    Sometimes when I am in a pet store buying cat food, I'm drawn to the bird cages. I think these birds are fascinating, but I don't see myself buying one to keep them locked up in a small cage for my own pleasure. So Dolphins in aquariums, I don't think so. For the same reason, I don't like visiting zoos. Some zoos are better than others, but especially the zoo over here in Amsterdam is a disgrace, many animals are housed in confinements that are way too small, or at least, that's what I think. It's a beautiful zoo with lots of 19th century buildings, but from the POV of animal well being not of this day and age. I've been to zoos in London and Barcelona where animals have a lot more space and aren't confined to 19th century structures. But these zoos have a lot more space available to them.

    We have two cats and they can go anywhere any time of day. If they don't like it with us anymore, they are completely free to leave. But they don't.

    If I had kids asking to have an animal in a cage, I would say to them that would be fine provided they are willing to be locked up in a cage for a week themselves.

    ETA: I was just reading the wikipedia page on the Amsterdam Zoo, and it seems they shared my concerns, as they seem to be in the process of creating more up-to-date living quarters for the big felines. They have moved a parking lot underground for that. Basically that's all the expansion possible, as the zoo is in downtown Amsterdam itself.
    Last edited by consentingadult; 06-30-2020 at 11:19 AM.
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    Absolutely not. I've read enough to gather their suffering is through the roof. Humans are bad at hearing other species screaming. Of course, aquariums don't care about this, or rather they care about money more, which is part of why no one can hear. Stuffing wads of cash in our ears renders us deaf.

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    Humans can't even care about other humans. Let alone animals. People like pets. They prefer calling them pets because keeping animals for emotional support when other humans are assholes to you is apparently better than calling them emotional support slaves -- which is what they are.

    Cats in the wild don't meow past infancy. Why do adult cats meow at humans? Because keeping cats as slaves causes them to feel infantilized due to the forced dependence on humans for food.

    I know this was supposed to be about dolphins, but I'm just generalizing a bit here. Dolphins themselves shouldn't be kept in zoos probably.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramas View Post
    Humans can't even care about other humans. Let alone animals. People like pets. They prefer calling them pets because keeping animals for emotional support when other humans are assholes to you is apparently better than calling them emotional support slaves -- which is what they are.

    Cats in the wild don't meow past infancy. Why do adult cats meow at humans? Because keeping cats as slaves causes them to feel infantilized due to the forced dependence on humans for food.

    I know this was supposed to be about dolphins, but I'm just generalizing a bit here. Dolphins themselves shouldn't be kept in zoos probably.
    Feral cats meow too, from my experience, so I don’t think it’s as much them “feeling” infantilized, but rather an indication of artificial selection to make them more infantile, so that they’d be easier to control. Most “domesticated” species display some kinds of neoteny IIRC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by COVID 007 View Post
    Well, apparently US has executed mentally challenged people before so why not give imprisonment to animals in the land of freedom.
    Good old free America with the highest prison rate per capita in the world. Ha!

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    We should let animals choose nature or paying rent at a zoo

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    I find this article about street dogs really interesting on the topic of domestication in that it seems to be an example of a working relationship between humans and another domestic species in which that species is able to maintain much of its autonomy even though it relies on the niche created by humans.

    Domestication in general seems like a natural process driven by a species having impetus to go towards more friendly/tame behavior. Many people think humans are a domesticated species and I tend to agree. So it's not surprising if the tamest of the ancestors of our modern pet cats chose a partnership with a domesticated species. They gained a lot from this partnership, including more access to food, improved quality of life, longer lives, and protection from predators, and they are now a highly populous species that lives all over the globe. So it was a good arrangement, and for both parties.

    I just think humans need to be thoughtful about when they are exploiting. I don't know what that means, though... The domestic cat in general is regarded as only half domesticated anyway by some researchers and as having retained a self-sufficient nature in the sense that its hunting instincts are intact (it can survive without us), so does that mean when humans breed cats like the ragdoll that actually doesn't have those instincts intact and cannot survive without humans that this is a violation of our age old partnership? (due to taking away its ability to be something that can choose partnership or not because now it's be with us or die lol)

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    Why not use the aquariums as prisons for the rapist dolphins?
    Omg I needed this laugh.

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    Intelligence is not, and never was, the basis of boundary between our species and others. Ethnocentrism is the real boundary. When we kin-select, we make self-sacrifices only for other human lives, because that protects human genes that are similar to our own; thus we protect our own genetics, by protecting those with whom we have a high genetic similarity. No member of any other species will be more similar to a human than any other human is, and thus, even the worst human life is worth a thousand animal lives.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ouronis View Post
    We should let animals choose nature or paying rent at a zoo
    My guess is that most would choose nature

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramas View Post
    My guess is that most would choose nature
    I'm not sure if prey animals would choose nature, because life in zoo is more secure for them.

    Hashtag... Zootopia movie reference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by COVID 007 View Post
    Ah interesting, dolphins (males and females) can possibly rape humans. Captivity is not for them. Some zoos have already given up.
    So, I googled this to find out there are dolphin incels ... it only speaks of harrassment, though. Or are there worse stories out there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierrette View Post
    I'm an egalitarian and a vegan and I believe in equality for all and I would like to propose...


    1. Human aquariums.
    2. A place for the dolphins to walk.
    3. Fish too
    4. Lets go back to human zoos and just let animals ONLY attend the human zoos this time (all profits will go to PETA)


    That's it that's all I ask for. Thank you for listening to my pleas.
    How would you feel about being a permanent feature in a zoo exhibit, Pierette?

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    Quote Originally Posted by xerxe View Post
    Should we treat aquariums as a form of imprisonment?
    It's a form of quarantine care against dangers and problems of wild ocean!
    Types examples: video bloggers, actors

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierrette View Post
    I already am a permanent feature in a zoo exhibit, 4 life.
    How is the zoo life treating you? And how much is admission?

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    "Should dolphins be kept in aquariums?"

    Obviously not.
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    every creature has the birthright to opt out of suffering. sometimes this is not a conscious choice (the way we conceptualize conscious choice). till we as humans get out of our cages what we can do for animals is have standards for their living conditions under captivity or even out of it, considering environmental pollution.

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    idk zoos and aquariums are kinda dumb just let them roam and rape and eat each other in nature

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    I don't have dogs, because imo leashing one or separating it from a pack or not giving it enough space is basically animal torture.. so yeah same for dolphins or any other animal really.

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    Holy crap, is this a Pilot Whale or a Xenomorph?


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    Sonar dome.

    It's probably a 3D sonic holodeck in there.
    Last edited by Adam Strange; 11-15-2021 at 05:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    Dolphins and other cetaceans (like whales) are highly intelligent animals. As far as we know, at any rate.

    They have an incredibly rich social life, to the point where they may even have culture. They have very large brains that can conduct incredibly sophisticated communication. They can problem-solve and use tools. They can pass the mirror test — a strong hint of self-awareness. Should we treat aquariums as a form of imprisonment?
    I don't know, but we keep an awful lot of humans in cages and seem to be profoundly bad at determining who actually needs to be there. I was reading stories of victims of attempted murders the other night and it was shocking how many of the perpetrators got little to no jail time. I've heard of people going to jail for marijuana possession for way longer than a lot of those people. Not that I don't care about dolphins, but I'd rather people be disgusted by our appalling treatment of each other before getting too up in arms about other species.

    That being said, I don't mean to derail things so I'll answer the question properly.

    I sort of agree with @Grendel that we don't actually base our ethics off of intelligence really. We only do that with some species in order to feel good about ourselves and retroactively justify our own hierarchy in the food chain because we tend to feel guilty about it, but which animals we care about has way more to do with how cute they are, how they are portrayed in pop culture, and those sorts of things. Humans are naturally on top because they are us. Westerners aren't offended by people in some parts of the world eating dogs, cats, or horses because those animals are particularly intelligent compared to others, but because in our culture we are brought up to think of those animals as companions and even "part of the family". I don't know if humans can properly be considered to have a "responsibility" to reduce the suffering of other species as we're the only ones around to hold us accountable to that responsibility if it were to exist. Really whatever we do on behalf of animals is more for our own conscience than it is for their sake. I don't think that's necessarily wrong or that it cheapens it at all, but I just mean to point out that I honestly think that's all we're really doing. We have no contractual obligation to animals as far as I can discern; all such agreements are with other humans. I think the question actually barely even concerns animals. We're just deciding amongst ourselves whether or not we feel guilty enough about our place in the food chain to place arbitrary limits on what other humans are allowed to do to different kinds of animals.

    Like what is the discussion at the end of the day, really? Are we just deliberating over who we can shame and act morally superior to for not buying into our specific moral code of how to treat dolphins? What happens to those who violate the rights we've decided that dolphins have? If we decide that the government may use force against them to alter this behaviour then how do we justify the use of said force against those particular humans, members of our own species, on behalf of another species, the dolphins? Say the government busts a black market aquarium (this is a dumb idea, I know, but it's relevant for the thought experiment) with dolphins in it, and one of the dolphin slavers is shot and killed in the raid. Are we meant to value that human life as less than the dolphins'? I'm getting a little pedantic at this point perhaps, but I can't help but think of these things when this sort of topic gets brought up. What are we actually implying when we talk about whether we "should/shouldn't" do something?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalinoche buenanoche View Post
    every creature has the birthright to opt out of suffering
    In your mind, where does this birthright come from?
    “Things always seem fairer when we look back at them, and it is out of that inaccessible tower of the past that Longing leans and beckons.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by AWellArmedCat View Post
    In your mind, where does this birthright come from?
    from my ass

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    Humans are highly intelligent animals. As far as we know, at any rate.

    They have an incredibly rich social life, to the point where they may even have culture. They have very large brains that can conduct incredibly sophisticated communication. They can problem-solve and use tools. They can pass the mirror test — a strong hint of self-awareness. Should we treat apartments/cubicles as a form of imprisonment?

    Should humans be kept in captivity?

    Maybe dolphins are thinking the above right now while taking pity on us humans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramas View Post
    Humans can't even care about other humans. Let alone animals. People like pets. They prefer calling them pets because keeping animals for emotional support when other humans are assholes to you is apparently better than calling them emotional support slaves -- which is what they are.
    The humans or the animals?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalinoche buenanoche View Post
    from my ass
    Lol fair enough
    “Things always seem fairer when we look back at them, and it is out of that inaccessible tower of the past that Longing leans and beckons.”
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