Dolphins call each other by their name! Because they are the best! »
Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!
Dolphins have names for each other! I guess they already knew dolphins named themselves, but this new study discovered that they will call each other by names, especially when they are separated.
"Animals produced copies when they were separated from a close associate and this supports our belief that dolphins copy another animal’s signature whistle when they want to reunite with that specific individual," lead author Stephanie King of the University of St. Andrews Sea Mammal Research Unit told Discovery News.
So of course they totally harassed dolphin mamas and babies to find this out but we can still appreciate the implications of the science even if we disapprove of the methods: dolphins are awesome!
If you want to help dolphins, who are slaughtered by the thousands every year (not to mention help captive in shameful zoos and aquariums), check out Sea Shepherd’s dolphin initiatives.
Tom and Misha, two dolphins held in captivity for years, have been freed into the ocean! The real live ocean! OMG. This is the background from CNN where you really get to see the dolphins getting trained to fend for themselves. You can also watch the video of the moment they get released on Born Free’s youtube channel. Watch this one first and then go see that one because this background makes it so much better. And then you will be like about to cry. And I’ll totally let you cry this time! I’m so nice to you.
As the video says, this is controversial as people are worried the dolphins can’t survive in the wild after being captive for so many years. But the trainers say no one has ever reintroduced dolphins in quite the way they are. I mean a year to learn to hunt seems like a pretty good amount of time. I’m just worried that they will like people so much that they will get caught in nets! But all dolphins seem to like people so maybe it’s the same risk any dolphins face. I don’t know!
Fingers crossed! God speed, Tom and Misha!
2000 dolphins getting buck wild in southern California! Usually dolphins hang in pods of about a dozen so this is pretty amazing. Though my super secret source tells me it’s not unheard of:
Dolphins are social, living in pods of up to a dozen individuals. In places with a high abundance of food, pods can merge temporarily, forming a superpod; such groupings may exceed 1,000 dolphins.
This looks more like a superDUPERpod to me! It’s totally like a dolphin Bar Mitzvah for the coolest dolphin in school. The social event of the season!
Dolphins are people too: Non-human persons and the right to live »
Apparently this science conference in Vancouver over the weekend was pretty interesting! They didn’t just talk about test tube burgers, they also talked about non-human persons! Man, what did I do this weekend? The only scientific advancement I made was in regard to my tolerance for rail vodka (but I assure you, we made great strides). Non-human persons are much more interesting. The idea is that there are animals with intelligence and consciousness that should grant them the right to life.
A group of scientists and ethicists made the case this past weekend for “the declaration of rights for cetaceans,” under which, dolphins, whales, and porpoises would have the enforceable right to live:
"We’re saying the science has shown that individuality, consciousness and self-awareness are no longer unique human properties. That poses all kinds of challenges," said Tom White, director of the Centre for Ethics and Business at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
"Dolphins are non-human persons. A person needs to be an individual. And if individuals count, then the deliberate killing of individuals of this sort is ethically the equivalent of deliberately killing a human being. The captivity of beings of this sort, particularly in conditions that would not allow for a decent life, is ethically unacceptable, and commercial whaling is ethically unacceptable," White said.
How interesting! Was this the idea behind Tilikum v. Seaworld? If the declaration were incorporated into law, Seaworld and the like would not be allowed to keep whales.
The declaration is backed by experts and relies on the massive amounts of research that has been done on cetaceans in the past. Dolphins are said to be able to identify themselves in a mirror, use symbol-based language, use tools, learn skills and pass them on, and have individual personalities. Does that grant them rights? The UN is considering the declaration as part of its convention on migratory species.
You really should read this Guardian piece on the whole thing as it has the most amazing stories about a rascally dolphin named Kelly who learned more and more ways to trick her captors into forking over more treats! Speaking of which, I’m working on my declaration of rights for rascals. Kelly would certainly be protected under the DRR. As would chimps, elephants, and Alan Thicke.
You can sign the declaration of rights for cetaceans here!
The Empire State Building Shines Red for The Cove! »
I just read on Ecorazzi that tonight the Empire State Building will be lit up in red to honor the poor dolphins and to promote the message of The Cove. The event was planned by racecar driver Leilani Munter. And John Leguizamo will be there along with the director and producer of The Cove. This is super-cool!
I’ll try to get a pic for everyone! Ew, that means I have to leave my house. Well, I’ll try to post a pic from NYT or something.
A girl and her dolphin! »
My parents are in London at the moment, visiting my cousin and his sweetie pie little daughters, Sophia and Joanna. Turns out, Sophia has taken a shine to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and adopted her own dolphin! I asked her to write a little bit about the WDCS and she was kind enough to oblige!:
I became interested in WDCS when I was reading my nature magazine (National Geographic, Kids). At the end of it was an adoption form and a bit of information about WDCS. They allow anybody to adopt a dolphin, whale or porpoise, but it is actually aimed at kids. I adopted a dolphin called Moonlight; she has a one year old calf called Mellow Yellow. Here is a picture of a dolphin:
WDCS is:The global voice for whales, dolphins, porpoises and their environment.
Here is a link to where you can find out more about Moonlight.
Click here for the kid’s zone.
-Cousin Sophia Rascal, Age 10, UK
I know, she’s very well spoken. She’s also a mean soccer player! Or football player, as they would say. Now I want to adopt a dolphin! No I probs would adopt a whale. I feel so bad for them all the time. Sigh. Let’s just look at the cute dolphin drawing!
Wild Animals Dead in Ohio; Cute Dolphin Photos to Ease Trauma »
You’ve probably heard all about the super-sad situation in Ohio this week, but in case not, grab a pint of Coconut Bliss for consolation (but not a spoon, because you’ll just want to poke your eyes out with it):
The worst wildlife preserve owner ever killed himself after letting 56 of his dangerous exotic pets out to roam the wild. Freakin’ lions, tigers, and leopards were all scared and miserable in Zanesville, Ohio, as were the residents of said hamlet.
Sheriff’s deputies figured the only way to solve the problem was to shoot the animals. The death toll as of 9:30 Thursday morning, according to the Washington Post, “includ[es] 18 rare Bengal tigers, 16 lions, six black bears, two grizzlies, three mountain lions and a baboon. Only six animals were captured alive.”
ARHRHGHH! This guy should not have been allowed to keep those poor animals in cages, but he didn’t have to ensure their slaughter to save them from circuses or shitty zoos.
Our hero Rachel Maddow had Jack Hanna on her show last night to discuss the tragedy.
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
"The Humane Society on Wednesday urged Ohio to immediately issue emergency restrictions on the sale and possession of dangerous wild animals," reports USA Today.
Now, are some pictures of a nice person helping to save an orphan dolphin that might ease the utter desolation you now feel:
Awww. So I guess that’s good, at least. Go see more dolphin pics on Buzzfeed if you need a bigger dose.
[Thanks to Kristina Bjoran for alerting me to both stories.]
Guest post: Japan resumes whaling, I resume crying »
I’ve been following the updates from Taiji, Japan on Twitter—Taiji is where The Cove was filmed, and where every year dolphins are slaughtered in a cove for low-priced and mercury-laden meat after the ones suitable for “fun” (read: awful) places like SeaWorld are picked out and sold for tens of thousands of dollars. Sad things happen there. Sea Shepherd is in Japan bearing witness to the dolphins killed in Taiji in the hopes that the world will take notice and put pressure on Japan to stop it.
This created chunks of sadness in my Twitter feed—between videos about cute cats and Vegan MoFo blog posts—and now I’ve started seeing tweets about this as well: Japan is going to resume its “scientific” whaling program after stopping it due to pressure from groups like Sea Shepherd. (I put “scientific” in quotes because that’s totally not the case.) Why you gotta do me like this, Japan?!
Officials announced on Tuesday that Japan will resume whale hunting in the Southern Ocean this winter, and stated their intentions to protect their ships.
"The Fisheries Agency will send a patrol boat and take increased measures to strengthen the protection given to the research whaling ships," Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano said at a news conference Tuesday.
Fortunately, the Sea Shepherd crew are a bunch of badasses and don’t plan to make the hunt easy for Japan.
They will have to kill us to prevent us from intervening once again…. We will undertake whatever risks to our lives will be required to stop this invasion of arrogant greed into what is an established sanctuary for the whales.
That’s from a statement by Sea Shepherd leader Paul Watson, who says that more than 100 people will be in the Southern Ocean to block the Japanese whaling fleet. How can you help? For starters, you can support Sea Shepherd so they can continue their work. You can sign a petition against whaling at Whales Revenge. You can write to your government reps to make it clear you don’t support whaling, and you want them to make their lack of support for whaling known as well. Adopt a whale from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. And you could talk to people about why whales are awesome and whaling is not, and encourage them to take action too. Highly recommended: following Sea Shepherd’s updates, online and/or Twitter.
Have any other suggestions on how awesome Vegansaurus readers can fight whaling in the Southern Ocean? Tell us about them in the comments!
photo by John Krzesinski via Flickr
The Wild Dolphin Project! You mean you don’t need to cut animals open to study them? Stop the presses!
My grandpa sent me this article from the New York Times and it rules. Denise Herzing is trying to talk to dolphins! Well, communicate with them. Well, even more basically, Herzing wants the dolphins to initiate contact with her, as opposed to her initiating contact with treats or whatever. She wants the dolphins to be like, “OMG, Dr. H! You’re back! GirI, we have so much to tell you!”
The system they’ve designed to get this two-way communication going sounds dope:
The two-way system she will test next year is being developed with artificial intelligence scientists at Georgia Tech. It consists of a wearable underwater computer that can make dolphin sounds, but also record and differentiate them in real time. It must also distinguish which dolphin is making the sound, a common challenge since dolphins rarely open their mouths.
In the new system, two human divers interact in front of dolphins: First they play a synthesized whistle sound, then one hands the other a scarf or a piece of seaweed. The idea is to establish an association between sound and object. Dolphins are excellent mimics, and the hope is that they will imitate the whistle to request an object or initiate play.
Do you know what this could mean? Dolphin Scuba instructors! Or some sort of Planet of the Apes-style dolphin takeover. I’m down with either.
[P.S. Have you bought your super-sexy Vegansaurus shirt yet? They’re going fast!]
Top 10 links of the week: a shuffle board game through veganism! »
First of all, SO FLATTERED: We’re on Carpe Vegan’s neat Vegan 100 list: vote us to the top! Also, the San Francisco Bay Guardian totally gave us a Best of the Bay 2011 award for “Best Righteous Vegan Sass” (WHAT?) and we’re extremely pleased and honored and in very fine company so WOO AWARD WINNERS WHAT?
Apparently in Bosnia, they make bulls fight each other and they used to beat them up first to get them angry. They aren’t going to do that anymore—the beating part at least. A win? Why do people like these crazy events?
Yo! The U.S. (where I keep all my stuff) may impose sanctions on Iceland for whaling! I HOPE THOSE ICELANDIC FUCKERS GET WHAT THEY DESERVE.
Good has a vegan guide to getting it on. Like, sex.
Downer about dead baby dolphins over at HuffPo.
Birds massage each other! Birds are so smart! And kinky!
The emperor penguin Happy Feet (gag on the name, but whatevs) is recovering well, and here’s a video of him passing his penguin physical.
Whaling is a slowly dying form of murder, so we’re happy to see that Japan is hopping on the bandwagon. The country’s Fisheries Agency has released a report with its first-ever mention of discontinuing research whaling as a viable option.
The lovely Sarah M. Smart heavily contributed to these links! Thanks, Sarah!