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!


Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes from C&C Cakery in Vancouver! Plus, recipe! Yes! Ugh, I wish I had five right now that I could stuff down my maw and be the happier and fatter for it. GOD BLESS HOLIDAY BINGING AND TO ALL A GOOD BINGE!

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes from C&C Cakery in Vancouver! Plus, recipe! Yes! Ugh, I wish I had five right now that I could stuff down my maw and be the happier and fatter for it. GOD BLESS HOLIDAY BINGING AND TO ALL A GOOD BINGE!


Vancouver, we love you! Meatless Mardi at Provence Restaurants  »

Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 19, a pair of Provençal restaurants in Vancouver, B.C. introduced Meatless Mardi, a three-course prix fixe menu for $25 CA ($25 US, our dollar loses worth by the minute). All the courses are vegetarian, with the option to be made vegan, but it looks like the last few menus have been fully vegan. Provence Restaurants, you are a dream come true.

First course from last Tuesday’s menu, the Meatless Mardi Martini with roasted veg, arugula and tomato soup. Photo by SweetOnVeg.

The idea came from chef/owner Alessandra Quaglia, out of concern for the health of the planet and the people. Alessandra worked and studied in kitchens in the south of France. Inexpensive vegan food cooked à la provençal sounds AMAZING. Then again, what part of “three-course vegan dinner at a French restaurant” could anyone hate? Exactly.

Second course from last Tuesday’s menu, stuffed baby acorn squash with bulgar, root vegetables, sweet corn kale, cumin-spiced pine nuts. Photo by Sweet on Veg.

Presumably the cost of living in Vancouver is significantly lower than in San Francisco, because a comparable menu at our finest vegan dining restaurant, Millennium, is $14 more. Can’t we have nice AND afforable things? At least for Meatless Mondays? Canada’s got that social safety net, and Kate Beaton, and gay marriage rights since 2005, and now reasonably priced vegan French food, too! It is NOT FAIR. Yes, yes, the seal hunt is horrific, but it’s not like we’re saints down here. Maybe we can perform a reverse-Jordan and find a nice Canadian fellow to take us away from all this. As long as we are taken directly to a Meatless Mardi menu at one of the Provence Restaurants in Vancouver. And then at the other location. Two dinners are better that one!

Third course from last Tuesday’s menu, chocolate coconut cream and apple compote, almond tuille cup, caramel sauce. Photo by SweetOnVeg.

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