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Mindful conservation – why we need a new respect for nature

'We should look at whales and dolphins as the indigenous people of the seas -...
tins of whale meat

How Japan’s whaling industry is trying to convince people to eat whales

Japan's hunters kill hundreds of whales every year despite the fact that hardly anyone in...
Common dolphins © Christopher Swann

Did you know dolphins have personalities?

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...
Microplastics on beach

Blue whales and the menace of microplastics – how we’ll solve this problem

Our love affair with plastic began in the 1950s when it revolutionised manufacturing. But what...
A dolphin called Arnie with his shell.

Dolphins catch fish using giant shell tools

In Shark Bay, Australia, two groups of dolphins have figured out how to use tools...
Common dolphins at surface

Did you know that dolphins have unique personalities?

We all have personalities, and between the work Christmas party and your family get-together, perhaps...
Leaping harbour porpoise

The power of harbour porpoise poo

We know we need to save the whale to save the world. Now we are...
Holly. Image: Miray Campbell

Meet Holly, she’s an incredible orca leader

Let me tell you the story of an awe-inspiring orca with a fascinating family story...

Is a dolphin a person?

Professor Thomas I White, philosopher from Loyola Marymount University California, argues in his Primer on Non-human Personhood and Cetacean Rights that dolphins qualify as non-human persons. According to White this matters because persons have what philosophers refer to a ‘moral standing’, which means they are entitled to be treated in certain ways.

More than just a ‘101’ on the concept of non-human personhood and associated rights, in this primer White extends his arguments to include the notion of flourishing. He states ‘The central idea I’m advancing is that we need to begin with what cetaceans need in order to flourish—that is, what they need in order to develop the physical, emotional, social and intellectual capabilities inherent in their species which allow them to have a successful and satisfying life’.

White’s view is that ‘the scientific data of the last thirty years makes it quite clear that the slaughter and captivity of dolphins are ethically indefensible’. He believes that ‘anyone who doesn’t recognize this is either unfamiliar with the full body of relevant scientific literature or doesn’t understand the ethical significance of the data’.