What is the measure of intelligence?
Does a species need to have technology, cities, food production, computers and satellites in order qualify? If that’s the case, 99% of our existence up until several thousand years ago made the human race unworthy. If sentience is a necessary quality, how self aware do you need to be to qualify? Does knowing your child, mother, friends and being part of a community count? Of course it does.
There are other intelligences on our planet, yet we do not universally respect them, we do not recognize them as “non-human persons” worthy of the ability to evolve to their greatest potential. We have societies among the human race that that kill, consume and entrap and imprison those other intelligent beings – all because they don’t happen to speak our language or have built cities. Our history is replete of running over lesser nations, tribes, communities and people’s all because they did not have the technology of the aggressor. We make the argument that this continues today.
If you are offended by the treatment of native peoples throughout time and history, you should be offended that our cousins – the cetaceans – the indigenous peoples of the oceans are being assaulted, murdered, their “lands” decimated, and their territories not respected. We stand by the statement that our world needs to respect not only human intelligence, emotions, community and culture, but those who live beneath the waves, who band together for support, love, community, hunting and gathering and have their own “grounds” they hold dear.
The whales, dolphins, and porpoises of our water world deserve an assault free existence, the same that we advocate and struggle for ourselves. It’s time we stand up for our cousins under the sea and those on the land, to recognize the spectrum of intelligence and to nurture its infancy and protect this great gift of our planet.