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OCEAN MAMMALS WE LOVE?

by Barbara J. Andrews, Publisher, SAAB Member

 

We eat animals, birds and fish but Americans rarely eat ocean dwellers such as dolphins and whales which are mammals who like us, breath air.

 

You never thought about that? Well, get ready to think some more… Dolphins are not “fish”, they are thinking mammals who are attracted to humans even though they must know we can and do kill them.

 

 

Yes, I said “who” and as you read this, you may agree. What you are about to learn will stir your emotions even if you live nowhere near an ocean. You are here because you love and appreciate animals. Me too, especially dogs, horses and dolphins!

 

First, as an animal lover, their uniqueness will interest you. Dolphins and dogs are drawn to us in a way that science cannot explain. Note that in all the world, they are the only animal that seeks us for friendship. Cats can take us or leave us and if we don’t feed them, they go elsewhere. Your dog, fully as intelligent as marine mammals, will stay with you and starve.

 

As a dog owner, you are often surprised by how smart it is. You’ve been told it is “just a dumb animal.” I often wonder who is the dumbest… Marine biologists say that a dolphin’s echolocation capability gives it the ability to detect if a woman is pregnant and if she is far enough along, to hear the baby’s heartbeat. It is believed that dolphins understand pregnancy and motherhood.

 

 

A short background so that you understand much of what you are about to learn is first-hand information. I was born in St. Petersburg Florida decades before tourists discovered it. “Going to the beach” was a regular thing but we didn’t go more than knee-deep in the water unless dolphins were present. If they were visible, their dorsal fins flashing above the waves, we knew no sharks were there and it was safe to swim.

 

As an aside, suddenly curious about WHY sharks avoid dolphins, I looked it up. “Made of very strong and thick bone, dolphin snouts are biological battering rams. Dolphins will position themselves several yards under a shark and burst upwards jabbing their snout into the soft underbelly of the shark causing serious internal injuries.” ~ Seaworld.com.

 

Some people confuse porpoise with dolphins. As the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals points out, “porpoises and dolphins are 'as different as horses and cows or cats and dogs'”. Need I add that we eat porpoise… and scientists don’t know why but dolphins kill porpoises.

 

I’m sure you remember Flipper, a famous bottlenose dolphin who starred in movies and entertained millions of people until she was retired – to a tiny tank where she became so unbearably depressed, she committed suicide. That is not my opinion, it is a documented and possibly preventable fact.

 

Flipper went from life as a pampered animal who loved her trainer (Ric O'Barry) and delighted in entertaining audiences to what was solitary confinement in a tiny prison cell…

 

Her suicide was helplessly witnessed and documented. It is the most horrific case of suicide I’ve ever heard of. Flipper deliberately held her breath until she died. Think about that. They could not make her take a breath. They tried but she was determined to end her torture.

 

She had no tall building to jump from, no gun to put to her temple, no stockpile of sleeping pills. OMG. Her only recourse was to hold her breath. If the desperation and horror of that doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, click out, we’ve both wasted time.

 

Still here? OK, you care and you noticed I used the word “who” when referring to Flipper. Of course. You unconsciously refer to your dog as a “who” as in “I have a dog who loves cats…” Well, take another minute to think about these ocean mammals “who” come to us of their own accord and significantly, not for food. They come to interact with us NOT out of curiosity as some uninformed people have said.

 

A street dog doesn’t come to you because he’s curious. He knows who and what you are. He’s hungry or he wants to be friends. A dolphin is never hungry. Food is everywhere… but yes, a dolphin comes to us because, for some inexplicable reason, like dogs, he or she wants to be friendly.

 

So, doesn’t it challenge your sense of right and wrong to see sea mammals taken from the freedom of a limitless ocean and committing the ultimate treachery, we reward their attraction to us by imprisoning them in tiny concrete pools? Typing this chokes me up.

 

 

That is tantamount to keeping a wild wolf in a shipping crate for its whole wretched life. When you think about it, humans are hands-down, the cruelest species on the planet.

 

Scientists who study dolphins put them on a par with elephants as regards intelligence. And while an elephant would never come to us willingly, dolphins do. Do they knowingly protect humans from sharks? I can’t say that but Floridians, especially commercial fishermen, know they seek our company.

 

And we reward them by imprisoning them in pools the size of a tennis court… What does that say about “mankind”?

TheDogPlace.org EST 1998 © May 2023 https://www.thedogplace.org/Family-Dog/ocean-mammals-we-love-b23A051.asp

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