Letters

letters | Mensa members of the seas?

Smart or not, respect all animals

REUTERS/file 2013

RE “WHO you calling smart” (Ideas, Feb. 2):

Psychologist Justin Gregg invites us to question the notion that dolphins are uniquely intelligent among non-human animals, and thus any claim that they have a unique moral status above the other species.

Advertisement

He rejects this argument, but for the wrong reasons. It is morally wrong to harm or kill any sentient animal unnecessarily, whatever its level of intelligence. A chicken or pig has as much interest in avoiding pain and death as a dolphin. If it isn’t necessary to harm or kill them, we are obligated not to.

Why, then, do many people think dolphins deserve more rights than chickens or pigs? There might be many explanations. But as a practical matter, if we were to recognize the rights of the animals we raise for food and other nonessential uses, we would realize we could not justify their exploitation.

Get Arguable with Jeff Jacoby in your inbox:
Our conservative columnist offers a weekly take on everything from politics to pet peeves.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Recognizing the rights of dolphins changes little for the average American. Since we do not need to consume animal products to be happy and healthy, recognizing the rights of other animals means that we should become vegan and stop supporting animal use.

Cody Fenwick

Wayland

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com