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To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.
1) Eleonora Goldman, “Crimean bridge construction boosts dolphin population in Kerch Strait, Russia Beyond, February 28, 2017;
2) Will Maule, “Vladimir Putin using killer dolphins to defend key waters as Crimea bridge blown up; Those behind the bridge explosion managed to evade a series of defence systems including fighter jets, warships and – believe it or not – killer dolphins; Vladimir Putin is said to have a unit of military-trained dolphins,” The Mirror, October 9, 2022 (01;59);
3) Team Proto Animal, “Are dolphins intelligent as humans?” Proto Animal March 25, 2021 ;
4) James Crisp, “Europe’s new ‘Iron Lady’; Kaja Kallas says the West mustn’t negotiate with Putin; Estonia’s PM, who calls Margaret Thatcher ‘an inspiration’, has also told Russians fleeing (the) draft they cannot seek asylum in her country,” The Telegraph, October 8, 2022 (6:28 pm);
Flight of Fancy
One fact to emerge from the explosion of a bomb on the Kerch Strait Bridge is that Russians have been using “military dolphins” to guard it. The U.S. has also used military dolphins for many years.
As the Proto Animal Team article explains, dolphins have a sophisticated brain and intelligence.
By one measure they are far more intelligent than humans. They don’t make war on each other. Also, they appear to speak a universal language, at least among a single species, and are not divided by linguistic barriers like humans are.
Is it moral to virtually enslave these animals and train them to serve in the military forces of different countries?
The moral question appears to be particularly acute when you consider that they don’t wage war against one another.
They represent a prime example of what might be termed “inter-species slavery”, the kidnapping by one species of highly sensitive and intelligent members of another to act as servants and essentially as slaves of the first. Here the inter-species slavery is aggravated by the fact the members of the captured species are being used for military purposes when they don’t engage in war against their own species.
Of course, the phenomenon of inter-species slavery is not new. Hannibal used his military elephants to cross the Alps and take his Cathaginian campaign to Italy itself.
Before being pressed into military service, dolphins don’t even have the benefit of a draft lottery. Indeed, they don’t even benefit from a draft system based on law, and have no opportunity to present their case in court. There is no provision for conscientious objectors, of whom there would presumably be many since on their own they themselves do not resort to war.
It is time to consider the morality of inter-species slavery, particularly in the case of dolphins who are captured and forced to serve as slaves in a country such as Russia, which aggressively wages war in violation of the most fundamental legal norms of the human species.
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