On May 17, thanks to your support, a major victory for cetaceans took place in India. The Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) decided to prohibit dolphin captivity throughout the nation, citing the 'unusually high intelligence' of dolphins as a primary reason guiding this progressive decision.
We sent the generous donations that you helped raise for this campaign to the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO), a coalition of grassroots animal rights organizations in India. FIAPO and the Earth Island Institute worked with the MoEF, other governmental bodies and industry officials to educate them about the issues of captivity and the intelligence of dolphins. Ultimately, FIAPO's on-the-ground campaigning, together with your encouraging letters of support to the MoEF, played major roles in getting this ban passed.
This decision is an important contribution to an emerging dialogue arguing that dolphins and whales should be considered nonhuman persons - meaning that they are intelligent, emotional, cultural beings who deserve not to be considered property and to be given basic rights.
We hope that you join us in celebrating this victory for dolphins and whales everywhere. You have played an important role in the movement to gain rights for dolphins and whales. Give yourselves a big pat on the back!
For the full text of the decision from the MoEF, see our blog article on Dolphin Project:
To learn more about personhood as it relates to India's decision, see this article in the Earth Island Journal.