Friday, 21 May 2010

Whales Speak Oxford English

Optus and WSPA have combined forces to give wales a voice. Just not their voice.

This is the website:

Apparently wales are one of the loudest animals on the planet, but they suffer in silence when hunted.

"But together we can make their voices heard"

The site encourages us to record a word from the Oxford English Dictionary, then this list of words will be sent to the waling commission.

Do wales want to speak with an Oxford English accent?

My whole problem with this campaign is my problem with the whole animal rights movement.

This ad talks about the wales' voice, but it's really our voice. People are making these recordings. It's not wales sneaking ashore and surreptitiously recording a word in Ahab's Internet Cafe.

People who get caught up in the animal rights causes do so because they have given human characteristics, human prerogatives, human feelings and human motives to animals.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm against animal cruelty, but that's not the same things as seeing animals as the same as humans. That's just bad logic, it's not empirical and it's just plain dumb.

I was talking about this very thing to someone the other day who mentioned their pet dog and how important he was. And I pointed out, gently, that it was your attachment to the dog, your human characteristics that made cruelty to the animal seem so wrong.

We are different to dogs. They don't actually mind cruelty (unless we teach them otherwise). Ever seen a dog play with a rabbit? Ever seen a fox rip a lamb out of a ewe?

Let's shepherd creation, fish the wales humanely and sensibly if we have to, and not at all if we don't have to. But let's keep things in perspective.

Making a human being out of a wale is making a mountain out of a molehill.

In fact, it is this effort to give wales a human voice that actually robs the wales of their own unique voice.

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