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Quotes on Marine Mammals

"And when the day comes that we can communicate intelligently with dolphins, they may introduce us to the concept of survival without aggression, and the true joy of living, which at present eludes us. In that circumstance what they have to teach us would be infinitely more valuable than anything we could offer them in exchange."

Horace Dobbs, Follow a Wild Dolphin, London: Souvernir Press, 1977 (quoted in "Whale Nation", Heathcote Williams, Jonathan Cape ltd,1988)

"The brain size of whales is much larger than that of humans. Their cerebral cortexes are as convoluted. They are at least as social as humans. Anthropologists believe that the development of human intelligence has been critically dependent upon these three factors: brain volume, brain convolutions, and social interactions among individuals. Here we find a class of animals where the three conditions leading to human intelligence may be exceeded, and in some cases greatly exceeded.

The Cetacea hold an important lesson for us. The lesson is not about whales and dolphins, but about ourselves. There is at least moderately convincing evidence that there is another class of intelligent beings on Earth beside ourselves. They have behaved benignly and in many cases affectionately towards us. We have systematically slaughtered them. Little reverence for life is evident in the whaling industry - underscoring a deep human failing...In warfare, man against man, it is common for each side to dehumanize the other so that there will be none of the natural misgivings that a human being has at slaughtering another..."

Carl Sagan, The Cosmic Connection, New York: Doubleday, 1973

"To think the way we do he (the whale) would need to use about one-sixth of his total brain."

J. Lilly, The Mind of the Dolphin: A Nonhuman Intelligence 63, 1967

"Every one of these vanished millions of whales used to consume several hundred tons of a large species of zooplankton a year. That plankton now is undergoing a classic population explosion for want of a predator.What will be the effect on the oxygen-producing smaller plankton of the world ocean? What will be the effect on the colour and reflectivity of the oceans? What will be the effect on the average water temperature of the oceans, on its dissolved oxygen content and subsequently on the earth's atmosphere? No one knows. But climatologists know any significant change in ocean temperature can have profound effects on the earth's climates. By killing off the whales of the world man is playing Russian roulette with the earth's primary support system. Yes, we desperately need the whales to preserve the air we breathe."

George Small, Ph.D., College of Staten Island, 'Why Men Needs The Whales', in Project Interspeak, ed. T. Wilkes, San Francisco,1979.

"In the water, whales have become the dominant species,
Without killing their own kind.
In the water, whales have become the dominant species,
Though they allow the resources they use to renew themselves.
In the water, whales have become the dominant species,
Though they acknowledge minds other than their own.
In the water, whales have become the dominant species,
Without allowing their population to reach plague proportions.
In the water, the whale is the dominant species,
An extra-terrestrial, who has already landed..."

Heathcote Williams, Whale Nation, Jonathan Cape ltd,1988


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