Those clever dolphins!

19 May 2010 by Mike Gogulski
Posted in diary | 2 Comments »

Speaking with some friends, somehow the topic of which animals it’s okay to eat came up. My friend suggested an intelligence-based metric, allowing for cows and chickens to be eaten but not, say, dogs and cats.

flipper dolphin safe seal of approvalSomeone asked, “what about dolphins?”

My friend replied that they’re very intelligent, and may be capable of savings and investment. He related a story in which a dolphin was trained to retrieve a piece of paper in order to receive a reward. On a later iteration the dolphin was observed to take the paper, tear it into scraps and hide them under a rock, and later present the multiple scraps in hopes of more rewards.

My friend asked, “now, you couldn’t possibly want to eat an animal that can do that, right?”

And I said, “heck no! I think that dolphin should be given a job at Goldman Sachs!”

  1. 2 Responses to “Those clever dolphins!”

  2. By Aaron Kinney on 20 May 2010

    I once heard a guy say that it was ok to eat squid, but not octopus, cause octopus are smarter. I told him that was totally arbitrary, and that I could likewise arbitrarily claim that the proper determining factor for consumption of an animal is not intellect, but the number of appendages it has. Therefore, it can be arbitrarily argued that octopus, having 8 appendages, is consumable, but squid, having 10 appendages, is not.

  3. By Mike Gogulski on 20 May 2010

    🙂 What about another standard: Only creatures with an even number of appendages may be eaten. That rules many types of starfish right out, obviously, and a lot of counting effort would have to go into checking things like sea anemones and millipedes for propriety. But then, what’s an appendage? If we count fins as appendages, different fish will have odd or even numbers of them, as well as different quantities. This is going to making ordering off the sushi menu next time very difficult…

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