Morgane (1978) has stated that:
Man sees all other creatures through the narrow focus of his own knowledge and sees the whole image in distortion. We patronize animals for their incompleteness and dependence and for their fate in having taken form so far below ourselves ... a great mistake, for animals should not and cannot, be measured by man. Many are gifted with many extensions of senses we have lost or never attained .... They live by voices we may never hear. Some may not be our accepted brethren, but also they are not our underlings.
If this "narrow focus on human knowledge" can be said to distort the image of the whole, it follows that an overly rigid adherence to orthodox scientific criteria, when attempting to measure the intelligence and behavior of dolphin "specimens" (particularly in the abnormal situation of confinement) will diminish, not increase, our ability to understand these creatures. An approach to studying dolphins is as harmful to our interests as it is to those of the dolphins if the procedures used involve capture and confinement for entertainment or "education." In this process, the animal is demeaned, so that its natural character cannot be appreciated. And the educational experience that accrues is hardly a wholesome source of learning, because the knowledge of the teachers themselves is distorted, since it is based on experiences with abnormally conditioned animals.
Carter, N. (1982). Effects of psycho-physiological stress on captive dolphins. International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems, 3(3), 193-198.
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