Note: This manifesto was found while walking on the cliffs of Ocean Beach in San Diego.
We cetacean ocean dwellers are increasingly concerned about the never ending stream of toxic, bacterial, and nutrient contaminants that are spilling daily into every nook and cranny of our watery ecosystem. Although we like humans, and have sometimes gone out of our way to help them when they were in distress, we do not understand why they persist in polluting our home. Perhaps we like them because we are like them in many ways – we live in groups, we are intelligent and playful, we make a lot of noise, and we are sensual warm blooded mammals with very little hair.
Yet, our kindness has not been repaid with kindness. For years hundreds of thousands of us died painfully in purse seine nets that were set by tuna fishing vessels. Additionally, hundreds were violently kidnapped and placed in marine parks where as prisoners they were forced to entertain and amuse human onlookers. Imagine – an intelligent animal imprisoned and forced to perform tricks!
Others have been forcefully taken from their ocean playground and turned into trained instruments of war by the US Navy. Reports of Navy trainers abusing dolphins have disturbed us greatly. We are peace loving and playful animals and object to being turned into programmed killers. Please stop using dolphins as militarized pawns in your infantile war games.
We object to the fact that our oceans and seas have been transformed into perilous nuclear battlefields by the world’s nuclear navies. From our vantage point, the large number of nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors still floating on the open seas are a threat to our existence. Some weapons and reactors have already accidentally dropped to the bottom of the ocean. We hoped that all of this would stop when the Cold War ended, but the mindless militaristic nonsense still goes on to this day.
While we are like humans in some respects, we do not understand their proclivity for fighting highly organized and destructive wars. Although humans allegedly have a high degree of intelligence, and undoubtedly rule the animal kingdom with "full spectrum dominance," they do not seem to be intelligent enough to solve this fundamental problem. Dolphins do not engage in organized warfare and we do not make or sell weapons. Maybe humans can learn something from us in this regard.
Please listen to us and heed our call to get rid of all of your nuclear weapons. Make the ocean a Nuclear Free Zone and prohibit the development, testing, transportation, and usage of nuclear weapons within the ocean ecosystem. There should be a "zero tolerance" policy toward the dumping of radioactive nuclear waste into the oceans.
Enough. No more we say. Some of the river dolphins are endangered because humans have destroyed their habitat. If humans don’t take care of the earth, it is likely that more dolphins will become endangered in the future.
So please stop dumping your toxic and bacterial waste into the natural water system – the streams, lakes, rivers, and oceans. End the dumping of hazardous industrial wastes (PCBs), heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, zinc) as well as fertilizers, pesticides, medical wastes, and untreated sewage into out watery biosphere. Toxins can get into our food chain and bio-concentrate in our bodies.
Finally, please ban all offshore oil exploration and drilling. Avoid the conformist politically driven stampede to drill. It will only exacerbate your problems. The continental shelf is teeming with marine life which is threatened by the toxic chemicals and hydrocarbon compounds released by drilling operations. Humans must learn to reduce their addiction to fossil fuel consumption and develop rational alternatives to supply their transportation and energy needs. Otherwise they certainly will face the terrible consequences of rapid climate change and global warming. And certainly, on stormier seas, they face more mammoth oil spills like the "Exxon Valdez" that created an adverse impact on the marine environment for years. More "war for oil" is not out of the realm of possibility either.
We dolphins view the ocean as our home and source of livelihood. We reject all forms of human activity that endanger the natural balance of our ecosystem. Since we do not engage in organized warfare, we have no other recourse but to appeal to human reason and hope that our concerns are listened to before it is too late.
The degradation of our ocean habitat must stop now! It is in everyone’s universal interest, dolphins and humans, to keep our oceans clean and life enhancing.
Signed, COUNCIL OF DOLPHIN ELDERS