The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
1 Points

We should Grant Rights on Cetaceans.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/29/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 966 times Debate No: 21608
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (1)




I will use round 1 to wait for my opponent...


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


First, thank my opponent for joining this debate.

I believe that we should grant rights to cetaceans.

What are Cetaceans?
Cetaceans are whales & dolphins.

Why should we grant rights to them?

Whaling had begun hundreds of years ago by the Japanese and was soon found in many other countries. A whaling technique that is used is they chase a cetacean until they run out of breath from exhaustion. Then, they put bombs under/next to them. The bomb explodes. You die.
Another way that is very common is that the fishermen catch you and butcher you ALIVE. That's right, they cut off their flippers and tails while the whale/dolphin is still living.

Now there is a law on people like the Japanese that has limits the number of cetaceans killed per year.
However, the Japanese gets around that by killing all their whales and taking them to "research". They say that they want to know what the whale eats and what they look in to the inside, etc.
Days later, those whales are found in meat shops where they are sold for a profit.

I hope you understand why we need to band Rights on Cetaceans.

My plan:

Every fisherman should be authorized. They should sign an agreement to say "Hey. I'm not going to kill anymore whales". There should be people who would monitor the coast every now and again. If the fisherman gets caught, they will pay a $3000 fine and/or go to jail.

Bonus: You can have people hunt down those fishermen ALIVE and they can get $500 for finding one that has killed a cetacean.

I'm looking forward to hear my opponent's response.


Sorry for the delay. So I've extracted about two contentions from Pros speech; Ill deal with them, give one of my own, and also tell you why his/her "plan" does not work.

Also, could you define what "Rights" are? Do you mean Human rights? Because in a sense they already have rights;they are prtoected where their numbers are low

So basically pro said that Cetaceans are treated quite cruelly.

Giving them rights will not change this. When they are "whaled" by cruel or non-orthodox/approved methods it is done outside the regulation of the law, what would need to be done is more policing of the international waters, which not only presents a question of who owns the waters and who would police them, but is also quite impossible. The ocean is a big place. Giving Ceteceans rights will not stop cruelty.

Basically, Ceteceans are covertley killed and sold by Japenese Whalers under different disguises and excuses

Giving them rights won't stop this, it will only impede existing reseachers. If people aren't allowed to take whales in to be researched, then we will not gain any further knowedge about these beasts. Researchers need to be able to tag and track them so we can know the existing population. Again the problem is with people working outside the law, so any labelment of rights will be ignored.

My First and Only Contention: Whales don't deserve rights
Whales are no different than any other animal that is hunted on this earth, and the only steps taken towards them is conserving their numbers for the species to be sustainable for future generations. Hunting/eating Ceteceans is as normal and culturally rooted to Japenese people as eating cows are to North Americans, giving ceteceans rights is extremely ignorant and ethno-centric. Japenese people have as much a right to slaughter them as we do to eat cows. As long as the numbers of Ceteacens are sustainable killing them is viable. I've also proven the problem of over fishing cannot be solved by granting them rights.

I beg, to oppose

Debate Round No. 2


Cetaceans do deserve rights.

You may just say that cetaceans are just like any other animal, however, they're actually very intelligent because:

  1. They can recognize themselves in a mirror and are one of the only animals who can do that.
  2. Their brains are almost as big as humans (which shows how they're intelligent)
  3. Cetaceans can communicate with each other and grieve for their death.
They should might as well be called animals that are similar to humans, but like in the ocean.

Cetaceans are not like any other animal. They're like your dog, too, if you ever had one.
Check out this story, by The Guardian

"At the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi, Kelly the dolphin has built up quite a reputation. All the dolphins at the institute are trained to hold onto any litter that falls into their pools until they see a trainer, when they can trade the litter for fish. In this way, the dolphins help to keep their pools clean.

Kelly has taken this task one step further. When people drop paper into the water she hides it under a rock at the bottom of the pool. The next time a trainer passes, she goes down to the rock and tears off a piece of paper to give to the trainer. After a fish reward, she goes back down, tears off another piece of paper, gets another fish, and so on. This behaviour is interesting because it shows that Kelly has a sense of the future and delays gratification. She has realised that a big piece of paper gets the same reward as a small piece and so delivers only small pieces to keep the extra food coming. She has, in effect, trained the humans."

"Depending on the level of rationality, intelligence, and pain sensitivity an animal has, the more rights it should have. Under this ethical framework, a whale or a dolphin would more or less be the moral equivalent of a young child, the mentally handicapped, and possibly a fetus, depending on the latter's stage of development. Cetacean rights and fetal personhood advocates could become unlikely allies in the years ahead."

~ Nick Sibilla, from

>Cows are not the same as cetaceans.

I will on from con's arguments.

" what would need to be done is more policing of the international waters, which not only presents a question of who owns the waters and who would police them, but is also quite impossible. The ocean is a big place. Giving Ceteceans rights will not stop cruelty."

>Yes, I agree that the ocean is a big place, however, I'm not saying that we need to watch the ocean. We just need to watch the beaches and coastlines. Everyone needs food, stuff, and fresh water so when they come back on their boats, they would be caught and they will be punished.

"If people aren't allowed to take whales in to be researched, then we will not gain any further knowedge about these beasts. Researchers need to be able to tag and track them so we can know the existing population."

> The people who are "researching" these whales aren't real researchers. They are just trying to find out about what was already solved. They're not tagging the whales either because all of them are dead and found in meat shops, days later. The number of whales are decreasing and there is no reason why they would "keep track" of the existing population if they're not going to use the information and they're the ones who are decreasing it.

Well this is all for now.


I will be rebutting everything that has been said and then re-affirming and developing my points, which pretty much all still stand.

Cetaceans still don't deserve rights

Basically pro has quoted a bunch of sources saying that these water-dwelling beasts can be taught a few tricks when housed in zoos and are a bit smarter than the average unthinking beast. Whales are not similair to humans at all. They are whales, they weigh thousands of pounds, do not have concious thought, and do not develop thinking like we do. If whales are even somewhat similair to us, then apes are our brothers, not a far off relative.

"When they are separated from their families, friends, or human companions, cows grieve over the loss. Researchers report that cows become visibly distressed after even a brief separation from a loved one. Cows are especially dedicated to their young and the bond formed between a mother and her calf remains long after the baby has grown"

All animals have some measure of intelligence, but they should not get rights. After reading the above article can pro tell me why cows shouldn't have rights as well? Should we shut down every slaughter house and starve millions of North Americains? There is no difference between whales/cows/elephants, they all have similair properties of intelligence as with hundereds of thousands of other animals, but there is no significant link to human likeness that would warrant them having rights.

Things pro hasn't dealt with:

1. Japenese lively hood depends on hunting whales and dolphins, not only is it part of their culture, but they have hunted them for hundreds of years. It is extremely ethno-centric and ignorant to take away their main source of food. There is no difference between whaling and what goes on in our slaughterhouses.
2. All the problems that pro has named-that is overfishing and cruelty, are done by people working outside the law. They are already criminals, and giving Cetaceans rights will not stop them from doing these illegal acts.
3. Giving these water-dwelling plankton eatersrights would only deprive millions of people of their source of income and food.

Second Contention: Ceteceans should have their existing rights taken away, not given more
Whales and dolphins, though pretty to look at, actually harm the eco-systems they are in. They consume exorbitent amounts of plankton/fish, and one whale meal could sustain a large population of other predators for weeks. Whales/dolphins are top carnivores, nothing eats them so they just sit at the top of the food chain like fat greedy kings taking everything while giving nothing. That is another reason we should not give them rights.

Dolphins are bleeding rapists. They have actually raped scuba-divers and other swimmers.

Whales have been destroying boats and eating people since we discovered how to build boats;

Debate Round No. 3


anniew168 forfeited this round.


I believe I have proven the despicable nature of these water dwelling fiends, and while I complement my opponent on her prose with the English Language, I strongly disagree with her world view of putting sea cows on par with human beings.

Never forget the Tale of Moby Dick, and the brave Fisherman who who dreamt, who dared, to stand up, and whisper-"no".

Stand with me, let us stand together in abolishing the existing rights of the monsters that inhabit our sea

Stand with me in a world without rights for Cetaceans.

I beg, to Oppose
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: FF