Swimming with the Dolphins
Gets a Medicare Jet-Setters Groovy Review
By MJ Reporter Willow LaMunyon
If there were a top ten of our adventures in Mexico, it would be the time we spent getting to know some dolphins. The dolphins would swim around us on command and allow us to pet them. Another hand signal from their trainers, and they gave us a ride around their show arena and a kiss on the cheek. All of this was documented by a professional photographer.
It was an experience that I cherish to be so close to creatures so much like us but so different. It was also an experience that left me with some feelings of guilt.
As humans, we can manipulate our environment in ways that dolphins cannot, but like humans, they can master their environment. They make use of sponges for cleaning themselves. They knowingly create temporary art with bubbles and water movement. They can communicate with one another using a common language, so location doesn’t hamper their ability to communicate with dolphins from distant seas.
There is a possibility that they are the most intelligent beings on the planet, smarter than humans. With that in mind, I received a sweet dolphin hug as they were instructed to do, and I wondered what they were thinking. Were they wondering if it was finally the last shift of their working day as they counted down the minutes? Were they tired of all the petting, hugs, and love they experienced during their working day and wanting to rest in whatever was a watery version of a recliner?
Seriously I thought they acted a little bored with the end of the day visitors that we were. Possibly they thought of us as charges who needed babysitting and being kind; they treated us with care.
There is an effort to give legal protection toward dolphins and whales to give them nonhuman personhood, which means they would have a legally enforceable right to life, which would involve hunters who kill them. Marine parks, aquariums, and other places of entertainment would be barred from keeping them in captivity.
While experiencing the thrill of spending time around them, I also knew I was a small but real part of what was separating these nonhuman persons from making their own choices. It is possible they could be taught to come to work every day as they choose while being free to leave their workplace as we do at the end of a shift. They can understand our language, but we are having a hard time learning theirs. That certainly says something about their intelligence compared to ours.
I have been spending a lot of time thinking about nonhuman personhood since sharing time with them. That highlight of my vacation was beautiful and magical to me, but all I can do is hope I gave back a little happiness to them. That maybe they enjoyed the tummy rubs and loved adoration as much as human persons do.
Cruise ships that cater to our every desire are worth the time and expense. Land tours and shopping are great fun. I recommend a variety of excursions, but what I will always remember are the dolphins.