Dr Thomas White on Dolphins Intelligence and Sentience

Dr White Swimming with Dolphins

Click here to listen to the interview:

Dr Thomas White shares with us his knowledge on the implications his research has of how we currently treat dolphins; while his work focuses on ethics and how we need to re-evaluate our perception of dolphin intelligence. Humans continue to apply speciesism when observing intelligence of other creatures when we do not necessarily demonstrate balanced consciousness by living within the means of the earth’s sustainable carrying capacity.

Differences in dolphin and human aggression are also discussed. Changing our perception of dolphins, acknowledging dolphins share similar traits of self awareness, complex social structures, thinking abilities in terms of past and future, ability to choose to act in response to a situation and their reasoning abilities. This re-evaluation means we need to set new frontiers for the status of dolphins in terms of dolphins being ‘non-human persons’. A step forward to expanding our own consciousness and how we can learn from dolphins and how they live with one another.

Dr Thomas White is a professor at Loyola Marymont University, Los Angeles and a Fellow at The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. Thomas is also an author of a ground breaking publication in 2007 called “In Defense of the Dolphin-The New Moral Frontiers” which explores how dolphins qualify for the status of non-human personhood.

Thomas White ’69 on Dolphins, Captivity, and Interspecies Ethics

Dr Thomas White’s Website In Defense of Dolphins:


The Times acknowledges the work of Dr Thomas White and other scientists research that dolphins are ‘non-human persons’. 

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