From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dolphins: Murdering the friendly beasts

Pod of Dolphins (by Serguei Dukachev)
There is an old English carol called The Friendly BeastsIts lyrics tell how the donkey, cow, sheep, dove and camel were all integral to the Christmas story of Baby Jesus (by riding the Holy Mother to Bethlehem, giving hay for a pillow, providing wool for a blanket, cooing the newborn to sleep, and bringing gifts from the Orient, respectively).

Since dolphins are hard to come by in the desert, they do not show up in these lyrics.  Nevertheless, their very nature resonates with the teachings of Christianity.   They especially seem to exemplify the commandment: "Love one another."  Wikipedia reports that dolphins are highly social, and communicate through a series of clicks, whistles and vocalizations. They will not only assist the injured or ill of their own species, but have also been known to rescue sperm whales and humans.  Not that they are perfect (some do engage in acts of aggression against one another and porpoises) - but their level of altruism seems to far outweigh that of many earthly denizens. They are also highly intelligent, and have even been discovered teaching their young how to use tools.

Nevertheless, some member of our own species has developed a pastime of viciously snuffing the life out of these graceful aquatic beings.  ABC News reports that there has been "a string of attacks on dolphins along the Gulf Coast," and that "some of the marine mammals were found with gunshot wounds and mutilations."  Dr. Moby Solangi of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies emphasized the following in his statement to the news team:  "I think it's important that everyone understand that this is not only cruel, but it's also illegal." 


Copyright November 20, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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