"Animals are changing, and I cannot tell you why."—Inusiq Nasalik, 88-year-old inuit elder, September 6, 2004
And then this article: The Violence of the Lambs.
Never mind that I was linked to it from an article talking about how facts are stupid—even just a cursory search reveals that he's not lying about the facts: dolphins are coming after us.
Here's the essential quote:
“A question that lately has been getting knocked around a lot in the better biology departments is this: As we intrude on, clear-cut, burn, pollute, occupy, cause to become too hot or too dry, or otherwise render unsuitable to wildlife a larger and larger percentage of the planet, what will be involved in terms of the inevitable increased human exposure to remnant populations of truly wild fauna? Not for us but for them. What sort of changes, adaptations, and responses might we look for in the animals themselves as the pressures of this global-biological endgame begin to make themselves felt at the level of the individual organism? We have in mind here not microevolutionary changes to existing species but stress-related behavior modification, so-called "phenotypic plasticity," the sort of thing we know numerous animal groups to be capable of, though it is rarely witnessed.”And here's a quote from the Tampa Bay Times, after a stingray stabbed a second human through the heart:
“'It was a freak accident,' said Lighthouse Point acting fire Chief David Donzella. 'We still can't believe it.'Really. You don't say. And they're not the only animals acting weird. Dolphins are downing swimmers in Cancun, and sea lions are attacking Shakira. My favorite story from the article is the monkeys versus humans battle that was staged outside of four water tankers in central Africa. They're after us. They, and the whales have finally figured out that not only are we killing them, but we're killing everything else, too, and something must be done. Animals are shifting as we shift.
Serious stingray attacks like this one and the one that killed "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin last month are rare, marine experts say.”
Another reference, my documentary of the day: The Cove.
No wonder they're after us. Everything is echoing itself—dolphins popping up in documentaries, dolphins and whales, both of the order cetacea, both marine mammals. Dolphins are just mini-whales, and all I've been reading about are the whales. Whales, whose tails Melville describes thus:
“The more I consider this mighty tail, the more I do deplore my inability to express it. At times, there are gestures in it, which, though they would well grace the hand of man, remain wholly inexplicable. In an extensive herd, so remarkable, occasionally, are these mystic gestures, that I have heard hunters who have declared that the whale, indeed, by these methods intelligently conversed with the world. Nor are there wanting other motions of the whale in his general body, full of strangeness, and unaccountable to his most experienced assailant. Dissect him how I may, then, I go but skin deep; I know him not, and never will.”So we're slaughtering them, the animals that possess a mystic language. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Can't we all just feel it? At a fundamental level? There's something wrong. We've lost our connection to the earth, to the sea, to each other. We can't stop puffing toxins into the air, and everything else breathing them in. There are too many of us. Unless we stop, and soon, there will be hell to pay, from someone, whether it's more wars for oil or, more karmically elegant, a planet of the apes.