This video was made in Sept 2010; I chose to post it here now because of a recent discussion I had with a friend and the topic was fresh in my mind.
When it comes to the non-human animal species, most humans do not like to face the fact that animals in nature die, sometimes due to the prey/predator relationship; other times due to a finite number of years. It is human nature to want to save an animal’s life when it comes across our path especially if it seems to be in distress, and we should if reasonably possible. But there can be a fine line between saving a life and abusing the dignity of that life because of public or other pressure that we allow to force us into heroic measures. Animals have as much “right” to a dignified death as humans do (and please do NOT confuse this issue with the extremist views of the “animal rights” faction – I do not agree with most of those viewpoints). Dr. Safina narrates this story about a dolphin that became stranded near his home. He soon saw that the dolphin was quite aged and likely would have died soon even had it never become stranded. But because of public attendance viewing the “rescue” the team would not euthanize the dolphin on the beach in front of them and opted to move it to a care facility. Listen to what Dr. Safina says about this – it speaks a lot about learning to empathize and participate another species’ being.