What we know about whales is sufficient for ascribing to them the analogues of human rights, including the fundamental right to be treated with respect. Once we recognize their possession of this right, it follows that whales are not to be used or exploited by us for the promotion of our ends, however "benign" they may appear. In the case of humans, to refrain from killing them is to discharge only a small part of our total duties. We must also refrain from exploiting them, whether "consumptively" or "nonconsumptively." Having come as far as we have in our understanding of the moral ties that binds humans and whales, we must now go further in our deeds. Just as whales are not here for us to kill for our purposes, so they are not here for us ''to study," or "to watch," or "to play with." The moral task before us is the most difficult. It is to let whales alone.
Jamieson, D., & Regan, T. (1984). Whales are not cetacean resources. In M.W. Fox & L.D. Mickley (Eds.), Advances in animal welfare science 1984/85 (pp. 101-111). Washington, DC: The Humane Society of the United States.