28 September 2004

From the Mailbag


Here is a photo gallery of vegan cats and dogs. I was proud to add my Boxers, Louie and Savannah, earlier today.

Joanna Lucas

24 September 2004

From the Mailbag


I haven't seen the replies you have received to your "Confusions and Fallacies About Animals, Part 19" blog entry [see here], but I'm not sure whether your respondents intend to be arguing as follows:
1. Keith feeds his dogs meat.
2. It is o.k. for me to eat meat.
Perhaps that's how they put it, but I suspect that what they meant to say was more like this:
1. Keith admits (or should admit) that Shelbie and Sophie don't need to eat meat to survive or be healthy. [Dogs easily thrive on vegetarian diets.]

2. Why does Keith feed his dogs meat and animal products, if they don't need them to be healthy?

3. Because their lives would be impoverished if they didn't consume meat and animal products (impoverished in the sense that they wouldn't have the pleasurable experiences, satisfactions, and enjoyments that they currently get from eating meat and animal products).

4. So, Keith must think that it is o.k. to eat meat and animal products whenever refraining from doing so would result in an impoverished life (impoverished in the sense of lacking those pleasurable experiences, satisfactions, and enjoyments that would be gotten from eating meat).

5. If I were to refrain from eating meat, my life would be impoverished in just this sense, i.e. I would no longer get the pleasurable experiences, satisfactions, and enjoyments that I currently get from eating meat.

6. Given the principle identified in 4 above, which Keith apparently endorses in 3, it must be o.k. for ME to eat meat (since my refraining from doing so would result in my living an impoverished life), at least according to Keith's principles.
Given your commitment to 3, I can see why some of your readers think that YOUR principles justify their eating meat.

I think the mistake in the above argument lies in premise 3. It does not follow that a life that is "impoverished" in the sense stipulated in 3, is really an impoverished life in any meaningful sense. It would only be an impoverished life in a meaningful sense if there were no other pleasures comparable to the pleasures of eating meat and animal products that you could provide for your dogs. But there are lots of vegetarian foods that dogs love. Dogs go wild over certain veggie dog biscuits. With a little effort, you could provide your dogs with vegetarian foods that they would love. In some cases, you might have to cook some of these foods yourself. But they would love to eat these foods. By feeding them meat and animal products, you are "depriving" them of these alternative pleasures. Are they lives "impoverished" as a result of not getting these alternative vegetarian pleasures?

I suspect that if your readers explicitly formulated the above argument, your response would be something like this: YOUR life would not be impoverished if you refrained from eating meat, because you could get just as much pleasure (if not more pleasure) out of eating delicious vegan dishes instead. Many of these dishes (e.g. vegan Boca Burgers or Tofurkey sandwich slices) are even more convenient than their meat-based counterparts. While it's true that you won't be getting the pleasures of eating meat if you refrain from meat and animal products, you will be getting other pleasures that are just as satisfying as those associated with eating meat. Hence, your life will not be impoverished after all. In the case of humans, there is also the argument that humans will live longer, healthier, more fulfilling lives free of debilitating diseases, if they refrain from eating meat and animal products.

Some studies suggest that the same is true for dogs. The low quality of many of the animal ingredients [e.g. chicken meal (consisting of processed blood, bones, feces, etc. scraped off the killing floor of the slaughter), beef tallow (the rendered fat of cattle which is almost tasteless when pure and is used primarily in making soap, glycerin, margarine, candles, and lubricants), etc. Just read the label.] together with preservatives like BHT, BHA, and ethoxyquin found in most commercial pet foods, even upscale pet foods, like Science Diet, are thought to increase the risk of certain diseases and cancers. You may be shortening your dogs' lives and increasing their risk of painful cancers, crippling arthritis, and other debilitating diseases by feeding these commercial meat-based pet foods. For that reason alone, it is at least worth checking out some vegetarian dog foods to see how your dogs take to them and to see if their coats improve and to see if they have more energy. Here is a link to a web page about vegetarian dogs. Here is a link to a web site where you can purchase some vegetarian dog foods, and doggie treats.

I suggest you let your dogs decide for themselves whether they like vegetarian dog foods. They might relish them.

Hope some of this is helpful information for your dogs. I also hope that my above reconstruction of your readers' thoughts may better explain why they thought that your reasons for feeding your dogs meat and animal products gave them a reason for eating meat themselves.


Mylan Engel

23 September 2004

From the Mailbag

Hi Keith,

Thought you might be interested in this article on the rise of Chronic Wasting Disease, a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy akin to bovine spongiform encephalopathy that is infecting increasing numbers of deer and elk throughout the U.S.

Mylan Engel

22 September 2004

From the Mailbag


I have read your interesting wrestle [see here] with the question if it is good for a vegetarian to feed your dogs meat-products.

You say that the meat in dogfood is a by-product of the meat industry for human consumption. You are right. But this doesn't implicate that since they will slaughter animals anyway, you might as well use the remainders. If you buy dogfood made of meat, you will finance an industry that slaughters animals for human consumption, an unethical venture in your and my eyes.

I think your argument that, because your dogs are carnivores you should not restrain them from meat products otherwise their happiness will be in danger, may be relevant. But if they can survive without meat you should restrain them from it. The great utilitarianist Jeremy Bentham wants the suffering in the world minimised. So if you want this too, you can take into account what kind of dogfood minimises this suffering in the world. If dogs really need meat to survive (I don't know), you should try to find the most animal friendly meat (ecological or road kills) for your dogs. Because in these cases you don't spend money to the intensive farming industry. You can weigh the suffering of pigs, cows, chicks against the happiness of your dogs. Happy meals for your dogs versus horrible lives and deaths of pigs, cows, chicks etc.

By the way, many people think that leather is a by-product of animals slaughtered for human meat consumption. It is not. Leather is one of the most expensive parts of an animal. The slaughtering industry cannot exist without the revenues of the leather business.


Danny Friedmann
The Netherlands

21 September 2004

From the Mailbag

Prof. Burgess-Jackson,

First off, let me say that I am a vegetarian by upbringing, and subsequently by inertia; I am not an ethical vegetarian. [See here.]

My parents have a dog who they are raising vegetarian. He's doing okay. Compared to other dogs, I'd say he's skinny and small. He feels the urge to occasionally eat certain grasses (which have a high calcium content, a mineral he would otherwise get from gnawing on bones). He is fed lots of lentils and he loves cheese, which is where he gets his protein.

But when he plays around other dogs during feeding time, he might steal their meat. He might also occasionally hunt small lizards or rats around the house, and eat them. It is instinctive.

Dogs (and to a lesser extent, cats) can survive on a vegetarian diet. But it is unnatural. They get essential nutrients more easily from animal products, and it is difficult to give them a balanced vegetarian diet. Because it is unnatural, I wouldn't recommend doing so.

But given that the "rules" of domestication include getting fed what the master eats, I wouldn't say it poses a moral problem for you. The dogs will survive, and if necessary, as I mentioned above, fend for themselves. They have more highly developed instincts than humans do.

When I helped raise my brother's dog, we fed it meat-based dog-food. None of us had a problem with it. My brother and I are both vegetarians. The dog showed a strong preference for chicken-based food.

Gopi Sundaram

Fallacy Update

I appreciate the letters I receive. It keeps me on my toes. Unfortunately, the letters I’ve received so far in response to Confusions and Fallacies About Animals, Part 19 have missed the point. Several of them appear to reason as follows:
1. Keith feeds his dogs meat-based products.
2. It’s morally permissible for me to eat meat.
This is obviously invalid, which leads me to believe that the readers are groping for an excuse to eat meat. Am I your moral authority? Does my doing something license your doing it? And even if it did, you’ve drawn the wrong conclusion! My feeding my dogs meat-based products would license your feeding your dogs meat-based products, not your eating meat.

My post, if you’ll reread it, was a solicitation for help. I want someone to help me reconcile—if possible—the proposition that it’s wrong to harm others with the proposition that it’s permissible to feed one’s dogs meat-based products. It’s a puzzle, folks, not an invitation to judge me! Some of you simply assumed, without analysis or argument, that the propositions can’t be reconciled. This shows that you have no philosophical aptitude. A philosopher should be able to make a case for any proposition. I’m an atheist, for example, but I can make a case for the existence of God. A damn good one, in fact. If you’re a theist, can you make a case for the nonexistence of God? If not, why not? Do you think that your belief is unassailable? Have you not probed and tested it?

Lawyers are expected to be able to represent anyone, even those whom they detest or whose actions are reprehensible. This is not a failing of lawyers; it’s a virtue. To say that there’s a better case for p than for its denial, non-p, is not to say that nothing can be said for non-p or that nothing can be said against p. It’s to look at both sides of the case, to seek out strengths and weaknesses. This is part of what it means to be rational. To understand one’s own position, one must be able to make a case for its denial. Something can be said in behalf of everything. Even Hitler had good qualities.

Nobody who wrote to me mentioned that I have an obligation to Sophie and Shelbie, which I clearly do. It isn’t a matter of my liking to eat meat and thinking that this fact justifies it. Some readers thought this is what I was arguing. It’s not even that my dogs like meat (or that meat makes them happy, as one reader put it). That misstates what I’m saying. Dogs have a strong, innate preference for a meat-based diet, just as they have a strong, innate preference to be free rather than confined. A dog can live a long life in a cage, but it will be horribly frustrated. A dog can live on a vegetarian diet, but it will be horribly frustrated. Arguably, my obligation to Sophie and Shelbie implies that I not frustrate their strong, innate preferences. This is a far cry from saying that I should (or may) do whatever makes them happy.

Nobody mentioned that we’re talking about by-products. A by-product of a process is an unintended but desired consequence of that process. The meat used in dog food is a by-product of a process that would exist even if the by-product were not used. Cows, pigs, chickens, and lambs are killed for their flesh—for humans. Undesired parts of their bodies are used for pet food. I believe that this fact is morally relevant, for, by purchasing dog food made from by-products, I am not increasing the demand for animal flesh and therefore not harming animals. In their eagerness to criticize me, nobody noticed this.

Why is everyone playing “Gotcha!”? Have I pissed so many people off with my posts about animals that, when I present them with a moral puzzle, all they can think to do is say, “Gotcha!”? It’s depressing. It shows me that some of my readers—perhaps many of them—have no philosophical aptitude, no patience with intellectual or moral puzzles, no desire to reconcile the apparently irreconcilable. Just be glad that you’re not taking one of my exams, for you would fail. I routinely ask my students to make a case for propositions that I know many of them reject.

By the way, I have never tried to impose my values on anyone. What I have tried to do—and this may be what pisses people off—is impose their values on them. I believe that if you examine your beliefs and values carefully, you will see that you are committed to vegetarianism. Read Mylan Engel’s essay “The Immorality of Eating Meat,” a link to which is on the left side of this blog. Don’t read the essay defensively, with a chip on your shoulder. Read it with an open mind and no bias. Read it calmly and dispassionately, with the idea that you may learn something and become a better person—not by Mylan’s standards, but by yours.

20 September 2004

Confusions and Fallacies About Animals, Part 19

Anyone who eats meat and thinks it justified will have no qualms about feeding meat to his or her dogs or cats. If you’re in this category, you may want to stop reading right here, for I’m sure you have other things to do. But what about those of us who believe that meat-eating is wrong? Must we, to be consistent, feed our animal companions a vegetarian diet? Is it wrong to purchase dog or cat food that contains animal products such as beef, pork, chicken, lamb, or fish?

Let me say up front that I feed animal products to Sophie and Shelbie, my canine companions. They eat Science Diet dry food, Science Diet canned food every third day, and an assortment of treats and chew bones made from cows, pigs, chickens, and lambs. Is it wrong of me to buy these items for them?

As in the case of humans, we must distinguish between needs and wants. If dogs and cats need animal products in order to be healthy or live a long time, that would resolve the moral issue in favor of feeding animal products to them, especially since the animal products in their food are by-products of other industries. I may be wrong about this, but I doubt that pigs are killed solely for their ears. More likely, they are killed for their flesh, which is consumed by humans, and the remainder of their body parts are used for pet food.

I’ve heard it said that dogs don’t need animal products in their diet. I’m skeptical. Humans are omnivores, so they can get on fine without animal products. But dogs are carnivores, or close to it, so it stands to reason that they need meat in order to get essential nutrients and vitamins. If so, then I would be morally derelict in not giving Sophie and Shelbie food made from animal products.

Suppose the facts are otherwise and that dogs don’t need animal products in their diet. Is it wrong of me to give them animal products solely because they enjoy them? Sophie and Shelbie love chewing on rawhide, pig ears, and other animal treats. Their lives would be impoverished without them. Not in the sense that they couldn’t survive without them, but in the sense that they wouldn’t have pleasurable experiences, satisfactions, and enjoyments.

As you can tell, I’m ambivalent about feeding animal products to Sophie and Shelbie. I’m strongly inclined to continue doing so even if it should turn out to be wrong according to my own moral principles. But it would be nice if I could do so compatibly with my principles. What do you think?

Please don’t say that I’m silly for agonizing about this. That would show that you don’t grasp the problem. It may not be a problem for you, but it is for me. Suppose you have a friend who loves gardening but wonders whether it’s right to use pesticides. It would be the height of insensitivity (or indifference) to say, “Forget about the bugs! Kill ’em!” You may not care about the bugs, but your friend does. Your friend has a problem. Shouldn’t you want to help?

Many philosophical problems are like this. Philosophers pull their hair out trying to reconcile free will and determinism. Imagine someone who says, “Why reconcile them? Just pick one and chuck the other!” That wouldn’t solve the problem. It would avoid it. Some problems—intellectual, moral, or practical—must be faced and solved, not avoided. Simply understanding what the problem is shows philosophical aptitude. Do you see the moral problem I face with respect to dog food? It’s a problem that arises because of two commitments I’ve made: to refrain from harming others and to give my stinkers a good life.

19 September 2004

From the Mailbag

Hi Keith,

I thought you might enjoy meeting Celeste. She is the latest rescue at Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, an organization I work closely with. The page below [see here] is the unofficial beginning of the Peaceful Prairie Diary.

See here for our upcoming screenings of "Peaceable Kingdom."

Thank you again for Animal Ethics. I enjoy reading it more than I can say.

Joanna Lucas


Marc Moffett is a philosopher at The University of Wyoming. In his spare time (see here), he kills animals by shooting them with razor-tipped arrows. Why does he do this? For fun. He might say it’s for sport, recreation, entertainment, or as a diversion. That’s what I mean. For fun. He doesn’t need the meat or the hides, as Native Americans might have, and the animals he kills (or wounds) are not interfering with him in any way.

I have a question for Moffett. Do you kill humans by shooting them with arrows? If not, why not? I can think of only three answers:
1. The animals you kill don’t feel pain (whereas humans do).

2. The animals you kill don’t feel as much pain as humans do.

3. The pain of the animals you kill doesn’t count, morally speaking (whereas that of humans does).
The first two propositions are factual in nature. Both are false, as I believe Moffett would agree. The third proposition is evaluative in nature. I would be interested in hearing Moffett’s explanation of why, in his view, animal pain doesn’t count. How does saying that animal pain doesn’t count differ from saying that African-American pain doesn’t count or that Iraqi pain doesn’t count or that female pain doesn’t count or that the pain of infants and fetuses (or the elderly) doesn’t count?

17 September 2004

The Rational Hunter

I just found this.

Dorothy L. Cheney and Robert M. Seyfarth on Monkey Cognition

We have argued that in order to succeed socially monkeys must be able to predict the behavior of others. To do this well they cannot rely on memorizing single interactions but must instead deal in abstractions, comparing the relationships that exist among others. For humans, the quest to predict behavior prompts us to search still further, for the factors that cause some relations to be different from others. A monkey that can compare social relationships is better able to predict the behavior of others than one who simply memorizes all the interactions he has observed. Vastly more powerful abilities to interpret other animals’ behavior accrue to the individual who can attribute motives to others and classify relationships on the basis of these motives. . . .

There are hints that nonhuman primates might occasionally attribute motives to one another. . . . Most examples, however, are anecdotal, and they are largely restricted to chimpanzees. Whether monkeys ever attribute states of mind to each other and whether they recognize that different states of mind are the cause of different social relationships, is an open question. In most cases, it is as easy to explain the behavior of monkeys in terms of learned behavioral contingencies as in terms of the attribution of mental states. . . . We have good evidence that monkeys are adept at understanding each others’ [sic] behavior and relationships; what remains to be determined is whether they are also adept at understanding each others’ [sic] minds.

(Dorothy L. Cheney and Robert M. Seyfarth, “The Representation of Social Relations by Monkeys,” chap. 7 in Animal Cognition, ed. C. R. Gallistel [Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1992], 167-96, at 191-2 [italics in original; parenthetical citations omitted] [essay first published in 1990])

16 September 2004

Soy Milk

If you're consuming dairy products (milk, cheese, ice cream, butter, yogurt), you're contributing to an institution that inflicts terrible pain and suffering on cows. See here and here. There is no need to do this and hence no moral justification for it. Soy products such as soy milk are every bit as good as cow's milk, if not better, and they're widely available. Look for them in your grocery store. Here is the White Wave site. I haven't tried all of its Silk products, but the chocolate milk tastes exactly the same as the chocolate milk from cows that I grew up drinking.

Please don't dismiss this as propaganda. I know you're a caring person who would never cause gratuitous pain; but if you're consuming dairy products, that's what you're doing. Make sound moral choices. Make a moral statement with your dollars. You'll feel better; I guarantee it.

By the way, even if you don't care about animals, you have reason to switch to soy milk. I assume you care about your health—and that of your children. See here.

14 September 2004

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

While there is a genetic predisposition to developing coronary heart disease, the primary determinants for most people are diet and lifestyle. A diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes and low in fat and refined carbohydrates, along with quitting smoking, moderate exercise and stress management, can reverse heart disease in most people. Improvements may occur much more quickly than had previously been realized.

People have a spectrum of choices. Those who have a family history of heart disease may need to make bigger changes based on their genetic predisposition, but most people can prevent a heart attack if they are willing to make sufficient changes in diet and lifestyle and, when appropriate, take medications.

This is not to blame but to empower. Understanding what a powerful difference these changes can make gives many people new hope and new choices.

Dean Ornish, M.D.
Sausalito, Calif., Sept. 12, 2004
The writer is president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute and clinical professor of medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

10 September 2004

Wild Birds

Should wild birds be captured and kept as pets? See here.

09 September 2004

08 September 2004

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Re "In Some Biology Classes, Dissection Is Optional" (news article, Sept. 6):

State laws that provide alternatives to animal dissection in school illustrate the progress, however slow, of questioning cruelty to animals.

Twenty years ago, a student took a failing grade if he refused to dissect an animal on the grounds that it contributed to the animal's death. Now students have compassionate options—or at least are more likely to consider the consequences of animal dissection.

I knew that evolution hadn't stopped!

Barbara DiNicola
Jackson Heights, Queens
Sept. 7, 2004

Twenty Years Ago

Department of Philosophy
[Monash University]
[Clayton, Victoria, Australia, 3168]

4th September, 1984

Mr. Keith Burgess-Jackson,
7424 East Speedway Boulevard,
Apartment G-126,
United States of America 85710.

Dear Mr. Burgess-Jackson,

Thank you for your letter. It is always good to hear from people who have been persuaded to do something about our exploitation of animals. This shows that, contrary to some cynical views, rational argument can be persuasive, even to the extent of leading people to change their diet.

I hope we do get a chance to meet one day. In the meantime, you might like to say ‘hello’ to someone I met in Boulder who shares many of our views about animals and other ethical issues. Her name is Lori Gruen and she is now also doing philosophy in Tucson.

Best wishes.

Peter Singer

07 September 2004

From the Mailbag

Dear Keith,

I am the knucklehead who wrote to you previously because I didn't know that desert (as in "just deserts") was spelled with one 's'. Your reply to me was most generous and gentlemanly. I loved your subsequent post about the man who was deserted in the desert and therefore his wife would have no dessert. Which was her just desert. If I was a vain person, I would have thought that your post was directed specifically at me.

For intellectual stimulation, your web site and The Belmont Club and sadly in the past tense USS Clueless are my first choices. I recall your writing some time back about how your web site is your site. You write for yourself and if I, the reader, am offended by your writing, then I should go somewhere else. You gave the example of Andrew Sullivan and his focus on gay rights. Another example from my perspective was Jeff Jarvis's focus on Howard Stern and the First Amendment. I don't visit either of those sites anymore.

Your ethical treatment of animal writings does not dissuade me from reading your blog. I am not a vegetarian but your writings on this topic stimulate me to think. I bought my first Airedale when I was twenty years old. I am now the proud owner of my fifth Airedale. I love him almost as much as my children and will be heartbroken when he dies. I cannot imagine that some people in this world eat dogs. For Christ's sake, what is wrong with them?

But (oops, started a sentence with a but), this is a special time of year for me. I live on a small city lot, but I still crowd in a small garden. The spinach and the strawberries have been eaten. The eggplant, tomatoes, string beans, corn and peppers are just now being harvested. The pears and peaches are ripe. My wife is drying the plums. The acorn squash and the fingerling potatoes will be ready in a couple of weeks. During this time of year I am almost a vegetarian and I love it.

Best Regards,
John Andrews

06 September 2004

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Your Sept. 1 news article about the mistakes made by pesticide applicators correctly reports that pesticides are dangerous chemicals that are frequently applied incorrectly, with tragic results. But there is a more important fact about home and garden pesticides.

Even when pesticides are applied correctly, they may not be safe to use. Many articles in medical journals have associated lawn weed killers and insecticides with dramatic increases in the incidence of a number of cancers and other diseases. One study found that the incidence of leukemia in children was 650 percent greater in homes where indoor and garden pesticides were used.

Anyone who lives in the suburbs has noticed the pesticide flags sprouting on lawns in the spring and fall. These are removed after one day. But the pesticides themselves last for weeks or months, and they are then tracked into the house.

Clearly, misapplication of pesticides is only the tip of the iceberg.

David Ehrenfeld, M.D.
New Brunswick, N.J., Sept. 2, 2004
The writer is a professor of biology at Rutgers University.

From the Mailbag

Dr Burgess-Jackson

Don't know where you're at in Texas, but around here (60 miles as the crow flies NW of Chicago), if Danny down the road lets his chickens run free [see here], the coyotes get them.

I also like listening to "Calling All Pets" on NPR, which is a local Madison production. The doggie doctor once told a viewer who described her horses as having a "wild" look, "That's FEAR! Wild horses have bred into them fear of predators. If they are not constantly alert and watching, they die!"

I sum it all up as, "Mother nature is a bitch!"

Frank Borger

05 September 2004


This post has nothing to do with animal ethics, but I thought you'd enjoy a site devoted to zebras, which are cool-looking animals.

04 September 2004

From Today's New York Times

Catching Nell

The other night, just before dusk, I walked across the pasture with a bucket of grain. Two dozen chickens followed me in a mob. Some came running toward me, wings flapping, as if with enough room they might actually take off. I led them into their pen, scattered the grain and closed the gate. Then I drove the ducks and the geese into their yard. "Drove" is too strong a word. I hinted at the direction I wanted them to go, and they went. I opened another gate and led the horses down to the barnyard. When they had been fed, I stepped into the pigpen. The gilt came over for a rubdown, and the barrow flopped down beside her. They lay back to back, eyes closed, pale pink bellies available for scratching.

Some evenings I notice the haze that settles in the valley nearby or the big orange moon coming up over the trees. But that night I noticed how we all fit together, the animals and the humans. The piglets arrive pretty wild. Baby chicks clatter about the brooder house in fear. But time passes, and they all settle down. They seem to tame themselves somehow.

That night I suddenly realized all the ways that they've tamed me. I never rush the ducks. It only confuses them. I never ask too much when herding chickens. The horses expect a certain presence from me, which changes with every situation. The pigs want joy and vigorous scratching.

None of the animals seem to want me to be other than human. But they want me to be a human who knows how the world looks to them and respects it.

All of our animals except one were raised among humans from birth. That one is Nell, the mustang. We bought her not far from our farm here in upstate New York, but she was adopted as a weanling in Nevada—part of the federal adoption program for wild horses.

I've seen other mustangs captured, so I have a good idea what it was like for her. She's 17 now and has lived the last decade with us. She's been trained, trailered, ridden and cared for. And yet it's always a tossup whether she'll let me catch her.

Our animals show their trust in us every day. But sometimes Nell trusts us, and sometimes she doesn't. The freeze brand on her neck isn't the only sign of that long-ago capture. All the rest of us, animal and human, live together in a single place. Nell lives in her own. She somehow reserves the right to withhold herself, to stand apart.

The chickens grow placid, the pigs learn to like us, and the other horses go on with their lives. And yet the most meaningful moments, after all these years, are when Nell crosses over from her world to ours. She walks right up, as if to ask where I've been, and settles her head in my arms. I feel the power of the choice she has made every time she makes it.

Richard A. Posner on Ronald Dworkin

I confess my error in inferring that Dworkin doesn’t like dogs. As a cat person, I am disappointed. I hope I will be forgiven for having thought him distinctly feline.

(Richard A. Posner, “Dworkin, Polemics, and the Clinton Impeachment Controversy,” Northwestern University Law Review 94 [2000]: 1023-47, at 1047 [footnote omitted])

03 September 2004

The Beaver

Canadians almost extinguished the beaver. See here.

01 September 2004

Peter Singer

Here is Peter Singer's 1985 essay "The Animal Liberation Movement."